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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Friday, August 17, 2007

I Want a Refund

a year ago, Christi's cat - Buttercup - licks her head. What a hoot! As I type this entry today, Buttercup is kicked back on the couch. We've joked many times that we should have buried these darn cats with Christi, but we actually enjoy them very much, not as much as Christi did, but.....

"I want a refund" is what I heard Miss Shayla joke as we were driving back home late Sunday night. I inquired, "How does it feel to now officially be 8 and a half?" She responded, "You mean it was my half birthday all day and no one told me until bedtime? I want a refund." Then we laughed hysterically and talked about her 7 and a half birthday last year when she had a little cake (See picture). I'm so glad we did that because it was our final birthday celebration with Christi here on earth. (We started celebrating our "half" birthdays just after Christi was diagnosed, a tradition I would suggest to all!)

After my class ended and I picked up Shayla at Mom and Joe's we all headed to a place I'd been trying to get to all summer - Grand Rapids, Ohio! In Grand Rapids, history comes alive! We enjoyed "The Canal Experience" where the mules walked on the towpath and pulled us down the canal, through the locks while the workers were dressed in period costumes and pretended it was 1875. Shayla enjoyed hearing that we weren't properly dressed because our ankles were showing and our heads were not covered. It was a very educational experience as we all learned about the Erie and Miami canal. Shayla was selected to hold the "thunder bucket" but she told me that if anyone got seasick she was just going to pass it to them, not hold it for them. We went went to Bowling Green for the evening.

Last fall, after Christi died, we learned of Shayla's vision problem, while on a visit to San Francisco, which was affecting her reading. She worked throughout March on nightly exercises and with once a week trips to Toledo to work with a vision therapist. Thankfully, it was very successful and Shayla ended the school year reading at grade level. In May she was tested for and qualified for the gifted and talented program; however, that was cut for this school year (ergh!!!).

When she was diagnosed with "excessive convergence" she was also diagnosed with a form of dyslexia called dyseidesia which causes great difficulty will spelling. We felt we needed to get her reading back up to par first and then try to tackle this spelling problem. Therefore, each week since May we've been traveling to Bowling Green where she meets with her "spelling teacher". I don't know how much it has helped, but Shayla absolutely LOVES this wonderful teacher and they both work incredibly hard for 90 straight minutes.

I start back to school on Monday; therefore, we will end our final weekend of the summer in Thomas team style. Shayne will be donating platelets - at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. Amazing, isn't he? I cannot imagine he's going to muster up the courage to donate platelets back where he did so for Christi countless times. I will not be even able to go near the hospital I'm afraid, but I am looking forward to a weekend in NYC hoping to spend time with good friends! Today, Shayla was dismissed from her "heel therapy" and we also made chocolate almond biscotti to take to our NYC friends; however, it didn't turn out near as well as the batter tasted, hmmmmmmmm. We both believe that was the best part!

NEE NEE NEWS: Grandma Nee Nee has been staying with her brother. He's fixed up a little "apartment" and she's in the same town with her three brothers and her mom. We understand he's even arranged for a scooter for her and he made an incredible treasure chest for Shayla's toy box! Although she's still wearing the 35 pound "thingy" she did have the staples and pins removed and the doctor in Toledo said she's healing very well. Goooooooooooo, Nee Nee!


At 17/8/07 9:57 PM, Blogger Tawny said...

I just had to post about this, especially after seeing that precious first picture of Christi and Buttercup. I have the Vikings/Jets game on in the bacground while I'm reading this blog entry and what do you know.. a CAT ran on the field! I have a big smile on my face thinking of Christi and how she would've loved that! It's not very often when you see something like that during a pro sports game.

Happy 8 1/2 Shayla! I'm so glad to hear that you're doing so well with reading and working hard on your spelling. Keep up the awesome work!

At 17/8/07 10:39 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Shayla is too funny! I thought for sure the "I want a refund" was going to be a joke you or Shayne made about the cats. Hehe

I am so with Shayla about the "thunder bucket". I would not be holding it for anyone either!

I'm in BG give me a call when you are around! =)

At 18/8/07 12:40 AM, Blogger Staci said...

I just wanted to stop by and say that you are in my thoughts and prayers as September comes closer. It is so hard to believe that it has been almost a year.

~staci in nj

At 18/8/07 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,Shayne & Shayla,

Just to let you know I'm thinking of you all and will be sending extra special thoughts & love to you & Christi tomorrow - I think of you all every day but the 19th of the month is especially meaningful.

Stay close & keep strong with each other - Christi is with you every second of the day I'm sure of that.

Lots of love & prayers

Nicky (England) xx

PS - Happy 8 and a 1/2th birthday Shayla xx

At 18/8/07 5:31 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Come to think of it, my half birthday was on the 10th, where's my refund? ;)

At 18/8/07 6:41 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

What cute pictures! I love the one of Christi and Buttercup-- what a bond they shared.

Shayla is such a hoot! I am sorry you didn't realize it was your half birthday, Shayla!


At 18/8/07 9:40 PM, Blogger amandarhea86 said...

Hi, i have never commented on here before. I found Christi's site, shortly after i was diagnosed with Luekemia in July of 06. I just wanted you to know that Christi, has been one of my many inspirations. I pray for yall continualy. I cry when i think of Christi, not getting to live to be a old woman, but please know that she made a difference, ecspecially in my life. Im going to win my battle and when i do im going to thank not only God but Christi. She has kept me going this year and she will continually keep me going. Keep strong and know that I think and pray for yall daily.

Love Amanda Jones

At 18/8/07 10:54 PM, Blogger sara said...

Hello Angela,
I have been following Christi's story for the past few years ever since one of my students was dx with NB. I think of you and your family often and wish you continued peace as you navigate each day without your little girl. You all are in my daily prayers.
This may not be the most appropriate place to inquire, but after reading about Shayla's vision/reading issues, I have to ask if you would not mind emailing me some additional information as my 8 year old daughter is having identical issues and we are in the process of seeking help for her...I am not finding alot of info online. I am wandering who diagnosed her and what type of professional (therapist, teacher, etc) provided the vision therapy for her? My email is Thank you and enjoy your last days of summer.

At 19/8/07 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Angela, Shayne & Shayla,

Am thinking of you & Christi very, very much today with extra special love & prayers - what else can I say except that you are all loved perhaps more than you can know. We're all very lucky to have you as part of our lives (even from thousands of miles away).

Love & hugs to each of you & thankyou for letting us share your amazing Miss Christi.

Love & prayers as ever

Nicky (England) xx

At 19/8/07 2:54 PM, Blogger Claire said...

Thinking about you a lot these days as it is just over a year since we had the pleasure of staying with your family and playing games with Christi and Shayla. I can't even remember the name of the game, I just remember that Christi, Austin, and I won! I also remember your amazing selection of breakfast cereal! So funny! We are gearing up for Rally Across America 2007, and Christi and all of our 2006 RAA Kids are close to our hearts.

Love and prayers,
Claire Olson

At 19/8/07 8:14 PM, Anonymous Laura Lynn said...

Just stopping in to catch up with one of my favorite online families! I just love the idea of celebrating half birthdays and will be sure to file that away in my memory bank. The picture of Christi and Buttercup is just too cute. Although cats can definitely be obnoxious (I have two), they truly are great companions.
Continuing to keep your amazing family in my thoughts and prayers.

My two little miracle nephews:

At 20/8/07 9:41 AM, Blogger Sheila Ferrell said...

Hey Thomas Team,
Praying for you today as you start back to school. I know this was Christi favorite day of the year and it will be tough. May our glorious God give you strength.


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