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Blake's decision...

We don’t know how far away the finish line is, but the race has begun.

I love this photo captured Sunday. Brady, with the starting pistol, deciding when to pull the trigger to send everyone off.

Who is at the front of the pack, ready to go? Blake.

Who is behind him? The army of people carrying our family through.

This morning Brady got a lumbar puncture chemo treatment into his spine. This happens often. It is where they inject chemo directly into the spinal fluid to make sure they are killing any cancer cells “hiding out” in his brain and spine.

Then, they moved him upstairs to the 12th floor where he has started day 1 of a 28 day targeted chemotherapy treatment. The chemo will run around the clock. The hope is for us to go home Friday and just come back to clinic on Tuesdays and Fridays to change the bag out. This is a pretty new treatment for pediatric patients and used for more “desperate situations” when the cancer is considered “chemo-resistant”. They are having a lot of success with it so we are very hopeful that one round will be enough.

The last few days have been filled with so much hope and love. Sunday was nothing short of amazing with over 400 people attending our 5k with over $15,000 raised for our new nonprofit.

Last night, Brady joined Blake and the rest of their team for his final soccer practice. I can’t say enough about the families involved in the Pride Soccer Club program. Coach Jeff and all the players, coaches, and parents prayed over Brady and Blake before having a big pizza party for everyone. The kids were showered with love and encouragement while they played together way past the sun setting.

While we were away, a group of friends joined at our house to pray over the journey ahead. To stand in agreement for a miracle. To cover the gap when we are out of words. To gather on our behalf and fight for each person in our family.

As I was putting the kids to bed Blake said the words we have been longing to hear, “Mom, I’m going to do it. I’m going to donate for Brady.”

I thought of this picture of Brady starting the race and Blake there in front.

This is the kid who loves with his whole heart and the one who would do anything for his brother. But this is also the kid who couldn’t even get his face painted when he was little because he was always so scared. The one who needed stitches a couple times but was too panicked too get them. And splinters? Oh my gosh. We had to hold him down while he screamed because he was terrified getting them out. So when we say this is a big deal and a whole lot of bravery, we aren’t joking.

“Buddy,” I said, “I am so proud of you. You are so brave. This is a really big deal. It takes so much courage for you to face your fears and I’m just so, so proud of you.”

Of course tears were welling up in my eyes, but I continued, “Brady is brave for everything he is battling through, but you are equally as brave for doing this for him. I know this was a tough decision that you thought a lot about and I just really proud of you.”

He told Brady two minutes later when Brady walked into his room. Brady walked over and laid his head on Blake’s chest. “Thank you, Blake,” he said, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Blake said as he patted his head.

Brave like Brady.

Brave like Blake.

Bravery looks different for everyone and these boys continue to show me what bravery truly is and how it shows up in completely different ways.

Sometimes I feel like we are afraid to celebrate our brave victory because we feel like it wasn’t “as brave” as someone else’s.

Bravery is bravery.

It doesn’t matter what it looks like for someone else. Go on and celebrate your bravery. And if someone around you does something brave? Celebrate them too.

Lord we continue to seek and ask you for many brave victories on the road ahead. For protection of Brady’s body through this journey. Each of his organs and especially his brain, Lord. We pray every single one remains strong throughout this treatment. And Lord we pray for your light to shine so bright in and through us. We thank you for the army behind us. The ones continuously interceding on our behalf. Lord continue to let this battle glorify you in every way.

“You make me brave. No fear can hinder now the promises you made”


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