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 www.ChristiThomas.com 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, August 31, 2014

Dr. Maris & Dr. Reynolds are doing an ASLF event in Christi's Honor

Some of you may remember, minutes after Christi died in Philadelphia, we had in advance arranged to have some of her stem cells removed and flown to California with the goal of having scientists establish a new cell line for researchers to try to figure out her specific cancer so they could determine how to destroy it so other children would live. Dr. Maris kept stressing we had been through enough and we did not need to do this, but it was our way to "give back" and a way to actually find a cure for Christi's type of cancer. While we watched the nurse extra four huge viles and do the "mini-autopsy" on Christi's still little body, I never prayed so hard asking God to let this work. No other family should ever experience this horror.

Despite being cautioned that likely hood of actually getting this to work and establishing a new cell line was slim to none, months later we received a phone call from Dr. Maris informing us that Dr. Reynolds' lab in California was indeed able to get it growing and despite objections he was able to convince others and meet our only request.......naming it "FU_NB06". (I bet you can figure out why Shayne insisted on that name, lol!) I'm sure you can figure out the FU and the year Christi died (2006), but the NB is the abbreviation for Neuroblastoma, the cancer that killed Christi.

Months later, this news was actually published in "Science" (Vol 315, 5, in 2007). We get occasional updates "here and there" about her cell line. We always hear it is highly requested, especially by new researchers. We think they must like the name.....it "looks" like all the other cell line numbers; however, this one has a little twist with the "FU" in the name.

Thanks to researchers sharing with us, we've seen what Christi's cell line looks like under the microscope (an evil, vicious and disgusting beast) and videos used of chemicals trying to destroy it.......without any luck. We've heard researchers say, "Any subtance we've tried on FU-NB-2006 has yet to work. It is incredibly stubborn and resistant."

As you may know, funding for pediatric cancer research is down considerably and therefore it turns to help from private sponsors and individuals. Two weeks ago Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Maris kindly contacted us and asked if they could use Christi and the story about her cell line in their personal fundraising events. They also sweetly praised Shayla and the work she's done with Pediatric Cancer Research Fundraising and could not believe how much she's grown since they last saw her. Dr. Maris and Dr. Reynolds are doing this fundraiser in Christi's honor and named their Alex's Lemonade Stand Event "Cellbusters". Here is the link if you'd like to learn more, donate, or sign up to help run in ALSF's "Million Miles Campaign".http://www.alexslemonade.org/album/cellbusters

Thanks for your consideration! September 1st begins Pediatric Cancer Awareness month.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our County Fair!










Shayla is writing this entry:  
Meet Toby, my brilliant quarter-horse partner! This little paint can do just about anything. This year at the fair, we competed in Western, English, Trail, Showmanship, Contesting and Versatility events. On top of being multi-talented, Toby is very well-mannered. When little kids want to pet a horse, I'm always glad to take them to Toby because I'm confident he'll be a good boy. We did better than I ever expected, earning Western Horsemanship Reserve Champion and Overall Western High Point Reserve Champion. The week sparked some new things for us to master next year. I find I never stop learning about horses.  

Saturday, August 02, 2014

A Dream of Christi's - to go to Heidelberg University! (It just came true!)

I was incredibly touched recently to have the sweet secretary at the Education Department at Heidelberg University contact me and say they would like to include Christi in the mural going outside of the Early Childhood Classroom.  She asked me to come in and meet the artist, and what a talented, sweet and amazing woman Beth is!  I shared a bit about Christi and her connection to the Berg with her and I was so proud of myself for not crying (until I got to my car that is)!  Sherri Bowerman´╗┐ kindly shared photos of Christi with the artist and I headed out.  Much to my surprise and delight I'm blown away by this incredible mural!  The likeness of Christi is mind-boggling and I could not be more appreciative or pleased!  Thank you so much to Beth, Sherri and Heidelberg's Education Department for remembering our "little lemonade girl".  We'll see you soon!  THANKS!