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Breathing in hope.

I’m not going to cry.

I’m not going to cry.

I’m not going to cry.

I’m. Not. Going. To. Cry.

On this day one year ago, December 3, 2021, we watched as our brave son, Blake, went into surgery to donate his bone marrow.

A few hours later we watched as his cells flowed into Brady.

One year ago, today.

We watched and prayed hoping that all the treatment, all the radiation, and the perfectly matched cells from his brother meant that Brady was going to be cured of cancer.

The days that followed were undoubtedly some of the hardest of our battle.

Then, exactly eight months to the day later, on August 3, 2022, it was confirmed that Brady’s bone marrow transplant had failed and his cancer had returned.

We have sat in this place of uncertainty for four months now.

And tomorrow we leave for Philadelphia.

All the coordinating. All the planning. All the anticipation. It all comes down to this.

We finally got to packing this evening and Brady had a mound of Battle Pups to take along.

I looked at the pile of 10 or 12 and asked him, “ummmm Bradster, do we have to take all of those?”

You see he keeps one of every style of dog we have ever had on a shelf in his room so he has quite the selection now. He of course has his favorites, but every single one is special to him.

He looked down at his pile of pups and back at me.

“I really want to mom. I really want to take all of them. Is it ok if I do?”

I almost burst into tears right then in there.

“Of course it’s ok buddy.” I said to him as I packed more of his clothes and the digital picture frame from his dresser as I fought back the drops from coming down my cheeks.

Here we go. Again.

Packing up our life and leaving it all behind.

I know it is only for 40 days but somehow even knowing that doesn’t make it easier.

This time feels harder.

We’ve done this all before, only last time we were just 20 minutes from home.

I’ve been fighting the tears all night.

Tomorrow we head East.

Tomorrow begins another chapter in our family’s journey.

Tomorrow the sun will rise and so will we.


Tomorrow will be here before we know it.

I was organizing our office so our friends can continue to fill battle pup nominations when we are gone when the boys came down to play some madden. It was way past their bedtime, but tonight there is no bedtime.

I was walking upstairs when I heard Blake tell Brady, “I love you Brady. I love playing this game with you. This is so fun.” I stood in the doorway behind them and he continued, “I’m sure going to miss you when you go.”

I’m not going to cry.

It’s only 40 days.

I’m not going to cry.

Tomorrow is coming and I’m not even ready.

I’m not going to cry.

I’m going to keep packing.


Now, I’m crying.

Leaving is the worst.

It’s the worst.

But tomorrow there is hope.

Hope in healing.

Hope in new chapters.

Hope in the road East.

Hope in Jesus.

Crying out fear and breathing in hope.

Shields up.

Swords out.

Armed with strength,


“That even in the thick of the battle

And even through the valley of the shadows

You alone are my defense when

I'm standing on Your promises so

Where could I run to?

Where could I go?

Even when it feels like my world is shaken

Even when I've had all that I can take

I know

You never let me go”

#waytobattle #waytobattleBrady #leukemiawarrior#childhoodcancerawareness #failedtransplant #roadtoPhilly #CARTjourney #hopeishere #hisnameisJesus #nomatterhowitends #eventhen

#armedwithstrength #noonebattlesalone

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