Blogs: Families, Foundations & Researchers
This was the first year Gianna wasn’t here to celebrate 2/12 her “cancer free day.” Every year we did something big to celebrate . One year she was an honorary ball kid for the Knicks, another year they congratulated her on their scoreboard. By far our favorite day as when we were in invited to spend the day on the set of NBC Special Victims Unit and meet the entire cast and crew!
Tanner was always unique. He was a Renaissance man who had not yet lived long enough to know all that he did.
Books and stories were one of the things that connected Mikey and I the most. This love of story began with our mom reading to us each night as we lay beside each other in the bed we shared. It grew and evolved, as we did.
My family and I are blessed with SO many great memories of Andrew, our son and brother, who died from Leukemia in July 2007 at the age of 14. It’s hard to pick just one.
I wanted to share a little bit of our story…… Liv Like a Unicorn was started by my amazing daughter Olivia or “Liv” as we called her. Right around her 8th birthday, she was diagnosed with an aggressive tumor in her spinal cord – DIPG. Liv bravely fought her cancer for 9 months, all while worrying about other kids fighting the same disease. The doctors told us to “go home and make memories”, but that was “not good enough” for my daughter. The summer she was sick she raised over $10,000 for pediatric cancer and the Liv like a Unicorn foundation was born.
Kortney was a fearless daredevil. She went on the largest waterslide, at the time in New Jersey, at Great Adventure’s water park. There was no way I was going with her so her dad, Rich, went with her. Her sister, Kasey and her friends stood at the bottom fearful and watched 7-year-old Kortney climb the gigantic ladder. We know which parent she took after. After she came down with the biggest smile on her face, she immediately wanted to do it again. My husband said once was enough for him.
Through love, laughter, and loss, the one constant and our favorite has been music.
McKenna loved all things that had to do with the beach. Whether it was riding our bikes down to the pier and having breakfast at Ruby’s, going beach camping with 20 families on our annual “Beach and Surf” trip, or going surfing with her sister in Hawaii, McKenna couldn’t wait to run on the sand and swim in the waves. Probably her favorite thing to do was go snorkeling and chase sea turtles in Hawaii. I can still hear the exciting sounds my girls would make underwater when they would spot a turtle and swim off hand in hand to follow it.
Charlie loved to eat at diners. “I mean, come on, you can get breakfast ALL DAY!” he would say. He could never decide between the egg special or pancakes, so he usually got both! He loved enjoying a good cup of coffee and pie. We traveled far and wide to every diner we could, and each one was his favorite. When I want to feel close to him, I have breakfast for dinner, or visit one of his favorite diners and get pancakes AND eggs.
Jennifer loved sweets… She had the ultimate sweet tooth.