Cookies for Kids Cancer (Gold Bow Campaign) 2015-2016 revenued $2,166
St. Baldrick's (Harlan's Hair Razers Head-Shaving Event) 2017 revenued $8,451
Melody's second battle reoccurred November 2015. Our world was literally fading each day with the worst news one day after another. I can remember the first time I met Jacki. November 28th at noon. I had just finished going through a mountain of paperwork (that comes along with checking into pediatric intensive care unit). The dark gray feeling overcomes your entire mind and body - hopelessness and fatigue. I didn't think this monster (cancer) would ever return. So, waiting for me in the waiting room was a woman (Jacki) and her husband (Jonathan). As I walked towards them, I immediately made eye contact with her (Jacki). Without words, I could see that she had been in my shoes. She had familiar eyes. With just a few more steps I was standing right in front of her, and with a sincere comforting hug, Jacki and I met! She immediately brought light to my day. To be able to have someone to lean on, was life-changing.
No questions asked Harlan's Heroes helped us right away. We were in a financial struggle. At the time, the Ronald McDonald House was shut down due to construction. Harlan's Heroes stepped in and helped us so we could afford a hotel room and meals. Melody also received a wonderful gift bag (and till this day she uses). From that point on Harlan's Heroes continued to help us in any way possible. When we needed someone to reach out to, they were there! God truly places people in our lives at just the right time. Christmas was right around the corner, and Harlan's Heroes sent gifts (which meant so much to us and Melody's siblings). Melody began treatments in January 2016, and Harlan's Heroes never left our side! They even treated our family to a weekend getaway at Carowinds (hotel and gift cards included), where some of our families best memories were made! Melody danced and laughed. She even rode front row on some of the scariest rides!
In between all this, there was so much more. I've shared many tears with Jacki, and although I never got to meet Harlan on Earth, I was fortunate enough to have met him in one of my dreams. Harlan's Heroes granted me the biggest gift ever, and that was hope! Thank you so, so much for everything; every word, every hug, and every minute of your time. It has indeed impacted our lives more than you know.
Daisy, Joshua, Jasmine, Richie, and Melody
Our daughter Lexi was diagnosed with Pre-B ALL on November 7, 2017, and the very next morning her port was placed, and she began chemotherapy. To say our world was turned upside down, and that we felt lost and alone would be an understatement. Things seemed to go downhill quickly for Lexi. She was diagnosed with a kidney stone, gallstones, c-diff, chemo toxicity as a side effect of methotrexate, and fevers up to 104.7. We spent almost three weeks in the hospital and during our stay over Christmas is when we met Harlan's Heroes. On December 21, 2017, we met the angels of Harlan's Heroes at St. Jude’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. We were showered with love and gifts from total strangers. I remember the knock on our hospital door and opening it to find Jacki, Jonathan, and their daughter, (none of who we had met before). They had Christmas gifts and cheer for BOTH our children and my husband and me.
After our visit, I researched Harlan’s Heroes, and Harlan’s story and my heart burst all over again. Jacki and I have become Facebook friends, and it is comforting to know other families have been where we are, and they are willing to be our cheerleaders along this journey. Harlan’s Heroes was the bright spot in our otherwise dark and trying Hospital stay, and they continue to encourage us and help us keep our spirits up!
All our love,
The Cunningham Family
In February 2018, Eli was born at 5 pounds 9 ounces. We went through several bouts of, "It's colic." "It's a lazy eye." So on and so forth, until at seven months, Eli went completely limp. Upon arrival at the hospital, an MRI was requested, which led to the diagnosis of a massive brain tumor. At seven months old, Eli was diagnosed with a stage 3-4 Glioblastoma. As a single mother not only to Eli but his big brother, I had no other option than quitting my job to be the primary caretaker for my sick little boy.
Shortly after Eli began chemotherapy, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my jaw. We spent Thanksgiving in the hospital but were so blessed to be home for Christmas.
Life doesn't stop after any diagnoses. Living expenses are due every month. Things break in the house that you're not prepared to "fix." Thanks to our amazing social worker Emily at Levine's Hematology and Oncology, we have met some beneficial foundations. Harlan's Heroes has been one of those to us. Harlan's Heroes stepped in to help cover our insurance premium and power bill. Then not even two months after that assistance, they purchased a new water heater for our house. The aid didn't stop there. In one of my first conversations with Jacki, I expressed that my lawn mower had died and how "it's always something." She easily related to me. Within hours of that conversation, a supporter of Harlan's Heroes had purchased our family a new lawnmower. Harlan's Heroes and their supporters are working miracles every day. My family and I are grateful for their support through this nightmare.
Crystal and Boys