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.

A Note About Comments: When you post a Comment, please note that it will appear online after it is approved.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat 2009 and Memories of 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my OLDER (Oh, I always love to say that) sister! (And my only sister and sibling) I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Christi and friends on her last Halloween. October 2005, age 8
Good memories; I just wish I weren't so sad. As you can tell by the hour it's been hard to sleep. I miss her so much! Shayla's been after me to get her cemetery plaque ordered. I know she's right - I must! My advice to someone who has to do that is to do it right away.
We had too much fun last night "trick or treating" throughout grandma Donna's neighborhood while Berry and Bill stayed back and passed out the candy. I could not believe how precious so many of the costumes were that we saw. There are really creative folks out there! Shayla's second choice was Cleopatra last year and when she said this year she wanted to be that this year, I hustled to Wal-Mart to buy her costume. I wish I were talented and could just whip up some great outfit, but I can't. Shayla loved what I brought home from Wal-Mart, whew! The weather was fantastic! All day long it was in the 60s, sweet!
As Cleopatra this year, Shayla with 5th grade friends ready to hit the streets "trick or treating". She received so much candy. Driving home she said, "Mom, I'll pick out a few things and you can take the rest to BG to give to your students. They're too old to go trick or treating and they're too broke to buy candy so give them mine." Shayla has the biggest heart. I'm so proud of her! Thank you God for blessing me with her! She crawled into bed with me last night and asked if she could sleep with me. Shayla left before 5am for a long day of meetings in Michigan. When Shayne got in around 11, I went downstairs to see how his long day was, even though we'd texted many times during the day. While we chatted, I forgot to say anything to him about Shay Shay sleeping in our bed. It was pretty funny when we went upstairs together and he went to crawl in and there she was. He laughed and said, "I guess I'll go sleep in her room." (I could not do that as she now sleeps in Christi's old room - it's still a difficult place for me to be in our house.)
Art by Christi - I thought this was fitting for Shayla's theme this year.

Shayla enjoyed her special time at Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff's last weekend. She loves when we all stay over night there because they have "the best guest bed ever". Christi and I slept in that room, and on their fold out couch many times while driving to and from hospitals and airports. Shayla's right. They always make us comfortable - so special!

While we were at the Ohio State game last Saturday, Shayla was with her great aunt and uncle at the "Quarter Horse Congress" in Columbus. Then it was back to their home to take their horses out for a ride; She had too much fun!

On Sunday afternoon we all toured President Harding's Home and Tomb in Marion, Ohio. It was very interesting! Here is she on his front porch giving a "front porch campaign" just like President Harding did.
Shay at Mrs. and President Harding's Memorial Tomb
We also did a "Cemetery Tour" and learned about prominent Marion citizens "back in the day". Actors were dressed up to portray the deceased and we walked in groups around the cemetery to each spot to listen to their stories. Then we went to see Marty and Jeff's "bench" in the cemetery - all ready "in place" with their names engraved on it. I didn't let them know how very hard it was emotionally for me to see that. They're such an amazing and special couple to us I cannot imagine that, but.....Aunt Marty brought some humor to the occasion. She asked for one of us to pretend to be her and to "wake from the dead" to tell about her I was happy to oblige so I posed myself, sitting on top of her bench and started spinning my story! (Of course I tried to "jazz up" her life story a bit! She's sooooooo fun! I love her so much!)
Christi and aunt Marty (Summer 2006)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bobbing for Apples in our Kitchen: Trying to bring some joy to a very scary and frightful fall, a month following Christi's diagnosis with cancer (September 11, 2002).

Fall Days, October 2002

Tonight will be Trick or Treat. Shayla (Cleopatra) will go with Grandma Donna and her crew again. I was really looking forward to it. Now this morning I can't believe how sad I am missing Christi. Certainly, a 12 year old wouldn't want to dress up and go trick or treating, yet I just can't let it go. In my classes, once a week, I pass around a little candy break for my students. Since the month of October, I've placed the candies inside Christi's trick or treat "pumpkin basket", the big pumpkin with her name on it. It makes me feel like Christi is there, spreading her joy and sharing candy with my students. I'm sure she'd love to do that. My students have been awesome. One stayed after class last night to thank me for sharing little bits with her about Christi and telling me she learns so much in my class, not just about how to teach reading, but about life too. It was sweet.

