Clara had her 21 month post treatment visit recently. All her scans and tests looked great. We continue to praise God for healing her and letting her bless our lives through her trials.
Clara has a fun opportunity coming up ... tomorrow! Kare11 is participating in a fund drive for Make A Wish, collecting airline miles. At 6pm Clara will be on air for a live television interview sharing about her Make A Wish experience. How fun! We’d love for you all the tune in and pray that her sweet countenance shines through. It is my hope that those who are in the middle of the tough journey that is cancer (or any life threatening illness, really) would find hope. That they would see a kind, smiling face and know that the end of the road is not always death and destruction.
And also that Make A Wish would get lots of donated miles. :)
I will post her interview after it airs and I figure out how to get it out to you. Thanks for your support and for loving on our family.
Below is something I wrote upon our return from Clara's Make A Wish trip ... A summary of the whirlwind and wonderful time we had.
We have arrived back home after a whirlwind Make A Wish trip. Clara’s wish was to see an ocean and a forest. Her wish co-ordinator Carleen planned a beautiful trip to California to visit Monterey and its world-renowned aquarium and then to see the enormous redwood trees in the Sequoia National Forrest.
Our journey started at 4am on Thursday when a limousine picked us up for our airport ride. It’s safe to say that the kids were beside themselves and a bit giddy at the thrill. A few flights and car ride later we were in Monterey by 2pm (CA time) and exploring the beaches.
Up on a rocky ridge called lovers point we got a spectacular view of the bay opening to the pacific. I asked Clara if the ocean was as big as she thought it would be.
“No,” she said. “It’s bigger.”
The next day we were up and at ‘em with breakfast with family and then off to a day at the aquarium. We got there before it opened and stayed until after it closed. Clara was in love.
Our tour guide behind the scenes was a sweet, sweet lady named Thyra (pronounced tier-ah). She showed us baby sea horses, the tops of the giant tanks, places for baby sea otters to be fostered back to health, the intricacies and secrets of jellyfish tanks, and all the best shows and presentations. We were even allowed to touch a giant albatross (bird with with largest wingspan) and scratch his chin! Clara was fascinated and has announced her desire to be an aquarist when she grows up.
Make A Wish gave the kids a souvenir allowance and the kids had a blast picking out t-shirts and things at the Monterey Bay Aquarium gift shop. Clara purchased her 6th stuffed dolphin and promptly named her Thyra.
The next day we woke early and headed out whale watching! We saw a humpback whale and her calf and a few curious sea lions looking for a free meal. After whale watching we made the 4 hour drive to the Sequoia National Park. California is amazing! We went from 57 degrees out on the Pacific, 107 in the Fresno valley, to 87 up in the mountains. The key to a California adventure? Layers!
Another early morning sent us touring the park. We saw the Giant Forest. It’s truly giant: General Sherman, General Grant, and many redwoods knuckled into the ground along the way. There is an amazing cave full of rivers and crystals. To get to most things we drove and then took significant hikes up and down (2,000+ feet sometimes!) paths and stairs. I was so glad that Make A Wish allowed us to wait until Clara is healthy so that she was able to really enjoy all that there was to see.
One final thing we saw in the forest was Moro Rock. It’s about 400 steps up to a rock with a panoramic view of the Sierra’s and canyons. Absolutely breathtaking.
On our drive out of the park back to the bay Clara said “wow, mom. We are surrounded by beautiful.”
Our last morning was spent watching sea lions and sea otters and breathing in the sweet sea air. As we said our goodbyes to the ocean Clara vowed to one day live in California, take her kids to the aquarium ALL THE TIME, and to work as an aquarist one day.
We enjoyed our trip immensely. Make a Wish is an incredible organization and the Monterey Bay Aquarium was terribly gracious. We are so grateful for the opportunity Clara (and our family!) were given.
As Stephen said, “Really great wish Clara. Really great.”
If you’d like to see some of our pictures from the trip we have them loaded on my dad’s Flikr page.