Brendan sent me a note about his Christmas tradition bringing cheer to the boys and girls on the
Pediatric Oncology Unit at Dana-Farber. I thought I pass it a long….
Dear Friends and Family,
I hope this email finds you all well and healthy. As most of you know, back in December 30, 2009, I was diagnosed with cancer. After a long 26 months of intense chemotherapy, I finished my treatment protocol at Children’s Hospital in Boston- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on February 2, 2012.
My treatment was very hard on me physically, and I spent over 40 days inpatient on 6N, the Pediatric Oncology Unit.
As my first year cancerversary approached, I realized I didn’t want to spend it being depressed with what I have had to go through, but to instead celebrate it by bringing gifts to the kids who find themselves inpatient on December 30th. I decided to invite my whole class to my birthday party that year, and had the boys bring me a gift and the girls, (who out-numbered the boys 2-1), bring an iTunes gift card.
That first year, we donated 20 pillow pets and $300.00 in iTunes gift cards to the kids and it has grown from there. Last year with the added help of my teammates on Babson’s baseball team I was able to collect $1,250.00 in iTunes and amazon gift cards, 30 small pillowpets for the kids and hosted an Ice cream party for the kids of 6N and 6W. This year my goal is $2,000.00 in gift cards and 30 small pillowpets.
We are looking into different ways of becoming a 501(c)3, but as of now we are still NOT a tax-deductible organization.
If you would like to help me reach my goal this year, you can either send a gift card or check to: Brendan Barrie 200 Allandale Rd. Chestnut Hill, Ma. 02467 – Please make any checks payable to Brendan Barrie- or you can bring them to me at school.
Please send Amazon or ITunes gift cards in $10.00, $15.00 or $25.00 values as it is easier to group and we like to keep all the gifts at the same value. Please have donations in by December 23, 2013 so I have time to purchase all the gift bags.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season,
Brendan Barrie and Family
I hope your ready for the big day. Can’t believe it’s a week away!! I’m hoping to see you twice this year on the marathon Route. First in Newton at the firehouse on the corner of Rt.16 and Comm. Ave and again at mile 25! Praying the weather is cool and not sweltering like last year. We are looking forward to the Pasta Party and seeing you and Nikki again!
Hard to believe its here!!! This year seemed to go by so fast! Maybe it’s because I’m feeling better or maybe it’s the great weather this year, but it’s hard to believe Marathon Monday is just a few days away.
Hot or Not, we will be at Mile 25 to cheer you (and Nikki) on!!! We are excited to see you at the Pasta Party in Sunday.
We hope the weather men are wrong and it’s not as hot as they are calling for. High 60’s or Low 70’s would be just fine with us, (and probably much better for you)
See you soon:)
Remind me to tell you about being “Drafted” by Babson Colleges Baseball Team. I’m their newest member!! (thanks to Team Impact)
I was looking at the pictures we took from last Sunday and noticed the Beads of Hope. I was glad that even with all the excitement of the day, you were able to show us your beads. What an amazing way to show your journey while in treatment. I couldn’t believe how big it was. It was taller than you!
Thank you for showing us all the different types of beads and explaining what they represented. There were beads for treatments, operations, hospital stays, and milestones. I loved your favorite bead, Remission.The beads along with the size of the chain show us how much you had to go through during your treatment. It is a little overwhelming when you see it all at once. You should be proud of yourself. You had the strength and courage to get through it.
I think my favorite bead was the one you received just a little over a month ago. The bead which represents that you have successfully finished treatment.Have a fun Easter! (…and eat lots of candy too!)
Nicole was great and made it nice an easy for all of us. She started by interviewing Brendan. What a super star! He looked a professional. Brendan’s parents, Scott and Alexis then start down with Nicole for a bit to discuss Brendan and his treatments over the past couple of years. They wanted a few running shots, so they had me head outside for a few running shots before that sat me in front of the camera. I’ve run hundreds of miles this training season, none as self-conscience as that few strides.
We can’t wait to see how it came out. Let us know what you think!
I’m glad we finally get to head out to Kiku Yama on Friday night. I am looking forward to seeing you and having some Teppanyaki cooking. I hope your appetite is starting to come back, because we will have a lot of food to eat. I don’t know what I am going to have, maybe the Mikado Special?
I had some good training runs last week. The miles were a bit less but the pace was kicked up a notch. On Tuesday night, I ran with other DFMC runners at Tufts University for a speed work out. I tagged along with Jamie, a DFMC runner and fellow blogger. I forgot my watch (which seems to be the theme of the week) and she seemed to be running at the same pace I should be running. Thanks to Jamie, I had a great work out and got to push myself a bit versus running alone.
Thursday I decided to go the Crossroad’s training run. DFMC and other runner’s meet at Crossroad’s for a 9 mile run. We take the T to Woodland Station, near Newton-Wellesley hospital and then run the marathon route back to Boston. Once again, I left my runner’s watch at home. I thought I would feel out some runners to see who run close to the pace I wanted to run. I guess many of the faster runners head out on Thursday because I ended up running with a pair who kept me moving through the hills. I ended up running a lot faster than I planned. Actually, 10 minutes faster. After the run, I drank at least a pitcher of water and had a slice of the free pizza. I was able to meet up with another DFMC runner, triathlete, and fellow blogger, Kelly. Oh, and when she not doing all of that, she is a minimally invasive gynecologic surgery fellow at a Boston hospital!
