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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Monday January 7, 2002

Hi Everyone,

Making Cookies for Santa!Happy New Year!

Alex had her monthly blood test and another CT Scan last week and the results continue to be good. Her counts are completely normal and there is no sign of the tumor in the Lacrimal gland. The gland itself is still about twice the normal size, but that's to be expected, as it could be months or even years before it returns to normal. She'll have her last IT chemo in two week and then hopefully we're done. We're still fighting the odds, but we've made it to almost four months without a relapse in the bone marrow. All we need is another miracle.

We had a really nice Christmas with Andrea's family at our house and a blissfully quiet New Year's Eve at home alone. Andrea & Alex made cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and of course Alex got everything that she wanted for Christmas including a talking Woody doll. Andrea and I got all we wanted for Christmas this year also - a healthy daughter.

It's Woody!The house hunting is continuing and we've narrowed it down to Port Orchard and Gig Harbor. We've found houses in both areas that we really like, although the houses in Gig Harbor have better views of the Sound. Now if we could just get this house sold! We've had a couple people looking at it, but no takers yet. So much for view houses selling faster than non-view houses! <grin> The good news is that my business is starting to pick up, the bad news is we're still paying off all the debts that accumulated during our down period. I've got over $5000 in outstanding invoices, so hopefully a check will show up tomorrow!

We lost another one. Delaney Wright, a five year old girl from San Diego with AML, died earlier today in Houston. She had gone there with her parents for a last ditch attempt to get her to transplant. I've been following Delaney's story for the past six months and corresponded with Amy Wright (her Mom) a number of times. Delaney always reminded me of Alex because of her smile and her eyes, so this one hits a little too close to home. It brings back all of the fears that we could lose Alex someday soon. Of course it's not something I can dwell on too much, otherwise it would be really hard to get up in the morning. If you want to learn more about Delaney you should check out her website.

I read an extremely disturbing story on the Seattle Times website today about a town in Alabama that was poisoned by a chemical company (Monsanto).

Over 40 years Monsanto "routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy" — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew...By 1996, state officials and plaintiffs' attorneys were finding astronomical PCB levels in the area: as high as 940 times the federal level of concern in yard soils, 200 times that level in dust inside people's homes, 2,000 times that level in Monsanto's drainage ditches."

Everyone should read this story and see how a major corporation put profits above the lives of people. These things are still happening today and if environmental regulations continue to be weakened it will only get worse and it will be our children who suffer the most. I would encourage all of you to let your elected representatives know how you feel about the following issues through the Working For Change website:

It was people writing to their elected representatives that helped to convince the Environmental Protection Agency to implement tough new standards for arsenic in drinking water, so don't think that your one letter won't make a difference!

Well it's after midnight and I've still got work to do, so I'm going to wrap this up. Thanks again to all of you for over three years of love, support and prayers.


Todd, Andrea and Alex


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