How to Help – Round 3

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IMG_1547Sten and I sincerely appreciate all of the many inquiries and offers to help us in this challenging time. Many of you have already helped us so much and continue to offer more.

One thing I feel compelled to note, is that every single time you reach out to us, to cheer us on, to cheer us up, to say that you’re thinking about us, that you’re praying for us – all of it is so appreciated and spurs us on.  Please do not get discouraged if we do not respond back to you as quickly or frequently as you might like.  Please extend us grace.  I know a lot of people imagine we sit around in the hospital all day, but it is surprisingly busy and because our lives are literally consumed by the tedious, unrelenting fight against cancer, sometimes all I want is 30 minutes to veg out on a movie.

The other more important point is that you should never stay silent because you feel your words are lacking.  You are right that your words are insufficient if you expect that your words can make this all better and fixed, but we know that is an absurd goal for mere words.  But wrestling and groping to put words to your heart is an action that in itself demonstrates great love toward us.  When we put in the effort to try to pin down these immense feelings and aches and joys, we possess them more, we take ground, we gain ownership, we are more full and that is a blessing not only to us, but to yourself and it increases your ability to love others as well.  So, don’t think your words have to look all pretty, just try and that will be a bounty to us that far surpasses words that feel so small.

Lastly, life here at the hospital feels like a tsunami has carried us away from our home, our life.  While we appreciate all of your well wishes toward us, please don’t cut us off more by depriving us of the joy of knowing what’s going on in your life.  If you and I have a relationship, and you are not simply an onlooker, know that relationships are two-way and I still really care what’s going on in your life.  Don’t hold back the details because you think you’re trials don’t compare to ours.  Yes, our reality lends perspective, but we all have joys and challenges, extraordinary and ordinary, and I want to hear about it.  I want to know about the weather back home and what you did last weekend.  Send me a text every now and then of that great big sky or snow sticking in your hair.

 

Here are a few things that would be super helpful:

  • Pray for us
  • Text or call us up on the phone and even if we don’t pick up or call you back, know that we have felt the love
  • Send us a card and better yet – a picture of you to remind us of all those caring for and supporting us
  • Gas cards (Costco, Exxon)

 

For Sten and Solveig specifically:

  • Bring Solveig and Sten a meal. We have set up an online meal schedule which will give you all the details. Go to “Take Them A Meal” 
  • You can then sign up to bring them a meal on a Monday or Wednesday. Please look over what other folks are bringing so they don’t end up eating the same thing for a week or two straight.  Please note that Solveig is allergic to ALL NUTS so please be careful to avoid including nuts, even things like peanut oil.
  • If you’re not much of a cook or in a hurry but still want to help out, a gift card would be great (Co-Op, Papa Murphy’s, Town & Country, Ale Works, Pizza Campania)
  • If you have other ideas of how you may want to help, please contact our beloved sister-in-law, Jess at (406) 850-3996
  • Sten & Solveig’s mailing address in Bozeman: 14176 Kelly Canyon Rd, Bozeman, MT 59715

 

For Allistaire and Jai specifically:

  • Please don’t send stuffed animals, blankets, crayons, makers, coloring books or sticker books = we already have SO many 🙂
  • You can sign up to bring Jai a meal on the “Take Them a Meal” website.  Allistaire will have her food provided through the hospital.
  • Gift cards to local grocery store and restaurants (University Village, QFC, Pagliacci Pizza, Metropolitan Market, Starbucks)
  • If you want to send something to cheer up Allistaire, here are a few ideas: mixed CDs with happy music, small toys, lip gloss, small art crafts, happy decor for her hospital room
  • One thing I’d love is a few great DVDs that help her learn her ABCs (FYI: I think we have all the Leap Frog options at this point.  Thanks!)
  • Address for Allistaire & Jai:  Ronald McDonald House, Attn: Allistaire Anderson, 5130 40th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105 or starting 11/19 we can also receive mail at the hospital: Seattle Children’s Hospital, Attn:  Allistaire Anderson, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

 

If you want yet more ways to help, have I mentioned that you can donate blood and sign up to be a bone marrow donor?  This is a gift that not only blesses Allistaire but many others as well!  If you do donate blood or sign up for the registry in Allistaire’s honor – please make a little sign saying so and send me a picture of yourself in the act so to speak!

To donate blood in Montana: United Blood Services

To donate blood in western Washington:  Puget Sound Blood Center

To join the bone marrow registry:  Be The Match

 

Do you just have more money than you know what to do with?  Here are three phenomenal places you can give to that directly support Allistaire and both children and adults with cancer:

Seattle Children’s Hospital (of the $3,800,000 dollars spent on Allistaire’s treatment so far, the $600,000 that insurance did not cover has been covered by the hospital’s foundation)

The Ben Towne Foundation (aims to create targeted therapies to cure pediatric cancer without the use of chemotherapy and radiation)

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (to whom we are indebted for Allistaire’s last transplant, Dr. Greenberg’s lab which we are holding out hope may offer amazing modified T-cells to target Allistaire’s cancer after a 2nd transplant, and just lots of amazing science that benefits a wide range of cancer patients)

 

Thank you immensely for all of your kindness, generosity and love toward us. You certainly diminish the weight of our heavy load and add joy to our lives!

