It's been awhile since I've been able to write on here. Simple put -- Life Happened.
And to sit down and write for me is opening up a set of emotions that I will admit I was afraid to feel for a very long time. But today is appropriate to write about sweet Wesson, and he deserves a birthday that will honor him in all ways, despite what kind of emotions may be felt in the process.
Where do I start? We have been doing, planning, and preparing for a lot of things for our sweet baby boy. Our Wesson Littau Foundation is fully and completely underway and has been since November of last year. I am proud to say that we have so far raised close to $45,000 in Wesson's beautiful name.
This money is going directly to pediatric cancer research, for now at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. But we are and always will be a foundation that supports all pediatric cancer research at whatever hospital may need the appropriate funding for a protocol that provides hope for children with all forms of catastrophic pediatric cancer.
Of course our hearts remain at St. Jude Children's because that is where our sweet boy was treated and ultimately cured.
To answer some questions: We do not only fund Infantile Leukemia treatment protocols. We are open minded to all forms of pediatric cancer and have seen so many sweet faces fall to other catastrophic illnesses, that Wesson would want treatment for all forms of pediatric cancer supported in his name.
We also do not directly transfer money to St. Jude Children's Hospital. Let me explain.....
St. Jude Children's Hospital has many expenses. From providing food and lodging for patients and their families, to hospital necessities on inpatient and outpatient, to simply lighting and running their facility on a day to day basis. These are all wonderful and necessary for the hospital to do what it does and make miracles.
However, we have chosen for our hard earned funds to go directly where the miracles happen.
To do this we chose to contact Wesson's research physician's. His amazing bone marrow transplant physician who became a best friend or fatherly figure to Logan and I during our stay in Memphis, and his wonderful and very beautiful infantile leukemia research physician. In April we returned to the Memphis and the hospital and sat down with a couple of ALSAC representative and boldly spoke of the dreams we have for Wesson and his growing foundation.
There was an option for a phase 1 clinical trial/protocol for children and infants like Wesson who had relapsed or refractory AML, ALL, and APL. All forms of very difficult to treat Luekemias.
It is called RELHEM.
And it needs funding.
This is also the clinical trial that got us accepted into St. Jude Children's Hospital February 2012. It did not work for Wesson. But it is working for children like Wesson, and it is considered a "breakthrough" treatment.
We have chosen to fund this. It is perfect for our foundation.
And Logan and I know that it will make sweet Wesson proud.
Our website is currently in production, but we ask that you consider donating to our foundation in Wesson's name. We do not have administration, we do not profit from our foundation in any way other than the satisfaction that we are helping to cure pediatric cancer.
It is simple. A wife and a husband with a dream for nothing but to change the way cancer is looked at, funded, and treated.
Our current and temporary page is: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3SaM0 and you can donate directly to our pay pal account to help make our dreams become reality.
As I had previously mentioned Logan and I, along with some of our family members chose to honor Wesson in a very healthy way this April.
We ran at the St. Jude Children's Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN. Ultimately raising over $20,000 for the children at St. Jude. Logan and I chose to run the half marathon, with me being four months pregnant and Logan not having the time to train -- we felt this was our most logical option.
The energy that we felt that day was beyond what words could explain.
Wesson was present.
13.1 Miles surrounded by family and friends that care about Wesson and his hard fought battle with cancer just as much as I do. A sea of people running for one thing: a cure for pediatric cancer.
We sweat, we laughed, we hurt and we cried.
And we will do it again next year.
I could look to the sky and see him up there. In fact he made it rain on that early morning. At first it seemed unfortunate. To be in Nashville, TN running a half marathon at 7:30 AM at not see the sun shine. The rain poured. And poured. And poured. Where our feet were sloshing and rain was dripping down our hats, and into our eyes.
Before the race had even started.
And as we waited in line for our turn to run, I thought to myself and even said out loud "Wesson did this. It's his way to make a challenging and oh so difficult situation and turn it into something that feels almost impossible to accomplish."
