I may be the one player on my team with this ugly disease in my body, but I am certainly not alone by any means. I have an amazing team that has come together. I have been introduced to some AMAZING people, young and old that have come to help me win the game. I never understood just how many people were watching me or knew of my existence before my diagnosis. My first thoughts when people would say where they knew me from or where they had seen me were……..I had no idea people were watching me, I had better straighten up!
Back in February when the time had come to shave my head on. I had to quickly pull myself and all the pity I was having together and attend my son’s 5th grade Valentine’s Day dance. Kaige had a dance card full of cute girls to dance with on that day. It finally made sense as to why he wanted to spray sooo much of that Axe spray that morning when I saw each of these girls. I never thought that any of them knew of my situation and maybe they didn’t…….but I guess showing up newly inducted into the “bald group” may have given something away. I want to introduce you to one of the select girls on that dance card………Miss Shayana.
Sometime towards the end of February, Shayana and her mother, Suzana, came to our home one Sunday evening. I had just recently had a treatment of chemotherapy and was laying on the couch, so Chad answered the door. Shayana’s mother introduced themselves to him. She began to describe the idea and act of kindness that her daughter had come up with on her own and had set out to complete it with a crackle in her voice. An act of kindness for me, someone she had never met. I remember hearing them talking at the door, I heard names, but nothing really clicked with me because I was only hearing part of the conversation. As Chad said thank you and shut the door, he came to me and handed me a envelope that was filled to capacity with something. He began telling about this cute girl, told me her name and I popped up from the couch and said………..”Go catch them!!!” He was like, what the heck, but took off running to see if he could catch them before they left. Unfortunately, he was too late and they had already left. He asked me, “What is going on…..you scared the crap out of me?” I said, it’s her Chad, it’s her. He was still confused at my rambling and I’m pretty sure he just thought I was having another one of my “Chemo” moments (those are real FYI).
A couple of weeks earlier, my ward family and friends had put on a garage/bake sale in my honor and a couple of days prior to Shayana coming to my door, I received a very large donation to the paypal account that had been set up for donations. The message was simple, but it talked about a young girl named Shayana and her efforts to raise money through a bake sale for me. He just wanted to help out Shayana’s efforts with his donation. I’m reading this and thinking, “Oh my gosh, our bake sale was weeks ago!” I didn’t recognize the man’s name, or Shayana for that matter and thought for sure this was a mistake! In fact, I called my sister-in-law, who manages the account, to tell her that we need to refund this money because somewhere along the way, this guy got the wrong person and/or sale, as ours had long been over. I didn’t want a donation to be made in my name, especially if it was intended for another person going through something as well. My sister-in-law said she would contact the man get his money returned.
Finally……..it all made sense. Shayana and her mother were the link to the puzzle. As I continued to opened the envelope, tears filled my eyes to capacity as I read the card and saw the results of the efforts from this sweet girl. She came up with a plan, set it in place and worked her little heart out and had her very own bake sale around her neighborhood. All for me…………….As I sit here and type this long overdue post about her, it still brings tears to my eyes. I felt then, as I still do now, so unworthy of the love and acts of charity that are shown to me and my family nearly everyday.
As I went to her house to give my thanks later, I asked her mother if she was trying to fulfill a service project or something and her mom replied, “No, she just wanted to help you!” Well, help me she did…..not by the money she raised, but my spirits alone. To think that a girl at such a young age would want to help me in such a selfless way and not receiving anything in return. What kid does that? What an amazing young woman Shayana is on her way to be! Her family, I know, is proud of her as they should be!! Thank you Shayana for the sweet spirit you are and for your act of service and kindness shown to me and thank you Mr. and Mrs. Whitney for raising such an amazing young girl!
The youth in our neighborhood and school have been so awesome! I’ve watched my own kids go to school on Friday’s with their Team Ashley shirts on in support of my “Fight Fridays” (chemo day), and end up seeing several other kids wearing the Team Ashley shirts as well. Not only do I have the support, but my kids have been shown just as much support at their schools. It was so awesome to go to school on Fridays and see so many kids and teachers supporting my children as they support their mom. I hope that support continues this school year as I once again begin chemotherapy in August.
I feel that it’s these simple acts of kindness towards one another that sets the ball rolling in our world that can spiral into some awarding experiences from the ones performing the service to those on the receiving end.
kids who wear the Team Ashley shirt proud.
Am I a lucky girl or what?
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