The sun is shining here in Seattle and we’re thinking about you all. It’s been seven months since our journey began and Abby is now a third of the way through her treatment with another 5-day in-patient stay planned next week. As we prepare to take on this middle-leg of Abby’s treatment, your constant words of encouragement, love and creativity continue to lift us up every day. Thank you.
As we look ahead toward the summer, we have so many people to thank for helping our family get through this school year. Our deepest gratitude goes out to the amazing teachers, the go-the-extra-mile staff and the truly extraordinary families at Seattle Hebrew Academy. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the love you’ve given Jaren and Miri and our family. Picking-up and dropping-off, bringing ingredients and assembling lunches, keeping our fridge (and freezer) stocked with meals, baking bizcochos for Abby to take on her treatment days, and sending uplifting pictures of Jaren and Miri on treatment days only begins to describe the immense support we’ve felt from the entire SHA family.
This summer break holds great promise for our family. Helping us on the next leg of our journey is Arianna Avila Rincon, our new au pair. After spending the past year with a family in Connecticut, Ari is ready to thaw out and spend the next nine months in Seattle with us before returning to her family in Torreon, Mexico. Between Isla, Kailyn, and our dear friend Kristen Keeler – a triumvirate of angels who helped make afternoons and evenings easier – Ari has big shoes to fill. Already Jaren and Miri love our newest family member and we couldn’t be happier.
We spent our first weekend with Ari in Whistler and Birch Bay (thanks Marinellis!) getting to know each other and enjoying the majestic Northwest. Ari helped us celebrate Jaren’s 5th birthday and today we get to return the favor and celebrate her feliz compleanos! Ari and the kids will be on the go this summer going to various camps and activities. She’d love to coordinate playdates, especially for Miri.
While the days are longer and noticeably sunnier we continue to be reminded that this is a marathon. Here are some ways you can help us this summer.
- Visit Abby at UWMC next week (June 15-20th) – The emotional low-point for Abby and our family is while Abby is in-patient at the hospital, especially during her 5-day treatment stint (every six weeks). Here is Abby’s updated treatment schedule and suggestions to help you plan your visit. Some options…
- If you and your family are healthy, Abby would love to see you, hear what’s going on in your life, knit, talk cooking, do a few laps around the unit, anything really. As you can imagine, hospital rooms aren’t exactly cheery places, so your love and presence will help.
- For our office-bound friends, a lunchtime call or 5 min Facetime chat is a great pick-me-up.
- For out-of-towners planning to come visit, this would be a great option if you can get away mid-week. Suggest buying travel insurance, as the go/no-go treatment decision isn’t usually made until a day or two before treatment.
- Walk with Abby – After spending so much time inside during treatment or the days following, Abby wants to be outside and active. She lights up when she tells me about the many long walks many of you have taken with her. Keep it up.
- Get Togethers – We love seeing you all, and with Ari here, Abby is enjoying being out during the evening again, especially the week before she goes in for treatment.
For Jaren and Miri:
- Weekday Playdates for Miri – Let us know if you’d like to coordinate a playdate between our sweet little toddlers, and we can connect you with Ari. By the looks of it, Miri already has some projects in mind for the summer!
- Weekend Playdates and Sleepovers – Summer days and nights are way more fun with friends, so if you’re up for a weekend playdate or sleepover at your place or ours,lets discuss.
Now it’s my turn to ask for some serious help. Inspired by Abby’s last message, and motivated by the many bicycle rides I’ve shared since, I will be riding Obliteride in two months on August 9th. As I’ve learned many times this year, I can’t do it alone and I need your help. Here are three ways you can support me and the global community cross the finish line for a cure:
- Join me on the ride! We’ll ride and raise money together – 50 miles and $1,250 commitment – finish together, and celebrate together!
- Fund me! You can donate here.
Thanks for everything you do for us. We hope you enjoy some of the photos celebrating these past few months and can’t wait to enjoy more time together with you in the summer months.
Love and Healing,
Justin, Abby, Jaren, Miri and Ari