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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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Six Years Ago This Week - Make a Wish - JAPAN!

When Christi's NYC doctors said if we were going to let Christi take a Make-a-Wish trip now was the time to do it, Christi knew where she wanted to go. Over the years we had hosted five Japanese exchange students and teachers. I think perhaps Christi thought that everyone grew up with Japanese people living in their basement (wink). We are so grateful that we were able to get back together with three of these five amazing young Japanese women during Christi's trip. They took us all over and got us around a country where we would have really struggled on our own. Meeting the girls' families was a delight; they are so very special to us.

Thankfully, the 2004 Christi Thomas Poker Run's proceeds were donated, at our request, to the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Make-a-Wish which made us feel better about Christi's incredible trip. At the time of Christi's trip, during her first year of treatments, we were living on one part-time teacher's salary. We never would have been able to take the girls on a trip like that. Medical bills were mounting and milk was nearly $4 a gallon on the Upper East side. It was a terribly scary time! We still felt guilty knowing we couldn't pay it back at that time. It's a nice feeling now to know a year later we were able to give back - thanks to the Poker Run. Make-a-Wish is an amazing organization! We are so grateful we have this wonderful memories of Christi's trip to Japan.

With sweet friends we made at the Met in NYC. They helped prepare the girls for what they would experience in Japan at their incredible art museum. Thankfully, we've been able to keep in touch with these two awesome teachers/artists. Actually, one will be overnighting at our home in August as she moves her daughter across the country. Can't wait to roll out the red carpet for HER in Tiffin like she did for us in NYC!

A very painful treatment (3f8s) at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC. From that horrific treatment Christi flew off to Japan for her Make a Wish trip. It was a great relief from what she'd been experiencing. No needles or doctors for about 10 days! (I just noticed the fact that I'm holding onto her as I took this picture, trying to provide some comfort in the midst of the hell we put her through trying to kill the beast.)

With Mika in our hotel room - very cool!

With the beautiful Miyuki after she picked us up at the airport, so lovely!
Shayla, Tokoyo Disney, with her favorite - Chip and / or Dale. She's excited!
This is one of my favorite pictures. The girls loved the parade. I captured Christi jumping up and down in this shot.
Mika and her brother with Christi. (Later, Mika became a mommy and named her daughter SHAYNA after Shayne. About a week after Christi died, she had another daughter she named ANJU after me. Incredibly touching!
Shayla and Saiko at Disney Sea.

Make-a-Wish allowed us to pay to extend our trip so we spent three days in Hawaii where I arranged for Christi to "swim with the dolphins". She loved it and my heart broke for Shayla who ran along the side of the beach saying things like, "Daddy! Look at me!" Two years later, we arranged for Shayla to have that experience in the Bahamas and we let Christi do it too with Eric "Webby". (December 05)

The girls walking hand-in-hand on the way to Christi's surgery to remove the tumor from around her heart and spine. First we dropped Shayla off at her preschool (note the little backpack) then we went on to the hospital.

Less than 24 hours after landing the dream trip was over and she was wheeled into the operating room for her big surgery. It was much more painful and longer than expected. During the hours and hours spent waiting for her, I ran to a drug store and had our photos developed. As I put the photos into the album, I prayed that Christi would survive the surgery and that we'd be able to reminisce about our trip for years to come.

Six Years Later:
We spent a lovely weekend at the lake with Christi's "Webby" and his beautiful wife. They are a gift from God! We enjoyed Cedar Point on Friday night, Put-in-Bay on Saturday and the incredible weather on Sunday. Shayne and Eric were able to run, bike and swim together - not to mention stay up until 3:00AM drinking beer and texting Alicia and I, waking us up, to join them for a swim - NOT! It was great to spend a special weekend with a special couple! Shayne has been working incredible hours so I'm so glad he was able to kick back this weekend and enjoy his friend.

The enormity of their love and devotion to Christi is undescribable. Because I believe you get back in abundance what you have given away during your lifetime, I know they will be incredibly blessed! I will never forgot Eric establishing within days of Christi's diagnosis and being able to let me share Christi's delicate situation with others and so that I wouldn't have to spend time on the phone repeating myself and so that I could spend my precious time with her instead.

The prayers, the love and the support from around the world came to Christi because of "Webby", sweet Eric - one of Christi's pall bearers and he also delivered an amazing eulogy. He rocks!
Relaxing at the Lake
One of Shayla's favorite places: African Wildlife Safari Park in Pt. Clinton What a hoot!


At 14/7/09 12:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the photos of Christi. It's nice to "see" her again. We miss her so much and pray for you, her dear family, who continue her legacy with such grace, despite the terrible pain of her absence.


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