But he did it because he knows his momma and daddy. We loved it.
After the race was over in Nashville, Logan and I with my parents had travelled to Memphis. To see St. Jude Children's.
For the first time since Wesson became an angel.
What an experience.
The tile was donated by a wonderful and very giving family in Wesson's honor. We are so thankful for their kindness and for the gift. Wesson will always be present there now. What a special way for ourselves, visitors and future and present patients at St. Jude Children's Hospital to be reminded of our sweet blue eyed boy.
My biggest fear of entering the hospital was not the anxiety I had about meeting up with our physicians, it was not meeting with the ALSAC reps to discuss our foundation in it's entirety and prove our dedication to this hospital.
It was that we would find Wesson ever present in the hallways, in the waiting rooms, and on the transplant floor.
When we left on that dreadful day in September, we left our son there. I had always felt that way. I had somehow thought we might find him again inside the doors of St. Jude. I was so afraid of what that would feel like.
And as we entered those doors I felt...
It was relieving to me.
Wesson did not stay in Memphis when he earned his angel wings on September 26th.
He came with us. He traveled the heartbroken roads from Memphis, TN to Winner, SD right there with us and he has been with us ever since.
It took a visit to the hospital for me to realize this.
We could now leave St. Jude Children's behind for what it was. A hospital. No longer our home.
And now life has taken over again.
We have since been trying to live life normally, but not like we previously did. We are continuously raising money for the foundation and always thinking of better ways to honor our sweet boy.
We are raising a five year old the best way that we know how after being absent from his life both physically and mentally for the better part of a year.
We are planning, and preparing for a new life to bless us on October 11th. Another sweet baby boy. Fearful of what is to come of this new life, and yet feeling blessed by God and big brother Wesson for the gift that we have been given.
And still trying to put together the broken pieces of our scattered hearts, figuring out how to grieve and still go on living and breathing without our sweet baby boy.
Dreaming of his face often, praying for ourselves that we can live a life that will lead us to him one day, and struggling to find comfort in the fact that the only thing we can do for him now is help cure the cancer and change the treatment that took his sweet life.
So Happy Birthday to my sweet Two Year Old Angel.
You are not two to me.
You are still 13 months old and you are mine.
You are sweet, blue eyed and pale skinned. You look like your mommy but have your daddy's sweet heart and determination. Your hands and feet are petite like mine. Your personality and character is overwhelmingly powerful. You are smart, strong and sweet. You are photogenic and love attention.
Your taste in women is impeccable -- young and very smart long-haired nurses. I have no doubt you would have had a beautiful wife and amazing kids.
Your development was not only right on track despite the treatment, but you were ahead.
You would have not just succeeded in life but you would have accelerated.
You would have been small and quick and agile. Athletic and strong-willed.
You were unlike your brother in not only personality but in size and character. You would have watched him, looked up to him and loved him.
You love your mommy and you look up to daddy. Mommy to snuggle with and daddy to play.
The Happy Birthday song makes you nervous and scares you a bit -- I don't blame you for this.
You have a sweet tooth for chocolate like your big brother and spicy is how you like your beef jerky.
You do not have a favorite blanky -- anything soft will do.
Stuffed animals -- you had many. But they are all foreign to you because they contain scary bacteria.
You are funny. Class clown material. And you love to laugh. Tickles on your neck are your favorite.
I carry you with me everyday sweet boy. I do not pack your diaper bag. I don't give you medicines. I don't strap on your mask and stroll you around.
I don't fear your life.
You go to work with me. You sleep in our bed. You sit with us in church.
You are always there.
You strengthen my heart, give me courage and you make me love your daddy, big brother, and brother to be more and more each day.
Love you sweet boy forever and ever.
If you can, think of Wesson today. Say a prayer up to heaven. A soft wish or a simple Happy Birthday to let him know that he is loved, remembered and cherished by us all.