Monday, August 24, 2009


Hello to all our new readers and faithful followers alike. Megan once again asked me to guest blog while she is away for a few days. I was toiling with what to write, how do I put into words what I'm feeling as the Twilight Walk quickly approaches? How do I inspire someone to want to inspire others to go out and do good? Then I read on Facebook that a dear friend of mine and a huge champion of the Kyrie Foundation was organizing a team for the walk and had been simply blown away by the kindness and generosity of her friends and family. So, I asked Amy to write a few they are. Thanks, Amy! ~ Melissa

Have you ever found something so powerful and good that you just BELIEVE in it with all of you heart? Have you ever met someone so brave that you want to follow in their little bitty footsteps in the fight against cancer? Have you ever had a group of family and friends that completely supports you in a drive to succeed for all of the right reasons?

Well, I have and I am so blessed to be able to share this with you.

Kyrie's story has blessed my life in so many ways and I BELIEVE in the foundation. I am willing to FOLLOW Kyrie's footprints that are leading me all the way to fight this horrible cancer that took her away for the ones who loved her the most. AND I have the most amazing group of family and friends that not only believe and follow me on this journey, but that support my passion and are moved themselves by the Kyrie Foundation and its mission. In the last few days, I have sent out a few emails letting people know about the Twilight Walk to as many people as I can think of. The response...OVERWHELMING. Some people know exactly what this is all about. Some people are meeting Kyrie's story for the very first time. But the effect is nothing but AMAZING. Let's call it her "butterfly effect". I was nudged by Kyrie's precious wings a little over two years ago and her nudge has moved me to nudge others with her beautiful angel butterfly wings. For those of you who are reading this blog for the first time...WELCOME! And may I introduce you to a story that will change your life forever. For those of you who have been here...join me in nudging the people we love to DO Good for Kyrie...for the foundation...and for all of those precious little bitty feet that are fighting this battle right here...right now. We want you to join us against this fight. I encourage all of you today to watch Kyrie's tribute video. Watch it...feel the nudge...and get out there and FIGHT WITH US! On September 19th, the Second Annual Twilight Walk will be held in Wichita, and we would love to have you walking with us. This is a perfect opportunity for you to get involved and I'll be glad you did.

Go Kyrie Go!!!

Amy Nelson

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for thinking big.

I remember hearing some hubbub in the aftermath of an Oprah giveaway show. Some people wished for cars, some for houses. One lady just wanted a new fridge, and Oprah gave it to her. When the woman was disappointed that others received house while she just a fridge, Oprah said, "You should have dreamed bigger!"

I'm thankful for big wishes and giant hopes. I'm thankful for dreaming unfathomable goals and then keeping your eye on the prize. I'm thankful for the big dreamers, like Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell and Edison, without whom we'd be in dark houses talking to ourselves about dirt. Instead, we have lamps that illuminate our reading, telephones that bring us together and doe-eyed characters that delight our children. All thanks to a few big ideas in the minds of people who thought them possible.

I'm thankful for those who help make big dreams happen, too. Be it an anonymous benefactor, the holy spirit, the Make a Wish Foundation or you who don the tee and walk to fight cancer. I'm thankful for the Big Dream Helpers because without them a big idea is just an idea; it requires people to make an idea happen. People just like you.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One Month!

Just one month from today, and we'll all be at the second-annual Twilight Walk!!!! We're so excited we can barely contain ourselves!

What a wonderful evening we had last year--the camaraderie, the fun games, the great deals at the silent auction, the music, the united front we all gave in an effort to spare another family from brain cancer. I can't tell you how incredible it is to see people come together for something like this. The walk--each lap--I could see people taking their time or getting a spring in their step as they thought about life and love, the past and the future, the here and now.

From our end, we think and we plan, we call and we beg, we put up posters, we make phone calls, ask for donations, ask for volunteers, ask for favors, ask for everything. We work so hard, and in the end, we just hope and pray that you will be there with us. We just hope and pray that we don't have to take a truckload of t-shirts back home! We'd much rather give them away to you to wear out in the world. Maybe someone will see your shirt, ask about it and then you can tell them what we're all trying to do, which is a little thing I like to call Changing the World.

We've heard from some of you that you're hearing about the Twilight Walk on KFDI! Wa-hoo! We absolutely love them, and are abundantly grateful for their help spreading the word and lifting up our purpose up above some of our day-to-day distractions. Thank you, KFDI! See you on September 19!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for getting things done. I'm thankful for checklists and planners and calendars. I'm thankful for the oomph, the gumption and motivation that propel us into action. I've often heard the adage about the kind of people who make lists are the kind of people who get things done. There's a healthy helping of truth in that. I know that lists—scratched on the back of bill envelopes, receipts, sticky notes—are pretty much the only way I can remember everything that needs to be addressed. I have a whole notebook that is filled with To Do Lists for the foundation. I'm thankful for the satisfaction and the relief that comes with checking things off the list, be it a dental appointment or cleaning out a closet. It's refreshing, isn't it? And there's a momentum to it, too, when we're in full swing of accomplishing one or two tasks then we find the desire and the energy to accomplish a few more. Doing begets doing.

We're in that blessed season when many families gear up for another school year. Routines that we shook off for the summer, gently come back and prod us into daily productivity. For us, we are in full swing taking care of details for the Twilight Walk. Many, many lists. Many, many things to do. Many, many hopes that you'll be there with us September 19. Today I'm thankful for those of you who have "register for Twilight Walk" on your list and for those of you who have already checked that one off. ;) Thank you!

