Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Christi Thomas Memorial Egg Hunt at Tiffin University - Wednesday afternoon

The 7th Annual Christi Thomas Memorial Egg Hunt will be held on WEDNESDAY at TIFFIN UNIVERSITY! BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket) and meet in Osceola Theatre at 3:30pm. The TU students will go over rules and divide into groups. PLEASE JOIN US! Bring the little ones! We'd love to see you there! Christi LOVED this wonderful event and we are so honored they've continued to hold it in her memory! Thanks, Tiffin University! 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

CMN Fundraiser at BGSU Raised $275,484.33!

Our family was deeply touched to again be part of the Dance Marathon on campus this weekend!  BGSU's Dance Marathon is an amazing one!  This year nearly 300 dancers stood on their feet for 32 straight hours and just under 200 cyclists rode 180 miles all raising money for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals!  I thank BG for asking me to speak and share our family's story and for inviting Shayla to dance.  If you'd like to see the 3:30 minute video clip with my interview and a bit of Shayla's pointe routine that aired on BG24 News, here you go:

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Scamming Celebrities - Hope Jackson (again on ABC's Nightline)

Hi!  I hope this finds you well!  A few sweet bloggers have emailed asking for an update on the show so I thought I should share.  You can find it all on ABC Nightline's website, but it was basically a repeat of the same story which ran in November, but with new celebrities Hope Jackson also scammed who came forward as a result of the November airing.  The new part is basically Part III of the story.  Here is the link to that section if you desire to see it:

I hope all is well with you and your family!  We had a nice (very, very, very quick - like 48 hours) trip to New York City where we saw a couple of shows (Rock of Ages & Les Mierables), had an official college visit at New York University - NYU, a trip to Solving Kids Cancer and a ballet lesson with a Broadway choreographer for Shayla.  We also visited a friend who lost his child to neuroblastoma and believe it or not hooked up with our niece who was in the city for work - crazy!

Visiting our NYC friends who also lost a precious little family member to neuroblastoma.

Fun getting a lesson from a Broadway performer and a Broadway choreographer!

We loved seeing Les Miserables; we are still singing the songs!

A very nice visit was had at Solving Kids Cancers - focusing on the three most deadly childhood cancers (of course this includes neuroblastoma).

Rock of Ages on Broadway!

Shayla's official campus visit at New York University (NYU).
Much to our shock and delight our niece was in the city for work so we got to spend a bit of time with her and her friend.  SWEET!  I'm so proud of my little enginerd! (Oh, I mean engineer!)  Shayla said, "I've now been to NYC with my cousin two times!"  Yes, indeed!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

ABC Nightline Update Tonight at 10pm

I just learned from ABC Nightline that at 10pm tonight they will air an update to our story (Hope Jackson). That is all I know! Many weeks ago I heard others came forward after the story first aired and Hope may have violated her probation, but I don't know for certain if any of that is true. I guess we will find out tonight at 10pm. Tune in if you are curious too!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Fundraising for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Two of the three hospitals Christi treated at were CMN hospitals (Nationwide in Columbus, and CHOP in Philadelphia).  The national charity of Miss America & Miss America's Outstanding Teen is the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. As a result, local and state titleholders are encouraged to partake in National Pancake Day celebrated at IHOP restaurants to help raise money for CMN. Our thanks to the awesome Kristi, the CMN worker at Mercy Children's in Toledo for inviting Shayla to "bring her bling" and help promote CMN after school yesterday. The restaurant became jam-packed as the "supper crowd" started arriving; people were waiting for tables.....and Shayla Thomas had a ball helping out.  She loved being with the children and "Miracle Kids" and I love that she was able to approach others and tell her own stories about spending countless days and nights in hospitals. (Today her sweet speech teacher told me she has a gift for communications.) Thank you, CMN for making the days and nights brighter for our family. 

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Shayla's Lemon Ball Dance Party Raised Nearly $3,000 for Alex's Lemonade Stand!

