25 days of hot yoga and thankful thoughts- day nine | olive june

25 days of hot yoga and thankful thoughts- day nine

today's class: instead of practicing yoga at yoga one today, i did some sun salutations here at home and spent the morning walking around gorgeous freedom park - for the cure search walk- to support a previous student, brendan rose- who i taught as an 8th grader several years ago- he's now a senior. a family with such sweet souls. my friend, vicky, and i participate annually to honor his sister's beautiful life on earth- her memory. 

  Emily was diagnosed with AML on July 11, 2008.  
She fought her battle with courage, grace and dignity. 
Sadly, she passed away December 20th-a short five months later at the age of 17.
please consider donating here: 
Those of you who knew Emily know that she was bright, intelligent, loving and a kind daughter, sister, niece, friend and servant of Christ. At 17, she has lived a life full of love, laughter and she is one of the most loving and caring people.
Emily was working at Camp Lurecrest that summer as Cross Trainer (counselor in training). She came home with a sore throat that her parents (including the doctor) thought was strep. She got a shot and they left for the beach on Saturday (July 5). A couple days later, she was feeling worse, so they took her to the doctor at the beach, and they thought it was mono.
They drew some blood to send to the lab to confirm their diagnosis, but when the results came back completely different than they anticipated, they repeated the test 2 times in the next three days. They all came back home early since she was feeling so bad and they were so worried. They got an appointment with a specialist for Friday morning.
They walked into the hematologist's office at 8:45, and by 11:30 she was admitted to the hospital and starting treatment for leukemia.

this family is always in my prayers 
thankful thought of the day #9 - my health 
*something i try and tell myself daily*

… i read this article this week and wanted to share this powerful story- tissues are a must. 
Image: Angelo and Jennifer Merendino
Angelo Merendino
Happy together: Angelo and Jennifer Merendino in July 2006, before Jennifer's cancer diagnosis.
Before Angelo Merendino’s wife Jennifer died of breast cancer at age 40, he asked her permission to create a legacy in her name.
That effort gained incredible momentum when Merendino, a photographer, posted intimate, black and white pictures online documenting their life before the diagnosis and the exhausting rounds of hospital visits and chemotherapy.
Image: Jennifer Merendino
Angelo Merendino
Jennifer Merendino received her diagnosis five months after she and Angelo got married in Central Park.
Sometimes Jennifer is shown grimacing, but Merendino mostly captures her broad, infectious smile, hints of which can be seen even in the final days of her life in December 2011.
These photos, which Merendino posted on his website and published two months ago in an e-book, ricocheted across the Internet and prompted an outpouring of sympathy and support.  
Image: Jennifer and Angelo Merendino
Angelo Merendino
"With each challenge we grew closer," Angelo Merendino wrote on his website. "Words became less important."
Now, he wants to touch people’s lives in a different way — by starting a non-profit organization, The Love You Share, in Jennifer’s name.
“I just wanted to do something that would give back, and not just to the people who helped us,” Merendino, 40, told TODAY.com.
Image: Jennifer Merendino
Angelo Merendino
"Throughout our battle we were fortunate to have a strong support group," Angelo Merendino wrote, "but we still struggled to get people to understand our day-to-day life and the difficulties we faced."
The Love You Share, which is pending IRS approval as a tax-exempt organization, will provide financial assistance to cancer patients while they are receiving treatment. Focusing on seemingly small gestures, like providing meals or gift cards to the grocery store and reimbursing transportation costs, the organization is meant to lighten the burden on already overwhelmed patients and caregivers.
In addition to Merendino, who lives in Cleveland, the organization’s board has four members, each of whom was dear to Jennifer: her oncologist, her boss, a colleague and a good friend.
Image: Jennifer Merendino
Angelo Merendino
"At 39 Jen began to use a walker and was exhausted from being constantly aware of every bump and bruise," Angelo Merendino wrote. "Frequent doctor visits led to battles with insurance companies. Fear, anxiety and worries were constant."
Merendino didn’t know how his non-profit would help others at first, but he felt strongly that it should express the couple’s sense of gratitude. In addition to a strong support network of friends and family, Jennifer also felt she benefited from those who were brave enough to participate in clinical trials.
Image: Jennifer Merendino
Angelo Merendino
"Maybe, through these photographs," Angelo Merendino wrote, "the next time a cancer patient is asked how he or she is doing, along with listening, the answer will be met with more knowledge, empathy, deeper understanding, sincere caring and heartfelt concern."
The couple were grateful to have been part of so many generous acts. “We wanted to keep that circle from breaking,” he said.
More than anything, Merendino hopes his efforts spark a dialogue about cancer, and how to treat a friend or family member sick with the disease. Though the couple enjoyed the support of many loved ones, there were others who didn’t quite know what to say or do following the diagnosis and throughout treatment.
Image: Jennifer Merendino in extreme pain at hospital
Angelo Merendino
"We had just been admitted to Urgent Care and Jen was in worse pain than I'd ever seen," Angelo Merendino said of this moment in September 2011. "Doctors worked to find the right medication but it's never fast enough."
“If you know someone who has breast cancer, you don’t have to have the answer — just be there,” Merendino said. “Send a text message that says I love you. Send dinner. Go sit with them.
“If we don’t talk about it,” he said, “how can you be there for someone?”
Image: Jennifer and Angelo Merendino
Angelo Merendino
Jennifer and Angelo Merendino in September 2011. Angelo wrote on his website that his photographs "do not define us, but they are us."
Women from Jennifer's breast cancer support group hold and kiss Jennifer. A few days earlier we were told that Jennifer's liver was failing and she on...
Angelo Merendino
Women from Jennifer's breast cancer support group hold and kiss Jennifer 10 days before her death in December 2011.
Image: Empty bed
Angelo Merendino
Jennifer Merendino died at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2011. Angelo took this photo on Dec. 23 after his wife's body was taken away.

source: rebecca rulz- today

1 comment:

  1. thank you for this...........thank you for honoring Emily and supporting Brendan......what a beauty you are...inside & out <3