Monday, December 8, 2008

I snuck down to Houston

Okay, so Friday morning I was missing in action. There was so much going on last week that I completely forgot to mention that I would be in Houston on Friday. So at about 5:00 AM, I had my foot on the pedal, David Ramsey on the iPod, and I was on my way. For obvious reasons this left me little time to write in my diary. The good news was that my drive to Houston was a smooth one. I was a little curious to see what I would find after a few months since the hurricane passed through. As I got closer, it became more and more obvious. At first, I noticed the signs. Most were just hollow shells. You could see right through them. For the most part the others were all brand new. It was obvious that they had been replaced. The other thing that I began to notice very quickly was the number of blue tarps on roofs. I don't know who manufactures blue tarps but I can tell you for sure that this was a banner year. In some areas every house seemed to have a blue tarp. The others all seemed to be mostly brand new and you could see new sections of roof on many of the buildings. The other odd thing that I noticed was that many of the roofs up and down I-45 were damaged on their north facing sides. It took a minute for that to register in my mind. It did not take long to spot things that were completely out of the ordinary. There were several metal light poles that had been bent in the high winds, metal roofs that appeared to be bent back upon themselves, and trees snapped mid shaft. With all of this, it was impressive to see the amount of recovery, however, it was quite evident that there is still a long way to go.

So, one of the reasons I was on my way to Houston was for a bake sale. Seems like a long way to go for a bake sale doesn't it? Well, it was and it wasn't. Many of the families in Houston put together a bake sale to raise funds for the CNCF. This was no ordinary bake sale. It was humongous. For those of you familiar with the bridge between the clinic and hospital buildings at TXCCC the bake sale filled tables from one end of the bridge to the other. I have never seen so much food. It was the perfect location as it received heavy traffic all day long. It was also conveniently located on the way to the cafeteria/food court so we had a very heavy lunch crowd. In all, there must have been about 10 families of children with neuroblastoma helping out but I am quite sure that there were many more in the background baking away. By about 3:00 PM they had raised almost $2700 for the CNCF.

Thankfully, I also had the time to meet with Dr. Russell, Dr. Louis and a few others from the research department. However, I will need to go back at the beginning of next year to spend some more time down there.

The evening was filled with the First Annual Neuroblastoma Christmas Party. They have a group of about 50 neuroblastoma families down in Houston. It is a great group and one that is very interested in creating some significant change. They are very active with the CNCF and we are all hoping that we can all do significantly more. It was very good to see everyone again and I even had the pleasure of meeting a few that I had never met before. The Scazny's put on a first class Christmas spread. It was great to see so many kiddos milling around. I know I am biased but there is something special about families of children with neuroblastoma. You can see it in their eyes.

By early Saturday morning I had made my way back to Fort Worth. I was then faced with a mountain of Christmas shopping, decorating, honey dos, and laundry.

I didn't finish.

It will be a busy week of purpose, etc.

1 comment:

Vickie said...

Sorry we were MIA at the bake sale and party. I just couldn't face one more drive into Houston after spending 16 of the previous 20 days there. It sounds like we missed a big time, and I really appreciate you coming down to support our fledgling group.