For her birthday, Shayla asked us for rent a space and hire a DJ so she could have a fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand instead of receiving gifts this year. Since she did something similar last year, we weren't surprised and we were happy to help.  Shayla wanted to raise $1500 for her 15th birthday and thanks to very generous friends and family, she raised $2,685.00 for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation! Thank you, everyone! We all wish she could have invited all of her friends, but "fire code" at the venue made her trim down her invite list. The teens donned their old homecoming outfits and danced for hours! We were very proud of all of them and thank them for their generosity! Some of the sweet kiddos told us the ball was even more fun than their school's homecoming. Wow! That's a compliment! We think Christi would have been proud!
Thanks to Lucas and Michael at the Ritz Theater's National Theater for helping set up for Shayla's Lemon Ball Dance Party!

We put in a few dollars to get the donations started and when the teens arrived it just started filling up - wow!  Thanks, sweet kids, friends and families!

Yes, this would be Christi's best friends - Kaylyn & Theresa!  They will soon be graduating from high school and heading off to college.  We are very proud of them and know that Christi's on their shoulders.  They always made her soooooooo happy!  Never treating her like a "kid with cancer" but always treating her like a "kid"!  Thanks, Kaylyn & Theresa!  It was fantastic to see you at the ball!

At Shayla's age, I never could have taken the microphone and spoken in front of my peers (and trust me they would not have been clapping and cheering for me like Shayla's friends did).  She educated them about the need for research and how much an hour of research costs.  When she announced that she nearly doubled her goal thanks to their generosity, they went wild.  Sooooo fantastic!

The teens danced for hours!

It was a great party!

Dancing the Night Away!

I loved that the kids could get their old homecoming outfits out of the closet and wear them again!  Some of them traded dresses too - what fun!

Shayla's Lemon Ball Dance Party - a fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand Fund in honor of Shayla's 15th birthday!

Welcome to the party!

We could not have rented a better space!  This worked out tremendously well!

Thanks to Janet & Subway for donating all of the yummy cookies for the kiddos!  They loved them!

Shayne found these at Walmart!  We had to buy them!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shayla's First Hospital Visit as a CMN Ambassador

This post was written by Shayla.  I'm amazed at her maturity, compassion and desire to help others.  
I've spent hundreds of days living in hospital rooms during my sister's cancer treatments. During the four years of treatments, countless visitors stopped by our little rooms to brighten our days. Recently, it was my first time to serve as the person on "the other side" - the one delivering the cheer and good wishes instead of receiving them and I loved it!

I was invited by a hospital employee to visit Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo as Miss Mansfield's Outstanding Teen. CMN is the national charity of the Miss America Scholarship Program.  As a local titleholder, I am encouraged to serve as one of our state's CMN ambassadors, donating my time in the hospitals. I am happy to invest hours in supporting this wonderful cause.  Christi treated at two CMN hospitals:  Nationwide Children's in Columbus and the Children's Hopstial of Philadelpia (CHOP).  

I felt like Santa Clause as I pushed a big cart exploding with a variety of stuffed animals. In each room, the children picked out a toy and we'd talk for a while before I headed to the next room. I was able to visit 13-16 families.  One little girl was so sweet, she presented me with a homemade bracelet; I immediately slipped it on my wrist. 

I wasn't sure what to expect heading into the visit, but the families were glad for the toys and incredibly welcoming of me. I enjoyed helping them pass the time.  At the end of our day, the sweet hospital worker told me I did a wonderful job and asked me to come back in the spring. I definitely will!Get well, sweet children!  You are in my prayers! 

The sweet hospital lady said to these two gentlemen, "Would you like your picture taken with Miss Mansfield's Teen?" and I heard my mom whisper to herself, "I bet Shayla would like her picture taken with YOU!"  We had to laugh about that later!

Thanks to these awesome employees of Mercy Children's at Toledo!  Thank you for inviting me!
I loved helping out!  You rock!