Monday, November 30, 2009


The hiatus has ended! But unfortunately, I only have a speck of time with which I must tell you that Frosty and Elf Rita are planning their annual trip to Wesley Hospital in Wichita for December 23!

I cannot believe another year has passed. Sometimes it's difficult to type past the lump that thought creates in my throat. However, there are children and families that will light up with surprise and gratitude over the bestowal of unexpected gift from Frosty and Elf Rita—I choose to focus on that.

This holiday weekend, I dropped off my bag o'goodies for the big trip at Frosty's parents' home. Frosty's dad, Buster, mentioned how wonderful it is to bring a little joy into these hospital rooms. He should know because he's been a helper both years now. He's seen the little miracles firsthand.

So ... if you'd like to donate a few toys to the trip, Frosty and Elf Rita would LOVE to have your support. Here are a few ideas

• groovy stuff for teen kids
• snuggly, new stuffed animals
• giftcards for the parents (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, McDonald's, Spangles, gas cards)
• books, activity packs, little electronic games, young child toys and anything you think would be easy to do while laying in a hospital bed.
• stickers

And of course, any cash donations go to the purchase of whatever might be in short supply for the trip this year. This year, the big visit is scheduled for Wednesday, December 23! So if you could have your donations to Susan by Sunday, December 13, that would be swell.

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A success!!

We have so much to tell you about the event on Thursday night! Great music, fantastic food, incredible art, lotsa fundraising and more gratitude than we can possibly convey. I can't wait to tell you about the Lueck family and Baby Cakes and the bartenders and the floral donations and the live auction! Right now, Chad and I are attending to matters that take us away from the blog, but we'll be back next week to fill you in.

For now, it's good to know that we came in financially very near what we did last year. In this economy, we consider that quite amazing. We hope you do, too.

Our first Ebay auction was fun, too. Congrats to all the winners!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Busy, busy setting up for tonight! Oh, we have so much to be thankful for this Thursday:

• for people who care enough to stand with us
• for people who call in a favor or who ask friends to help us in unfathomable ways
• for the impressive list of generous gift donors, which continues to inspire us
• for the patience of friends and family in our lives who understand the sacrifices necessary to begin a nonprofit
• for the blessings that have floated into the planning of this event
• for the talent bestowed within the eyes, hands, hearts and brains of each donating artist
• for fortitude and endurance to work and plan and plan and work on events like tonight's
• for the courage to think we can give this cancer a showdown

We hope to see you tonight!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So it's nearly here: the one & only Kyrie Foundation fundraiser commencing in Kansas City for 2009!

We've had several things fall into our laps over the last couple days, including a super cool photo image from We Are the Parsons, a whopping Kansas City Chiefs package of 2 December games for 4 people each plus parking and 2 signed prints from Shepherd Fairey in L.A. (the artist that composed the famous/infamous 2008 Obama campaign poster art.)

I can't tell you how crazy excited I am about chef Dave Lueck and chef Gareth Agnew preparing all of the delicious ingredients from Whole Foods Market on Metcalf. These are Dave's own recipes—creative and tantalizing. We know what a phenomenal task we have requested from him—cooking for over 200 people! We are still stunned at his amazing generosity of time and talent to the cause. Thank you from the bottom of our grateful stomachs and from entire throngs of taste buds!

Ebay auction
is still live—only until Friday at 8 p.m., though.

Tickets and more info are here:

If you're still on the fence whether or not to go tomorrow night, I say (and of course I'm terribly biased. ;)) GO! Not only is it a fun evening, not only will you have access to art you wouldn't otherwise, not only can you knock out some Christmas shopping, not only are your purchases tax free, not only will there be fantastic food and an open bar, not only will you enjoy great live jazz, but you will be doing all of to help a new, homegrown charity that is doing its best to grow and to save children's brains from cancer.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet the Artists, #6

We're in the home stretch until the big night this Thursday!! Woo-hoo! The Ebay auction is up and running, the tables are being delivered tomorrow, picked up framed art over lunch today, picking up linens Thursday morning, printing the bid sheets tonight, hanging art tomorrow night and meeting with WDAF Fox-4 for the live remote on Wednesday morning!

Meanwhile, here are three more generous artists whose work you'll see Thursday night.

Several months ago, I picked up a lovely donation from Rob Ryan, a London-based artist who is fantastically skilled at silhouette papercutting. The details that he can cut into a piece of paper are breathtakingly astonishing.

He even has beautiful packing tape. I'm not kidding. This is the tape his assistant Hazel used to pack up his donation for us.

Incredible, isn't it? What's more—you can buy this tape, too, here!

Pretty cool to know you are this close to an artist whose work has been on the cover of TIME.

Another Brit artist has contributed several ORIGINAL watercolor works that are super cool. Tom Hovey's work has been commissioned for the likes of Red Bull and Saatchi, a major worldwide advertising agency that has brought you messages from Toyota, Sony and Betty Crocker.

Tom has incredibly donated the following original pieces, which have graced Web pages here and there.

The popular blogger of House Wren Studio, Charlotte Lyons, has donated a darling 3-D fabric creation fashioned by her talented hands. Charlotte creates lovely, textural objects d' arte like this:

From her site: After growing up in a household decorated with colorful textiles and flea-market finds, Charlotte's work is still inspired by the humble designs of traditional art and craft and the inventive use of everyday materials. Born and educated in St. Louis, Charlotte raised three artistic daughters in a bright pink house near Chicago. Presently, she lives in a green house along the Hudson River in New York with her husband and daughters.

Charlotte’s work has been featured in Country Living, Victoria, Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, Somerset Life and Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion and on HGTV, CBS and DIY networks. We thank her, thank her, thank her for being part of our work!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why you're reading Kyrie's blog.