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13 responses »

  1. I have been following along with you for about a year and a half and I have to say that reading how the Lord has increased your faith in the midst of the suffering you all are enduring has ministered to my soul in ways I can not describe. The Lord Jesus has many times used your words to bring comfort to the suffering that I also carry. My heart swells with love for all of you and I pray and know the Holy Spirit will give you all strength, courage and comfort in the days ahead.

    Love,
    Johanna Lemmon

  2. I have been following along with you for about a year and a half and I have to say that reading how the Lord has increased your faith in the midst of the suffering you all are enduring has ministered to my soul in ways I can not describe. The Lord Jesus has many times used your words to bring comfort to the suffering that I also carry. My heart swells with love for all of you and I pray and know the Holy Spirit will give you all strength, courage and comfort in the days ahead.

  3. I wish to be as selfless as you all! You have all right to focus on nothing but inwardly at yourselves yet instead think of all others feelings… Your family has and well continue to be a strength to ours. All our love and hugs to that sweet angel warrior!

  4. Thank you so much for this helpful note. It might be a good template for all who are going through an extended illness. I have been following your journey with joy and sorrow for awhile now. I didn’t know what to say. Your words help. I am praying for each of you. Your bravery and brokeness help me to understand my own walk with God better. I have come to love Allestair, although I’ve never met her.

  5. I so appreciate your keeping all of us informed to all that is going on in your and Allistaires life. That makes it so that we can pray more affective for you while you are in God’s waiting room of life, Those are hard days and you need lots of prayer to hold it together. I made Allistaire a raggedy ann doll, but it is big and I’m not sure that you would want me to mail it. I will hold onto it until I hear from you. I was going to mail it yesterday and after reading your letter thought I should ask first. i am praying for you there every day and you are on my heart throughout the day as God brings you to mind i pray. Thanks for listing ways that we can be of help and support to your family at this time. Love you even though I do not know you. I feel that I do through your posts. I have known Sten since he was a little boy.. love, and prayers Mary Jo Foreman

    Bozeman techno gramo

    On Nov 12, 2014, at 3:41 PM, Conglomeration of Joy wrote:

    WordPress.com Conglomeration of Joy posted: “Sten and I sincerely appreciate all of the many inquiries and offers to help us in this challenging time. Many of you have already helped us so much and continue to offer more. One thing I feel compelled to note, is that every single time you reach out”

  6. We have been reading along and praying for you all and have been wishing for something to do that could bring a little cheer. We would love to send you a gift of some educational and super fun apps for Allistaire’s tablet (http://www.duckduckmoose.com/) or a subscription to ABCmouse.com. Both are terrific for learning ABC’s, playing fun games and learning at the same time. Our 4 year old loves them! I just need to know what platform her device is and if it is a touch screen type to know if this would work–and I’d need an email for you. You could PM me your email address on facebook if that works or get my email from Jess. –Greg & Melanie Nickel (Jess’s uncle and aunt)

  7. I look forward to your posts though most make me cry, some with sorrow for your family whom myself and my family have never met and sometimes tears of awe for the strength of our Father who knows every one of our days and has lead you down the road your are traveling all the while reveling himself you and holding you up when can no longer do it yourself. My father passed away 2 years ago this last august from AML. He only had his for a little less than 2 months and was only diagnosed less than a week from when he passes from this life into enternity in Heavan. You are blessed with time, use it to the fullest. Our boys who are 6 & 5 pray for your family and Allistaire some nights during our bedtime prayers and as a Mother and parent you and your husband are in my thoughts often. God bless you and keep you in all the days ahead.

  8. This blog is my favorite and your faith and authencity remind me of what this life is all about – reorienting our lives to His plan. Trusting and surrending, resting and believing. Thank you for your ministry here. Praying for courage and strength and a continued hope for healing!

  9. Jai, we live in Asia, but we have been following your blog closely for a long time. We say tearful prayers for you all when we read your posts. We pray our Father will continue to give grace for every moment. -Carey (Buss) Eakman

  10. It’s encouraging to us to see how much you have grown in your faith through this heartbreak. We continue to pray for strength for all of you Jai and wisdom for the doctors.

  11. Jai, I sit here at my computer in Oklahoma, far from you and a total stranger, with tears in my eyes. I have followed your story for a long time and oh, I had hoped you would be spared this. Thank you for giving us your blessing for our words to be inadequate–certainly they are–but please know that from my little corner of the body of Christ over here, I send you much, much love.

  12. Hi there, I am a friend of Jacqueline. I read your post last month and your daughter continues to be in my prayers. I wanted to share with you that I donated blood today in response to this post and in support of your daughters fight.
    Thank you for letting the Seattle community know how we can support and bless you. Christy

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