This week my son, my baby, has been away at sleep-away camp for the first time. He’s in Rhode Island at Camp Yawgoog- a Boy Scout camp. I know he’s having the time of his life-but I’ve been struggling with missing him. There was a physical ache that had me wanting my boy, to have him in my arms, to know that he’s safe and healthy. It was a very real need to be able to know that he’s ok. I don’t’ think I’ll be able to sleep well till he’s home. Thankfully, he’ll be home tomorrow.
There’s another Mom, Lisa Gaylord, in our town who is feeling what I felt, but SO MUCH MORE. You see, her her son , Caleb Gaylord has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia. This is the story – from Caleb’s fundraising page:
Caleb Gaylord is an athletic, musically gifted, 12 year old boy from New Milford, CT. Caleb plays 3rd base for his travel team; the Mustangs, and his dream is to one day wear pinstripes as a New York Yankee. Caleb enjoys playing guitar, and writes his own songs just like his Uncle Dan, who is his inspiration. Caleb adores his dogs Elly & Forrest. Caleb’s life would be forever changed on June 13th, when his Mom brought him to his pediatrician for strep throat. Thankfully, his pediatrician was suspicious & sent his blood work to top oncologists at Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. Within hours the family was in Hartford hearing the words no parent ever wants to hear- ” Your son has AML Leukemia.” A couple of days later, Caleb started the first of four rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, over a span of six months. It is an inpatient treatment , and to top it all off, the family was in between insurance companies at the time of diagnosis.
Imagine the terror of finding out your son has a potentially deadly disease, and not have insurance? Cancer treatment is VERY expensive and the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether or not you can pay for the treatment you child needs to live. Thank God we live in an amazing community that takes care of their own. Caleb’s Facebook page is full of love and support for him!
Today I attended 3 out of 4 fundraisers for this strong boy- most of them being run by children- Caleb’s friends- his team mates, class mates and their parents.
The first stop was in front of local Frozen Yogurt shop, Tasty Waves, (Which also held a fundraiser for Caleb previously). There I purchased a cup of delicious lemonade from 3 of the most ADORABLE lemonade sellers I’ve ever seen. They couldn’t have been older than 5, and they were giving up their Saturday to help a friend.
Then I ran over to the Connecticut Sports Arena- our Local Sports arena where a car wash was going on. A crew of Caleb’s teammates scrubbed my truck and it SHINES!
At the same time, a Zumba/Jazzercise fundraiser was being held inside the CSA. I found this pic of the car-wash boys doing a little Zumba boogie in-between carwashes. If you have a 11 or 12 year old boy, you know they don’t often break forth in spontaneous dance in front of others, so you gotta see the video! The video can be seen on the Caleb Gaylord Facebook Page.
And lastly, I stopped at the Tee Shirt booth to get shirts for my kids. I LOVE the message in the shirt-
There was a bunch of things available- from shirts, stickers, bracelets, and raffle tickets.
Some other fundraisers coming up are a Spin-athon and a kids exercise program at my Gym, Phys-Ed, and a benefit dinner to be held a at 1st and 10, a local sports restaurant.
New Milford is a community that helps it’s own. In the 4 years we’ve lived here, I’ve seen again and again the community come together to help people in need. My town is doing all that it can, but this is bigger than our town. This boy could be from any town, any place, not just in Connecticut. I’m hoping that my blogging buddies will join me in sharing Caleb’s story, and his information. We know our readers are some of the kindest, more caring people there are and that they are willing to help. Please, please share this and let Caleb know that he has a lot more people behind him than he even knows. If you pray, please send prayers to this boy and his family.
I’m planning a Virtual 5K for Caleb- details to come soon. I invite EVERYONE to participate- walking running, indoors or out, wherever you are- in any state, town, country that you are in. I’ll post race bibs and give plenty of time for you to order CG24 shirts to wear. A virtual 5K is a 5K in which you participate wherever you are: walking running, indoors or out, wherever you are- in any state, town, country. It’ll be held over 2 days so you can participate on your own time. I’d love pics with racing bib/and or shirts so we can show Caleb we are with him!
HOW TO HELP:
You can donate to help with the expenses of Caleb’s care on his FUNDRAISING PAGE:
You can arrange to purchase a shirt on his Facebook page
Most important, please please SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW so that people are made aware of this sweet family who needs our help.
I’m getting ready to go get my boy and bring him home, safe and sound. I’ll be thanking God that I can. I’ll be thinking of Eric, Lisa, Eric and Caleb and hope they know that we are all pulling for him, and you are all in our prayers. Always have HOPE!
And I just love this last pic- Caleb’s number is 24!