HAPPY TRICK or TREAT NIGHT, dear Christi. (Shayla thinks you'd want to dress up like a cat - again. I'm not so sure. I think you probably would have outgrown that, maybe......) (PIC: October 2004 at one of Christi's former teacher's homes. Christi (7) - cat, Shayla - (5) Balto.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Picture of the Evil Beast

Oh, my! I shouldn't be writing when I'm this shocked perhaps. THANK YOU so much to the sweet, sweet, sweet blogger who sent me this information. I didn't know a thing about it, now to actually see "the beast" is making me want to say bad words (smile) but I'm just simply shocked to see this.

(PICS: 8 months into the fight, age 5, April 2003)I went to the cemetery earlier this week, I just may have to go back and actually tell Christi about this. Wild! I remember fellow NB parents who attended a cancer conference told us a doctor/research said, "You could poor anything on FU-NB-2006 and nothing was going to stop it." Such a strong cancer for such a little gal.

Hello Thomas Team!
You may already know about this, but one of the images on the following page seems to be of Christi's cell line?

All the way down and to the left, according to the description right next to it. (© Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (2008)
Shown are confocal images of CHLA-90 (above), and FU-NB-2006 (left).
Confocal images by Felicia Codrea.)

So my deepest thanks to "Anonymous" for sharing this with us. You are a gem! THANKS!

And while I'm now being sad, I'll share a picture my dad - I miss him so much too. I scanned this at mom and Joe's today while flipping through mom's old photo albums. It sort of "popped out" at me and I tell myself it's my dad's way of letting me know he's happy for me and my new job at BGSU. I am absolutely loving it there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Love a Parade

Shayla fulfilled one of her "three parade/festival" requirements for her Heritage Festival Jr. Princess "duties" over the weekend.
Shayne and I borrowed grandma Nee Nee's "fun car" and drove her in the Tiffin Developmental Center's parade. (Thanks, Joan!) It was a "jam packed" parade route with 60 parade entries. I had no idea what a wonderful parade it was, a pleasant shock!
The weather was simply gorgeous and we could not believe all of the people we knew along the parade route. Shayla thought it was a blast and Shayne and I really enjoyed it too. We used to take the girls to that parade when they were little and I'm very disappointed with myself in that I cannot find those pictures, hmmmmm! I will keep looking.
My "bargain of the month" (and simple to order). Two banners - $25.00.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oldies but Goodies

It's just been a "missing Christi" weekend so I thought I'd share a few pictures. I do not believe I've ever posted these before. ENJOY!

(PHOTO: April 1999, shortly after Shayla's birthday Shayne won a roundtrip train trip, hotel and theatre tickets for the two of us to go to Toronto, Canada. We couldn't imagine being away from the girls for two nights, so we took Shayne's mother with us and we all went on the trip. In our hotel room, Christi, age 1 1/2 years, crawled into the suitcase.)
The girls were not sure what to make of this old fashioned swing while their daddy competed in the International Highland Games in Glasgow, Kentucky. 2000)
Shayne captured some pictures for me of Christi's first day of preschool. Needless to say - she couldn't wait to go to Betty Jane!
I've waited my whole life for this - it's time to start school!! Yippee!! (2001, age 4, one year before diagnosis)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Best Wishes, Olivia & OSU Football

(Pic: Last year's "2nd Annual Memorial Run") In just a short while, the amazing Olivia will be starting out on her 10K run. We are so proud of her - what a sweet and incredible friend. Cancer cost us a lot (our daugther's life) yet we also met many loving and unbelievable friends throughout our journey - Olivia is definitely one of them. May God bless her this morning as she competes in this event.

