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, July 23, 2007

Hocking Hills - Home of Nine State Parks

With Christi’s carsickness, there were certain places we would have loved to have taken Christi, but they of course were simply out of the question. Hocking Hills, located in hilly southeastern Ohio, was one of those places. For a very, very generous Christmas gift, our COSI friends and their loved ones, gave us a gift of a two-night cabin. With an “internet friend” we met through Christi’s journey flying into Ohio, we decided it was the perfect time to take advantage of this amazing treat! Sweet Jennifer, from Kids Cancer Crusade, was dropped off at our house on Friday and off we went to pick up Olivia who flew in from NYC. Soon we were experiencing gorgeous views and many hills, turns, curves and windy roads – nothing Christi’s tender stomach would have been able to handle!

One of my “I’m the worst mother in the world” moments happened one year ago. We just bought our new van after our old one died. Christi was starting to get car sick as we were nearing our home. I pulled over and told her to get out and to walk. The look on her face was priceless as she realized I was serious. As she walked the short while, until her tummy calmed down, she kept tossing her head over her shoulder and looking at me. She had this “I really can’t believe she’s making me do this” look on her precious face. Now I tell myself I would love to have her “toss her cookies” in my van IF I could just have her hop her little body in there again! One of my thoughts as we walked out of CHOP about 10:30 on Tuesday, September 19th was, “We just bought a seven passenger van. We’re just turned into a family of three. We only need a little car.” One of my many thoughts as we made the journey down to Hocking Hills, with friends we never would have made without Christi leading us to them was, “I’m glad we have a seven passenger van.” With all of our camping and hiking supplies, we had it loaded!

The cabin, complete with two bedrooms, a Jacuzzi, porch swing, living room, bathroom and kitchen was so much fun. I think we could have stayed for a few more days! Shayla LOVED the tire swing on the property and Jennifer and Olivia did a great job of pushing and entertaining her. We played many board games, went hiking and horseback riding. On Saturday night, we drove to Chillicothe where we watched the amazing outdoor drama “Tecumseh!” In preparation for our theatre experience, Shayla and I had checked out many books about him and the Shawnee and we made a quiz game for Shayne and the “big girls”. They were all good sports and hopefully, it allows us all the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the Native Americans.

While we had difficulty getting cell phone service at times, on our four cell phones, Shayne was able to receive a call on Sunday morning informing us that his mother had broken her leg and was transferred to a Toledo hospital. We were soon on our way. We dropped the girls off and then drove up to Toledo to see how Grandma Nee Nee was getting along. Soon I noticed her nurse had a “tumbies” necklace on. She told me that she noticed Nee Nee’s necklace (Christi’s thumbprint) Saturday night and that they were surprised to find something in common like that. (Needless to say, I loved the nurse after that point. How could I not?) I wasn’t certain how I was going to feel in a hospital, but I think because I wasn’t seeing any children, I was fine and just wanted to try to get Nee Nee as comfortable as possible. Although in pain, Nee Nee was in good spirits. Her surgery will take place today and we appreciate your prayers. We know she has a long recovery in front of her.

Shayla and I will soon go to one more “hilly place” I always wanted to take Christi, but knew I never could. We’ve been reading a lot about this place and the culture and people. I’ll share the details soon.

One year ago, Christi wore the same outfit Shayla is wearing here, as went off to 4-H cat judging. I’ll never forget her excitement and happiness as she eagerly offered all of the information she had to share with a judge, very intrigued, amused and obviously very impressed with all of the information Miss Christi was telling her about the cat project. She enjoyed pushing Buckeye around and visiting with her friends. Two days later when I received an email informing us that Christi won best overall cat project and had a trophy waiting for her at the fair. She beamed for days! The trophy rests on her dresser in her bedroom. This week is the fair. While it’s most likely going to be quite an emotional challenge, I told Shayla that we would go one day because she wants to go see the animals. May God continue to give me great strength to do the things I cannot alone.

July 22, 2006 (Christi with her "Grade A" cat project)


At 23/7/07 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow- you all experience one gorgeous place after another! I have to admit now that I'm a wee bit jealous. :) And to visit all those places with your family and friends in tow makes it sweeter still! I can't wait to see where you "take us" next. :)

Michelle Stokes

At 23/7/07 8:42 PM, Blogger Jennifer (Kids Cancer Crusade) said...

Thank you for such an awesome weekend!!! Love you!

At 23/7/07 8:45 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Looks like fun to me! :) I've never stayed at Hocking Hills before but that Cabin sounds like my kind of camping!

Prayers for Nee Nee! I hope she recovers well.

With all my love and prayers,

At 24/7/07 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the Thomas Team has had a very busy summer! From the looks of the pictures taken these past few months, Shayla looks to be having a great time. I know that no summer will ever be the same without her best buddy, her big sister but I'm glad to see that she's had friends to play with. I went back and re-read the blog entry from the day Christi won 1st place with her cat project. She seemed so proud and honored to be holding her ribbon. What an amazing child she is, and will forever be!

I pray that Nee Nee will have a quick recovery with the least amount of pain possible.

At 24/7/07 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Thomas family,
I don't know you, but, I saw you, (Angela and Shayla) at the fair yesterday, and didn't want to bother you by saying anything, but, I just wanted to let you know how much I admire all of you. You've gone through so much. I guess I just wanted to let you know, there are so many people that pray for you, that you don't even know. Take care, all of you.

At 24/7/07 6:04 PM, Anonymous Brooke said...

That looked like alot of fun. For Shayla I bet Christi would of loved that.

At 25/7/07 5:56 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Thank you so so so so so muc for such an awesome weekend! I had an absolutely wonderful time. AND, Angela, you'll be happy to know that I gave my friends a mini lesson on Techumseh too. What fun!

Much love & many hugs,


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