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another do good idea!

So this weekend a cousin of mine hosted one of those Premier Jewelry in-home parties. This one, however, was a stroke of genius, I think. She had arranged with the sales representative for 10% of the party's proceeds to be donated to The Kyrie Foundation! Brilliant, eh? It gets better.

Her company has a charitable program that matches the donations to certain organizations. The Kyrie Foundation is one of those organizations! So she just doubled the donation from the party! Wait--it gets better.

I was lucky enough to meet several new people who didn't know who we were or what we're trying to do. So I was able to tell Kyrie's story and the story of all of you who support our events, the blog, the tee shirts, etc. They all agreed that the work was important, and nearly everyone expressed interest in supporting us in some way. Hold on--it gets even better.

My cousin planned for this to be a brunch-y get-together. She made a fantastic breakfast casserole and quiche Florentine. Guess where she found the recipes? From The Kyrie Foundation cookbook!!! Can you believe that?!

This was such a thoughtful way to host one of these kinds of parties; I'm just beside myself. ;)

Thank you, Clareen! You're amazing. And thank you to all who were there Saturday morning. Your incredible support lifts us up and carries us forward in this fight!

Friday, August 7, 2009

KFDI + Twilight Walk

Hey! If you happen to be a fan of KFDI in Wichita, check out the lower left portion of their Facebook page. You'll find an event that is really, really, really interesting!

And ... Tony Brueski of KFDI's afternoon show will be at this year's Twilight Walk to help save those babies from brain cancer! You can listen to him get the word out about the Twilight Walk weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you feel like it, maybe you could call in to his show, and tell him that you're going to be at the Twilight Walk, too! We're needing a boost in registrations this week, and that's something that would REALLY help us out.

Thank you, Tony! You're the best!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cancer's wake.

Cancer’s bullet has ripped through the lives of so many, and in recent years, it just seems like more and more, both those diagnosed and those who love them, have been reluctantly drafted into the magnificent army of incredible fighters.

I can’t say why cancer seems to be everywhere; sometimes I conjure a mental flow chart, citing Sir Isaac Newton’s law of cause & effect. Something has to cause this. Something has to be on the rise to cause the rise in cancer. Our food supply? Our recent decades of over-processed, can’t-pronounce-the-ingredients food supply? Our water? Our municipal water systems, rivers, ponds and oceans that feature run-off from chemically treated lawns, landfill who-knows-what and asphalt molecules that leach into our soil? Our air? Our air that is puffed full of petroleum fumes, invisible car exhaust, noxious manufacturing and aerosol sprays? Our goods? Our newly produced, pressed-particles furniture that emits gas from glue chemicals and fake wood veneer? Our carpets made from petroleum? Our beloved plastics that give off God-knows-what in the microwave? You know that coveted “new car” smell? What if that odor is actually terrible for our lungs?

Not trying to incite panic here. After all, this is the world we all live in; what can we do? What’s more puzzling is how we’re all living in this same world. Some get the cancer. Some don’t. Why? And let’s just say for the case of argument, that it’s genetic resistance that helps some of us ward off cancer while others cannot. Is it just me or does is seems that a disproportionate amount of good, nice, special, wonderful, loved people get the cancer-prone genetics? It’s not the lot of greedy bankers who sent the global economy into a tailspin; it’s a little girl, the daughter of a pastor, in Arizona.

And the aftermath.

If you are granted a miracle (and that’s a whole other can of blog worms), there is the voice that you consciously ignore every day that asks, “What if it comes back?”. Survivor’s guilt mortars itself between all the live-in-the-now, make-it-count moments of which you are so preciously aware. Those who love you, give thanks for your every breath though it may look like he or she is just eating a sandwich/folding laundry/laughing. You have another moment here. You have time. You have everything, and now you know it.

If the cancer gets its way, the pain is suffocating for those left behind. I can write for the record, for sure, for real, that this kind of sadness, this kind of grief is more gripping, more encompassing than any physical, nerve-ending pain I've ever known. You can’t see. You can’t sleep. You can’t even walk like you once did. The pain is from inside your trunk, inside every cell and radiates through your skin. You feel this pain every time you blink, and you’re completely sure that everyone else must see it on you, in you, especially when you’re in line at the grocery store. The rub is: after awhile, they don’t. They—and even you—think some of this pain should subside soon. Time heals all wounds, right? Not so fast.

For those who suffer a cancer loss or any love loss really, our hearts immediately feel hollow. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to write that our hearts are now hallowed. It’s the kind of pain that makes you feel very alone, very small. You make yourself sick asking, "Why?" over and over and over agin. It’s the missing, the longing that so damned hard. You just miss them. Oft defined in textbooks as facet of our emotions, sadness is trivialized in a million modern ways. This is not the kind of sadness that can be distracted by prescriptions or well-intentioned vacations. This is the sadness that is made of love. Because of that, because this pain transforms your heart in unpredictable ways, I’m guessing the only way to be able to breathe again is for your heart to reciprocate by transforming the pain. Turn it back into love.

Sometimes I cry to let it out. Sometimes I’ve let God really have it. More times I just talk to the one I’m missing as if he or she were next to me. More times I imagine ways to help, ways to love, ways to cure. More times I think of what I’ll say to those in heaven about how I’ve spent my time here, how much I’ve thought of them, how I lived for them. More times I remind myself that this is not the end.