(Pic: Olivia's 2008 Run)
I noted this morning that Olivia is just $95 away from her goal of raising $1,500 for the Christi Thomas Memorial Fund & Kids Cancer Krusade - wow! THANKS, OLIVIA & generous friends and family! If you'd like to donate, here is the link:

Yesterday, when we went to wake Shayla up to go to Columbus for the game, we were surprised to see Buckeye "protecting" her as she used to do for Christi. This is Christi's Siamese cat (The one she took to the fair and won "Best Small Animal" and "Best of Show" with which made her so happy.) We often joke, "Why didn't we bury this cat with Christi?" yet she does the cutest things sometimes which remind us that Christi loved her so. The picture is so odd because Shayla now sleeps in Christi's room and it all looked "way too familiar".
Shay cheering on the Buckeyes as they make their grand entrance onto the field.
Shay with "Script Ohio" Shayla used Shayne's "OSU Dependent" ticket and went to the game with me. I could not believe the difference a year made. Last year she was ready to leave at halftime; this year she wanted to stay until the very end. She really got into the game - all aspects. Shayne was in another area of the stadium sitting with a colleague (in MUCH better seats, but........) I think Shayla enjoyed the "extra spirit" found only in the "OSU Student Section". It was a very special day!

After sitting in church Friday morning for my great aunt Dixie's funeral crying my eyes out, this was a MUCH BETTER way to end the week. (I know Dixie's life - 84 years - was to be celebrated as we rejoice she's now Home and reunited with so many; however, sitting with my very frail grandma while she cried over the death of her younger sister was absolutely heartbreaking.)

Shay & Josh before the game - TBDBITL! (The Best Darn Band in the Land!)

PIC: After the game, GOOOOOO, Bucks! I'm really enjoying my "Fall Break" at BGSU! I absolutely cannot believe I just gave my mid-term exams and the semester is now half over. Actually, it seems like the semester just started. Time is flying and I'm really enjoying my work. I didn't think I could ever be this happy again, but I am. I give thanks to the Lord!


Thursday, October 08, 2009

You've come a long way, baby Shay!

Whew! Shayla, that amazing child we do not deserve, is way too sweet for me. From taking her BGSU shirts out of her closet and throwing them on the floor last year when I told her I took a new job and she would have to leave her school to now writing to her teacher, "I want to grow up and be an actress and then get my PhD and teach acting classes at BGSU." She is unbelievably sweet, remarkable and adaptable! Thank you, dear Lord!

Yesterday Shay Shay went to campus with me in the afternoon and had an incredible time. One of my students met me in my office and then babysat her while I had a meeting. (Shay had a future middle school teacher help her with her homework and then she went to the computer lab, which totally impressed her, to work on some poster designs for a report Shayla's working on. Then they met up with other classmates in the union where Shayla enjoyed sushi before coming to my class.) She told me my students were so nice to her and some of them told me they couldn't believe how sweet she was saying, "please and thank you".

I think she actually enjoyed the class, waiting for her time at the end to share some books she's read since school has started. I really can't imagine myself as a ten year old standing up in front of 23 college students talking about books and answering their questions, but she seemed to really shine. She told me later is was so much fun. I'm certain Christi would have had a ball doing the same thing too. I'll never forget the kindness of the older grade teachers who would let Christi go to their rooms to share things she had studied or learned. Sweet!

The author visit last night at BG was great (and of course going to "The Cookie Jar" afterwards was really neat too!). On the way home I asked Shayla how many authors she had met before and she told me only one she could remember. Then she said, "How about you? Probably 100?" I laughed and said, "Less than 10, but I have loved meeting every one. They really are amazing people and always have great presentations, showcasing their work." I told her how nice it was to have a special night just with her and a few of my students and she agreed. I am so blessed!

It was so nice of mom and Joe to ride along to campus with me one day this week. I had a meeting and wanted to get my flu shot. I think they enjoyed their time walking around campus while I was busy. I'm glad they "know where I'm at now".

It was also a special treat this week to take two of my former kindergarten and then former middle school students to lunch on campus. I just can't believe they're adults and BGSU students now - wow! They're doing great and it was wonderful to catch up with them. I'm so proud of them!

Paw Paw Joe and mom stood over me in my new office with their sweet hands on my shoulders as Joe prayed. During his lengthy prayer he asked God to put a shield around my office to protect me and to allow me to do His word (and I was thinking, "Could he put in a window too, or perhaps just a skylight since I'm on the top floor?" hee hee). Joe has many gifts and talents and sharing God's love is definitely at the top of his list. I hope you and yours are having a great week!

Today, we went to say our final goodbye to my sweet great Aunt Dixie. My sister and I wanted to pay our share of the flowers mom sent to the funeral home, but mom insisted that dad would not let us pay as he'd want to do that for his Godmother. I envision them playing cards (with one of them trying cheat, hee hee) in Heaven with Christi bringing them beverages and snacks. With our family being so small and with what seems like so many deaths in recent years, I'm beginning to see more of my family in Heaven than are left here on earth, weird!

