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Friday, January 1, 2010

a very public THANK YOU (and Kiddo's health update)

Because my blog reaches so many people I wanted to post this thank you letter here so that people around the world will understand just how wonderful Mr. Leonsis is. For those who don't know, Ted Leonsis is the majority owner of the Washington Capitals Ice Hockey team. (This post also includes a Kiddo health update.)

Dear Mr. Leonsis,

Back in November you had us out to the Verizon Center to watch the Caps game in the owners box. It meant so much to Hubby and I that you spent time talking to Kiddo about his allergies and his feeding tube; you treated him as we do, like he is a very important person. Then you took Kiddo to the locker room to meet the guys. As I told you then, this was an absolute dream come true for him. In fact, he wants to wear his signed jersey just about every day. I already sent you some photos from that night but here is a link to all of them so you can see how much fun Kiddo (and Hubby and I) really had:

At that game you told us not to be shy in asking for tickets to future games for Kiddo. When Kiddo was due for another surgery in December I took you up on that offer. Hubby and I wanted to give him a really fun night to help him think positively about the surgery. This time you sent us four tickets for some incredible seats not too far off the ice. We had a BLAST!

Kiddo brought his friend X; they play on the same hockey team and have been buddies since they were 4 years old. I did their hair up before the game so they were BOTH rocking the hawk this time around.

The game was incredible. Both boys had an absolutely great time. Here's a video of them "unleashing the fury" ...

The Caps were down at first but they came back strong and won it in overtime. The cheering from the boys (and from us) was deafening.

At the end of the game Kiddo turned to me and said "You know they only won because I was here - I'm their good luck charm!"

Thank you so very much for giving us tickets to this game. We had so much fun together, and it was a great way to enjoy the weekend before Kiddo's surgery.

Four days later we headed up to the hospital. Although we were concerned about the possibility that Kiddo would wake up in a lot of pain, he had a great attitude before surgery. In fact, he was quite silly in the pre-op room.

All the other kids in the various pre-op rooms were quiet (either due to nervousness or medication) but not Kiddo - HE was a nut, as you can see in the video below.

After a while they took him back for the procedure and we headed off to wait. The plan was to remove that long tube that you saw him with and to put in a new "button" type tube that is the size of Kiddo's thumb. Kiddo was nervous about this change but we knew it was for the best. While they were inside of him they were also planning to take biopsies (as they do during every endoscopy) to see if his esophagus has healed any since the feeding tube was put in.

I'm very glad to say that the surgery went as planned, no problems. Kiddo woke up in a small amount of pain but nothing over the top. That night he helped us decorate the Christmas tree and even put the star on the top. The next day he wanted to go to his power hockey lesson; he was in pain, but he skated through it. Within the week he was just about back to himself.

In the time since then, the new tube has proved to be a blessing - although it did take a bit of getting used to. Kiddo was back out playing hockey within the week, so that proves that he's back to normal.

Here are pictures of Kiddo with the old tube and the new tube so you can see the huge difference.

The night before the surgery:

Two days after Christmas (and no, he isn't eating that, just making it - he wanted to do the project with all his cousins regardless of whether he could eat it or not):

It is pretty amazing to me how small this new "button" is, especially after the long tube he had before.

We'll get the biopsy results on January 4. We're praying that there will be good news, but whatever happens, we'll be ok.

I can't thank you enough for the interest you've taken in Kiddo, and for the tickets to the game. You are an inspiration to us and we wish that there were more people in the world like you. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU.


Heather J, Hubby, and especially Kiddo

PS. Happy New Year to you, your family, and the team. We'll be spending the day with X's family watching the Winter Classic together. :)

(For other Kiddo-related posts, click here.)


bermudaonion said...

Kiddo is just about the bravest kid I know. He always inspires me. I'm praying for good news next week. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Melissa said...

What a heartwarming story to begin the New Year with! That's so wonderful about how kind Mr. Leonis was to you and your family. All the best for the happiest and healthiest of New Years.

Anonymous said...

I'm so pleased to hear news of your Kiddo. Will continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

What a nice man. Shows there are some heroes left in this world (and I count your Kiddo among them and his mom and dad!).

Literary Feline said...

What a wonderful post, Heather. I'm so glad you shared this with us. Your son is so brave. I am glad the surgery went went well. And what a nice thing for Mr. Leonis to do! You are all in my prayers.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Thanks for letting us eavesdrop on your thank-you note to Mr. Leonsis, Heather, and for sharing the photos and health update with all of us.

All the best to you and your family in the New Year!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I'm so glad Kiddo is doing well and I'm praying for you all for the results of the biopsy. Hooray for Mr. Leonis!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I'm so glad to hear that Kiddo is doing well and that he and you and your husband were able to have this wonderful experience to get you through.

Happy New Year!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Great post; you guys had so much fun! What a great connection for kiddo to have in the ice hockey world!

Michelle said...

What a wonderfully generous man!

Yay for kiddo doing well. It continually amazes me how resiliant he is and what a positive attitude he has. Every picture is of him with a giant smile on his face and beaming. Kudos to you and your family.

Wishing you all the best in the coming year. I'm going to start planning that DC/MD/VA blogger meet up in the next week.

Alyce said...

Thank you for sharing this letter and update with us. How wonderful that your son got to have so much fun at the hockey games!

I'm very glad to hear that everything is going well with his new feeding tube, and hope to hear good news about his biopsy results.

You must be so proud of him and how well he handles everything!

Beth F said...

The difference is amazing. All my good thoughts and admiration go our to Kiddo and your whole family for the new year.

Lynn said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. Your son is such an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful man! And a wonderful Kiddo, too!

Happy New Year to you all!

Anna said...

Glad to hear Kiddo is doing well. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2010.

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Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Your son is so inspiring! I know you are very proud of him. Such a sweetie...I'm so glad things went well!

Happy New Year to you all...I am hoping that you will receive good news!

trish said...

Kiddo looks great! So glad to hear he's doing well with the new tube. :)

What a fantastic person Ted Leonsis is! I'm sure he's inspiring to everyone he knows!

Violet said...

wow, I know I've said it many times, but your kid is very brave and cheerful. Touch Wood. Hope he keeps on making progress.

A very happy new year to you and your family...

Nan said...

This just brings tears to my eyes, Heather. You are pretty wonderful yourself, you know. Your appreciation is a rare gift. It's clear that your boy had gotten your upbeat nature, your kind view of people and the world, and your faith and hope. I remember a phrase from church when I was little - something about 'may he go from strength to strength'

Lisa said...

What a nice man! And what an inspiration Kiddo is!

Photogrl said...

Looks like the game was a ton of fun!

Kiddo is amazing. I'm glad everything went well, and praying for good news on the 4th.

Happy New Year!

Dreamybee said...

That's really awesome! I'm so glad that Kiddo is doing well with all his surgeries, and that's cool that he's got a fan like Mr. Leonsis!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

*** Thank you to all for your wonderfully kind and encouraging comments. We head to the doctor for Kiddo's follow up tomorrow morning - I'll be sure to post the results here asap. ***

Ti said...

What a wonderful post. I am so glad that Kiddo is doing well. He's such a trooper!

Anonymous said...

Kiddo is such a brave kid!

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Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Wonderful post and update on how things are going. You are in my prayers. Have a great start to your New year!

Becca said...

Kiddo simply rocks. The next time I need surgery I hope I am as brave as he has been. The new button has got to be so much easier. Do give us an update on how he continues to do. Hugs!

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