Sunday, Nikki and I ran the Hyannis Half Marathon. Much to everyone’s surprise, I was able to remember my runner’s watch. Both of us were able to have a personal best. We ran with a negative split again. I think I started a little sooner than I wanted too. I had to manage a cramp for the last two miles. I hope to put a plan together to manage Boston; the first 17 miles, the hills and then the final 4.2 miles.
This week was a different story. My adductor injury seems to have gotten worse. For the past couple weeks, I have had sharp pains in the middle of my upper left thigh. I decided to have a sports medicine specialist look at it. They took x-rays and evaluated my leg. The doctor said it may be stress fractures, but doubts that is my problem. He is going to rule that out after a MRI next week. Most likely, he thinks it is a soft tissue injury (and I’m hoping it is too). The good news is if it’s not a stress fracture, I can keep running as long as I can deal with the pain. I have been dealing with it since last march so that’s no problem. For now, he wants me to start physical therapy. That is going to be a problem because I really don’t have any time in my busy schedule, but I guess I’ll have to find some.
Running with DFMC helps me put a reality check with runner’s injuries. They are all self-induced. We could run slower, less often and shorter distances yet still reap the healthy rewards. Most injuries are in our control to prevent. We are proud wearing our pretentious badge of honor. So, I try not to make a big deal of my (seems to be yearly) injuries. Knowing what you have gone through over the past couple of years, I couldn’t relate. You are the real hero. You have overcome real obstacles. You modestly hide your true badge of honor. You have fought to finish your marathon. Runners could learn a lot from you.
Can’t wait to see you Friday night!
Today was a hard but awesome day for you. I am still amazed for how courageous you have been during the past two years. Now the road is cleared so you can move on to a new chapter in your life. I look forward to seeing life returning to normal for you and your family.
It was a great surprise after today’s surgery you were able to talk to me tonight. I was thinking I would just get an update from your mom. It sounds like everything went well. Everyone that I talk with sends their love and wishes for a quick recovery.
I love all this positive news during the past few weeks. Chemo…done! Port and g-tube..gone! 2 years cancer free…yea! Pajama day in your honor…awesome! We need to keep that train a rollin’.
Remember, we need to plan a night to head out to dinner to celebrate as soon as you feel up to it.
I had a great time at the Meet Your Match Party even though I already knew my match. It was fun playing some of the games. On Tuesday, I went to clinic to check my labs to make sure I’m cleared for surgery on Friday. They need my platelets at 50,000 so of course mine dropped to 49,000!!!! They upped my steroids AGAIN and I have to go back Friday morning at 8:00 to have them checked again. Praying they will let me have my port out. think I’m going to have a platelet transfusion during surgery if they let me have it at all. I also went to the doctor to see if they can do anything about my bloody noses.They decided they want to take a closer look and do what needs to be done while i’m under anasthesia, so they are suposed to do that too on Friday. As if that wasn’t enough on Tuesday, I also had my GI doctor appointment to switch out my GTUBE with a new one. (they do this every 3 months). While I was there, I asked the doctor what they have to do and she said they just slide it out like they are changing it and it will close over time by itself. I decided I wanted it out and I have been really good about eating and taking my meds, so they spoke to my oncologist and out it came!!! Now if I can get the port out, I will really be DONE! ( except for my antibiotic for the next 6 months, and my follow up blood tests that I wil always have..)
Today on channel 7 & 25, they did a story about a 9 year old girl who just went home after having a 6 organ transplant 9 months ago due to her cancer, Well she was my first roommate at Children’s the day I was diagnosed. It was great to see her doing so well. It makes me sure if she can over come THAT, then I will be fine!
Hope you got in some good runs this week. The weather was great! My school honored me yesterday for all I have been through. The whole schol sang to me and gave me some balloons and a cake. They also made posters of me to put in ALL the classrooms of me with Lance Armstrong! It was pretty cool. Today they held a Pajama day in my honor and in honor of World cancer day which is Friday and Saturday. All the kids wore pins with my picture on it! Today is also my 2 year anniversary of remission! Hard to believe it’s been 2 years. Only 3 years to go and I will be considered “cancer-free”! Wish me luck tomorrow that I can get this port out! !! I’ll update soon!
I haven’t talked to you since last week. Did you tell your Mom and Dad about our “media event” in March? Are they up for it? How excited are you about getting your last round of chemo? I am so happy for you. Your marathon finish line is in site!
Well, I finally finished my fundraising letter. DFMC likes for us to get the letter out early, but I always seem to put it off. I never know what I am going to write about, so I just start typing and then see what it looks like. I have to say, I like this year’s letter. I decided to talk about our time together last year. It was an inspiring moment and I hope it will inspire others. Take a look and let me know know you think.