Sunday, October 04, 2009


After a week of having successfully completed my Ph.D., I think my feet finally hit the ground. On Tuesday of last week I met Shayne for lunch and he took me to the bike shop where he bought me the cutest green (old lady) bike you've ever seen - I love it! Basket, big seat for my big bottom, a bell, pedal breaks, a "step through" space so I don't have to try to swing my leg up over the bar - it's so cute (so lime green) and comfortable! Now I'm hoping for the weather to warm up so I can ride it.

Yesterday, we hosted a "mini-graduation party" for my family who could make it. (Trust me it's the first of many celebrations to come, smile. I feel like it was so grueling I should celebrate for months - so I will!) Mom and Joe brought this beautiful cake, wow! I just wish Christi would have joined us in person. I believe she was indeed with us in spirit!

BGSU's School of Teaching and Learning sent flowers to my office on Monday of last week so I brought them home for the party decorations. My new colleagues have been wonderful, absolutely great! My students - simply amazing. (Who knew Joe could shop too - a man of many talents!) He picked out this darling OSU purse for me; I love it! Then he worried if it'd be a conflict of interest at BGSU. I assured him I also see a lot of OSU items on campus and my boss even stopped by my office door and inquired, "Where is he?" To which I looked back at her with great puzzlement then she said, "Every professor around here who graduated from Ohio State has a Brutus somewhere in their office." I immediately pointed to my file cabinet magnet of Brutus and started laughing and she said, "I knew it."

Only one "orb" appeared in this picture. I found it interested it was positioned so well in our family shot (right beside Joe in that open space - amazing! I miss that girl!

On Monday, one of my classes surprised me with this gorgeous (and delicious) cake. I'm thinking they probably thought they could get out of some class time, but I did what I always do, "We've got a lot to do and short amount of time to do it in so 'so and so' please cut and pass out the cake." I recently had something very funny (now it's funny - trust me, it wasn't at the time) happen. When I posted my students' grades on line they started texted and emailing me with inquires. Apparently I put a negative in front of every one's score by accident. One of the students emailed, "If my work was really that bad could I just take a zero instead of a -46 out of 50." Oh, I couldn't get to my computer fast enough. Thankfully, they all forgave the new professor and I'm willing to bet I will not make that mistake ever again - other mistakes? Absolutely, just not that one. hee hee!

Shayne and I enjoyed the OSU game last night while Shayla had a great time at a birthday party. Later today I will take her and a friend to Cedar Point. I'm so glad she's enjoying her new school and her new friends. What a relief!

One day this week she will be coming to BGSU to be a guest speaker for a short part of my class. (Thankfully, another student is going to babysit her while I have other things to do.) Shay's prepared her "book talk" and "Q & A session" so my M/C students (preparing to teach grades 4-9) can hear from a "real 5th grader" then to the real reason she's coming to Bowling Green - to meet an author. (PIC: Working on a HEIGHTS project "Northeastern USA" with help from Shayne and with many calls to her NYC friend "for school work" - yeah, for lots of talking and catching up with her old preschool buddy from her Ronald McDonald House of NYC days she still keeps in touch with is what we think.) Thanks for letting me share my joy! Here's wishing you and yours a fabulous week ahead - ENJOY!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Star Student

(PIC: HEIGHTS family night - world's largest ice cream sundae?) In the midst of my nervousness last week, I did not share Shayla's wonderful news. She received the "Student of the Week" award for her school. The information read "Shayla was nominated by her teacher for always doing her best, being polite and helpful and for having a smile for all." We love this little gal so much!

Although she loves the one day a week she goes to another school for her gifted instruction, she is not real happy about being put in an advanced math class. The theory is they are doing 5th and 6th grade math together so that next year she'll do 7th grade math as a 6th grader. I really don't know much more, but she keeps telling us, "Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you like it and you want to do more of it. I don't like math." When I took her to school today I did talk with her teacher about it and she's going to talk with Shayla. Since Shayla thinks her teacher "walks on water" that should help.

Here are some pictures I don't believe I've ever shared. PICTURES: March 2003 - living in the Ronald McDonald House of NYC (Chrsiti 5, Shayla 4)