Sometimes amidst the event planning or simply flipping pages in a calendar, we can forget why we're doing this, why I'm typing posts and why you're reading them.

A couple months ago, we connected with Kate McRae, a five-year-old girl in Arizona who is battling the same kind of brain tumor that Kyrie did. Her mom keeps a Caring Bridge journal and there was a passage recently that brought me back in half a heartbeat to Kyrie's battle. This situation shouldn't happen—ever:

Frustrating night.. I guess that is to be expected right now. Kate's tummy was hurting some tonight. Immediately after I gave her chemotherapy she threw it up, along with her NG tube. She kept crying, knowing what that meant, another NG tube put down. I called the Dr on call, they agreed to redose her chemo and for me to put back down her tube. So after giving her tummy a little break. We went to put her tube back in. It was heartbreaking. She kept screaming "No, please, No!" She then started frantically saying "Please Jesus, heal me quick so mom doesn't have to do this to me, please Jesus". Over and over she screamed it. I was ready to scream with her but instead put the tube up her nose and down her throat. It makes them feel like they are choking. Not how you want to make your child feel. However, we know it is better than the alternative. So we just do it. Heart in throat.
Thankfully, she is now alseep. her tube is in, chemo stayed down this time, and all of her nightly medications are in. Her nightly feedings are now running.

This is just a snippet, one bit of one millisecond of the battle when you're fighting your baby's brain tumor.

And this passage, too. While the world is busying about making their holiday plans, there are families who cannot:

Reality is, we could be up here for Christmas, which means, no Christmas with all of the kids together. And Kate's birthday is the day after. The thought is so very discouraging. How could we not enjoy such a special holiday together. 2 kids at home, and one in the hospital going through an extremely tough and rigorous chemotherapy? No family breakfast, no opening stockings together, no traditions, no Christmas with the 5 of us. So the more we thought about it, the more we realized, we may get the chance to be home, we just don't know. But the reality is, there will be families up here. On the oncology floor, away from the traditions, their immediate families and extended families, fighting for the lives of their children. Some their resources spent to get their children treatment. Others deciding which children to spend Christmas with. Others wondering if this will be their last Christmas together. The thought never ceases to bring me to tears.

It's this reality that pushes us forward in the work we're doing. This is why we're hosting the fundraiser Thursday; this is why we launch items on eBay; this is why Frosty and Elf Rita go to Wesley Hospital each Christmas. This is why I'm here typing and you're here reading.

Friday, November 6, 2009


If you don't live in the K.C. area or are unable to attend next Thursday, you can still participate in the Metamorphosis 2009 eBay art auction, which goes live TONIGHT at 8:00 p.m. (CST).

Just go to eBay and type kyriefoundation (all one word) into their search bar. Up will pop a dozen artistic donations from a various artists: Julia Pott, Nate Williams, Jessica Hische, Gemma Correll, Keri Smith, Elektra, Milosz Konefal, Mark Laita, Sheri Berry Designs and Tuesday Schmidt!

Anyone from around the globe can bid, so feel free to pass this on to friends and family via e-nail who aren't local or to your pals on Facebook. We're so stinkin' excited about this!

Also, this online auction closes next Friday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m. CST. Just FYI.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Oh, so much to be grateful for today!

* So thankful that we've been able to figure out and build an identity for The Kyrie Foundation on eBay for the online portion of Metamorphosis 2009! (Us cowpokes at the ranch are less tech savvy than we appear to be.) At least a dozen pieces of art will be up for auction. Set your alarms: the Metamorphosis eBay auction launches on TOMORROW, Friday, November 6 at 8:00 p.m. CST and runs through next Friday.

* So thankful that WDAF Fox-4 in Kansas City has scheduled a LIVE REMOTE from Studio 2131 at 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday morning as we're prepping the venue for Thursday night. Can you believe that?!? We really, really, really hope that it will raise awareness and inspire more guests for the event.


Can I let you in on a little secret?

Get close.



Okay, there are really super-thoughtful, super-affordable items being offered at the auction. I've been thinking all week that I should be doing all my shopping at charity auctions. Great deals. Specialty items. No tax. Every penny goes to a good cause. And with Christmas lists looming, you could knock out a good chunk with us!

Here are just a few of the most recent interesting additions:
• Need to clean a Johnson County speeding ticket from your record? You can bid on that.
• Want to grill Kansas City Steak Company steaks all summer long? You can bid on that.
• Want a gorgeous, unconventional photo shoot with We Are the Parsons? You can bid on that.
• And perhaps we'll even be able to offer a walk-on role with the Emmy-winning Unreal Housewives of Kansas City!

It's been a load of work to plan, but I can't imagine not doing something to fight this cancer. Today? Nine more families got the news while I was at work. I would hope that if I were one of those moms, somebodies like me and you would send a few e-mails, make a few phone calls, plan an event and put this research quest into high gear.

So thankful for all the little miracles that have bubbled up to make Metamorphosis 2009 happen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween helps Christmas

Some do-good inspiration from our favorite characters!

"Frosty" & "Elf Rita" put the word out to all of their friends, and once again they came thru! The "ticket" into their Annual Halloween Costume Party was a donation towards the Kyrie Christmas Trip to Wesley Hospital coming up in December.

36 party-goers donated: 58 items + $40.00 cash

12 Stuffed Animals
6 Dolls
8 Cars
7 Craft Kits
2 Electronic Games
4 Puzzles
1 Card Game
4 Color Books with Crayons
2 Stickers Books
1 Pack of Markers
8 Sesame Street Toys
1 Set of AAA Batteries

"THANKS!" to everyone including...'Jon & Kate + 8', KISS, Betty & Wilma, Punk Thugs, Vampire & Vampiress, Michael Jackson (before & after), the Blind Refs, and ALL of the generous donors who we claim as our friends!!