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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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Eleven Years Ago Today She Left us

Eleven years ago this morning, she left us.  When Christi was born, I assumed I'd teach her about the world.  Little did I know then, I would teach the world about her.  Her website,, quite novel back in 2002 when sweet Webby created it, hit "one million" unique visitors on the day of her funeral. I now have guilt about sharing her story with others, now knowing how hard they were also hurt by her death. With Christi's intelligence, wit, attitude, spunk, humor and desire to love others (including the furry ones), she was hard not to fall in love with!  I feel like from the moment she was born she took the world by storm.

I have guilt about trying so hard to save her life and putting her though the hell of the the many horrific and painful experimental Phase I treatments she endured instead of just letting her go.  We did all of that to her thinking and praying each new experimental trial would be the very thing to save her life and we wanted to live with no regrets feeling like we did everything we could, but now I question that.  Christi was too awesome not to try all of those Phase I and II clinical trials, but I do feel differently now remembering all she went through -- the pain, the pills, the needles, the sicknesses, the surgeries, the transfusions, the treatments and more.  

Sadly, in 2017, the statistics for Stage IV neuroblastoma are still horrible.  In September of 2002, Christi was five years old at the time of diagnosis, which is very old for this cancer and which makes it nearly impossible to cure.  She was only given a 35% chance of living the next five years.  They were right.  She didn't make it five years.  Neuroblastoma, stage IV, diagnosed after the age of two, is a beast!

Today I tell myself not to be salty, but I must admit I am.  I can usually force myself to put on a smile and look on the bright side and to be filled with thanks and gratitude, but quite frankly, today I'm just sad she's not here and wasn't given a chance to make the significant contribution in this world I really believe she would have made.  I'm heading out to spend the day with some awesome former students in their classrooms again today and I'm thankful for that!  It will be a great way to not dwell on the fact our sweetheart isn't physically here because of a monster called childhood cancer.  My deepest thanks for all who loved our daughter and who supported us during our many troublesome days.  We know Christi was deserving, but we are not.  Thank you!


At 28/9/17 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a heartfelt post. Your family, all of the family and not just Christi, are so very deserving. From the lemonade stands, to the scholarships you have given - you have shown time and time again how special a family you are.

I for one am so grateful you have shared Christi's story with the rest of us. Yes, i was sad when Christi died, and heartbroken for all of you; her family, but that is the price as humans we pay for love, care and concern. I would say I would rather have read Christi's story and felt sad, then never have heard of Christi. So from my point of view please do not feel guilty you shared her story. I learnt so much from Christi, and the whole Thomas team - you have given us a gift by sharing her story with us.

I also feel so sorry you question the experimental phases you chose. You did this with the best of intentions, and I am sure Christi knew that. By being part of those trials, Christi will have been part of moving science forward and so has left her own legacy (even if we all wished it would have been that she survived). By trying, at least as you said, you can have no doubts that you tried everything to save her life - and that is exactly what i would want my family to have done/ do.

What shone through having read Christi's blog was how much all the Thomas team tried to make the best out of even the toughest times - visiting Central Park when in NYC, going to museums, having fun! By being part of the trials, even though they maybe did give her pain at times, she and all of you had some other wonderful opportunities because of the places you went and the love you had as a family.

All of the Thomas team have been inspirational to me over the years. Shayla has thrived and clearly become a successful, confident and caring young lady. Angela you have inspired me so much. i went back to studying after seeing that you managed to complete a phd, whilst dealing with Christi's illness. That must have taken a huge amount of dedication and hard work - and I found it very motivational.

I wish you and the whole Thomas team all the best. With huge gratitude for letting us share in the story.

At 17/10/17 8:32 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Angela,

I started reading your blog around 12 years ago. I am sure you don't remember, but I was the reader who suggested Shayla perform a Shel Silverstein poem for a talent show, which she did. Anyhow, I write this to let you know that Christie's brave journey still stays with me, and I still check in every so often to see how your sweet family is doing. Congratulations to Shayla on her highly successful high school graduation! My oldest daughter started kindergarten this year, so it's just beginning for us :) Take care, Jessica

At 1/1/18 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy new year Thomas family! I hope 2018 is good to you all X

At 6/2/18 8:38 AM, Blogger patricia graner said...

Not sure why your sweet family has been on my mind so much lately. I keep checking for an update. I pray all is well.

At 17/3/18 6:22 AM, Blogger Kristen said...

Thank you for sharing Christi's story. I followed this blog very closely back then and appreciated your raw honesty and I also enjoyed reading about your family who stuck together through such a difficult time. I know that no one who has read Christi's story will ever forget her. Life is so unfair for some people. Christi deserved much better, though I know she was lucky in some ways like how much she was and is loved.

At 17/4/18 12:14 PM, Anonymous Katie Crosbie Holland said...

Hi Thomas Family: I followed Christi's story from very early on, and I just wanted to tell you that I think of her often. I am now a mother of a nearly-two-year old, and it puts everything in an entirely new perspective. I absolutely cannot imagine everything your family had to go through, and the unbelievable heartache you all went through. When I fractured my hip last year, and was a little grumpy about my circumstances, I remembered a line Christi had said to you when she was very sick - something about, "Ah, yes, Mommy loves me even in my natural habitat" or something sweet & clever like that - and I marveled at the positive attitude of such a brave young girl. Thank you for sharing her with the world. I hope you do not question your decisions to try all those treatments and trials. You were doing everything possible to save that precious little girl's life. She was incredible, and has left a lasting impression on the world. So many of us loved her, even though we never met her. Sending you hugs & love!


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