Saturday, 29 December 2012

Go Fight Win!

We had a really nice Christmas. A popular song claims that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but for some it’s not. It can be a very sad and lonely time of the year for many people and my heart goes out to those who experience anything but comfort and joy at Christmas. Some people are away from the ones they dearly love, so it makes me appreciate every Christmas spent with family. I savour the moments and wish time would stand still for just a little while. Our children are grown up, but it’s still so much fun to watch them open presents and it’s neat that they are more excited about what they give than what they get. They appreciate the good food, especially the turkey and gravy and they enjoy spending time with each other and the rest of the family. There is usually lots of laughter, lots of sweet treats, stories, games and someone snoozing on the couch or in the middle of the living room floor. Having  a three year old, our granddaughter Leah around as well makes Christmas extra special and we just couldn’t ask for anything more.

It’s these special times together that can give someone with an illness the desire and determination to fight for his life and live to experience it all over again next year…and the next year and the one after that. How do I know? I know because I am watching a very courageous man do exactly that.  
To go all the way to Bulgaria to receive a medical treatment that is still fairly new and may or may not produce positive results is courageous (many people are experiencing positive results from stem cell treatment). Are motto is: we will do whatever we can and let the good Lord do the rest…and may His will be done! We are all very hopeful, but before we left for Bulgaria, Mike said if nothing else, it will be a wonderful pre-Christmas vacation to a beautiful destination.

We feel so blessed to have been able to travel across the globe to be treated by some of the very best doctors in the world. We couldn’t have done it without the help of my sister Elanna who came with us, and without the help of my parents who initiated the trip and took care of all the travel arrangement and without the help of our new friends Steven and Ruth who have the connections with the doctors in Bulgaria and are helping many people, including those with MS and ALS find medical relief through their society, The Reformed Multiple Sclerosis Society. Steven set up our appointment dates and was in touch with us the whole time leading up to our departure, answering our question and communicating with us and the doctors, taking care of all the details. We are also so thankful for the prayers and support of all our family and friends.  
Over the Christmas holidays, our good friends Audrey and Gregg arranged two friendly hockey games for their kids and their friends (some parents, including Gregg) and whoever else wanted to come out and have some fun.  Gregg was Madison’s hockey coach for many years when she played for our local female hockey club – the Barracudas. Everyone paid ten bucks (which is a great deal) to play a friendly game of scrimmage.  Audry and Gregg passed on all the proceeds to our family charity, Project Wellness, which was an added bonus. The games were great entertainment for those of us watching, but what I noticed right away was the competitiveness of all the players, especially my two (Nathan and Madison…Erin wasn’t there, but she is the same way). It was a friendly game against good friends they have known all their lives, but when the puck dropped, the game was ON! It got me thinking, it’s in the genes…our children are just like their dad; very competitive. Mike is very competitive in sports and other things in life, including illness. It’s like, “Go, Fight, Win!” almost all the time. Their attitude is; “I will not be beat!”

The doctors say it can take one to two months to observe any results from the stem cell treatment, so we will wait and see what happens. But regardless of what happens, we will not lose hope. With the advancements in medicine and the brilliant doctors out there like the ones Mike had in Bulgaria and considering that all things are possible with God, we won’t lose hope. And with the competitive spirit that Mike has, we won’t stop fighting.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

                    Nathan with a bloody nose from a high stick at the friendly hockey game

Girl power! Sydney, Payge, Kirsten, Haley,  Madeline, Jade, Meagan, Melisa, Madison and Sabrina the goalie in front

                                                  Mike and Leah watching the game

                                                      The five of us on Christmas day

My parents with their grandkids on Christmas day - Michaela, Erin, Madison, Nathan and Luke

                                      Michaela, Elanna, Luke and Peter on Christmas day

                                                 Leah bringing gifts on Christmas Eve

                                   Mike having his cake and eating it Bulgaria post op

                        He couldn't decide what piece of cake he wanted, so he ate all three pieces

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