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, January 17, 2011

RIP Sweet Ylaria, Find Peace Sweet Friends

Ylaria Cazares (2005-2011)

Since Christi's death in 2006, we've really not allowed ourselves to become close to other neuroblastoma families. We've shared information when asked, but have not followed others' journeys as we know the end result of this horrific childhood cancer. If you have NB stage IV and you are over 2 years old, you really don't have a chance of surviving. After having been down for so long, we knew this was a world we needed to walk away from and we have. It's just too painful for us.

While I've tried not to get to close, due to a sweet friend, I've been following this awesome little gal's journey with NB - from California to New York City. Sadly, her battle ended this weekend. My thoughts and prayers are not just for her family, (gotta love teacher parents!) but also for all who have been supporting and loving her over the years. I know they are grieving too and my heart breaks for them. You'd think some progress would have been made in nueroblastoma survival rates since Christi was diagnosed in 2002. Unfortunately, that is not the case and the evil disease still robs so many family of their precious children.

We enjoyed a lovely weekend! On Friday I received an email from my secretary telling me my new office was finished and I could move in any time now. I "IM"ed Shayne on my Blackberry who said, "You have many great qualities, but patience is not one of them. How about I move you in tomorrow morning?" Oh, gotta love that sweet man of mine! We spent MANY hours on Saturday at BG getting my new office arranged. Shayla took a friend and they had a blast! Shayne not only moved my desks, book cases, and filing cabinets, but he also painted a bookcase for me so that all of my furniture matches. Shayla LOVES the view from out my new office window and I think, when I put the final touches on everything, it's going to be amazing. I didn't realize it was also bigger than my first office. Shayne calls it the "corner suite" - it's not THAT sweet, but really, really nice! I'm so blessed! And it was hard too. With most every pile I carried down the hall and over to the other offices, I had to pass a colleague's office. One who has been there longer than I and who probably feels should be getting the new office with the window. BGSU takes very seriously the "publish or perish" document you sign and also weighs in heavily those student evaluations of one's teaching and the service you provide (or don't). It's hard to believe in October I will be turning in those docs to see if I earn a second 3 year contract - or not. I've been working very hard getting ready my 2nd year review narratives, documents and portfolio evidence which are due at the end of the month (justifying my existence, hee hee). I'm sure I'm fine, (I've actually been called the "Poster Child for a new Professor" hee hee!) but time is flying and I really want to stay! I've never been happier or felt a job was a better fit for me than this one. At this time next year I will know whether I have earned a second 3 year contract or not.

We were also able to squeeze in ice skating while on campus - what an amazing ice rink! Shayla also invited another friend over and we went cross country skiing on Sunday afternoon. Shayla overnighted with a friend last night and I'm being very productive today. Ahhhh!

A sweet blogger recently asked about Christi's cats - Buckeye and Buttercup. Yes, they are alive and well! Shayla takes such great care of them; it's precious! The Siamese literally "cries" when she's not here. She will go looking for Shayla - it's the cutest thing. I keep telling Buckeye, "The one who loves you is at school. It's just me here and I don't have time to play."

Enjoy your week!Angela


At 17/1/11 12:01 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Dear Angela,

Thank you so much. For everything. Despite your own pain, you have been an unending source of support; I appreciate it so much. Thank you for being such a good friend.

I went on a Christi run this morning. It was the very best medicine. I have no doubt that Ylaria and Christi are already great friends taking care of the animals and visiting the library together.

Many hugs,

At 17/1/11 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so very saddened to learn of Ylaria's passing. My heart goes out to their family and of course to Olivia as well. I can definitely understand how you and Shayne have had to separate yourself from the cancer world, it's just so raw and painful and always will be. I am sad to hear that there haven't been any advances in treatment since Christi was diagnosed. I wish as much attention and money was donated to NB research as some other cancers, I'm sure that would help:( It's just so sad...

At 17/1/11 8:53 PM, Blogger Holly said...

How fun to see Buckeye and Buttercup again! Shayla is growing up! She is so beautiful, and her sweet heart shines through. So glad you are so happy at work!

Love and prayer to all of you!

Holly in Katy TX

At 17/1/11 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about sweet little Ylaria as well. These precious children put up one hell of a fight and it breaks my heart that far too many of them continue to lose their lives to the nasty beast.

Angela, thoughts and prayers for your continued success! Thank you for the update on Buttercup & Buckeye, I know they were great cuddle buddies for Christi as well.

At 18/1/11 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela I just want you to know has Blogspot began to deelte your entries? Because half the entries from Feburary 06 and September 06 seem gone O.o

At 22/1/11 4:19 PM, Blogger Sammie Ryan said...

Angela you deserve all the luck that comes your are a wonderful person.

Lots of love to all the thomas team.

Love sam (ireland)xxx

At 24/1/11 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Angela and the entire Thomas Team,

Just one, among the many things that I admire about you, has been your decision to focus on the life of your Christi, rather than what killed her. For instance, we choose to support the Christi Thomas foundation because it provides joy, hope, opportunity, and fuel for the imagination for the children and young adults who benefit from its work. While Christi's cell line continues the work for a cure, her family and foundation supports life---your child was so much more than her illness. Then there is the other issue, of whether a "cure" will ever come for these catastrophic illnesses. One cancer mother put it very bluntly as she was interviewed for the Los Angeles Times. She said that she needed money to help her travel with her ill son, for medication, for treatment, for living expenses, (she had to quit her job to care for him full-time), and yes, even to bury him when the illness killed him. She spoke very bluntly about the funds being raised for research, and finally she said, "but about right NOW, what about the families struggling TODAY?" Christi's foundation helps TODAY, right now. For me, Christi's legacy has always been her capacity to dream, imagine, and create. Even during treatment, when asked for a school survey, What is your goal for this year, Christi answered, "to get better at spelling." That response says so much about how you, her family, approached her illness and prognosis. You kept her in the moment, RIGHT NOW, you kept cancer on the back burner, never allowing it to rob her of her immediate promise and happiness. I've been trying very, very hard to apply that lesson to my own life and struggles. I thank you so much for your words and for your openness.


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