Colin McConaughy 12/27/09 - 01/12/12
Jan 13, 2014 by Jenna McConaughy
This was a life that had hardly begun
No time to find your place in the Sun
No time to do all you could have done
But we loved you enough for a lifetime
No time to enjoy the world and it's wealth
No time to take life down off the shelf
No time to sing the songs of yourself
Though you had enough love for a lifetime
Those who live long endure sadness and tears
But you'll never suffer the sorrowing years
No betrayal, no anger, no hatred, no fears
Just love - Only love - in your lifetime.
- Mary Yarnell
I cannot begin to thank everyone who came together to remember Colin McConaughy during this journey. With your help, we raised over $2,200 in just 12 days to honor Colin on what should have been his 4th birthday for a TOTAL OF $4,482! Today, we remember this angel and we remember why it is so important to keep fighting cancer. When I put on my running shoes and Nemo running costume in just one week, I will have Colin in my heart every step of the way. Thank you to the following friends, family, and strangers who donated during this journey to help beat cancer and who taught me the real definition of community:
Erin & Dave Spinola
Dick & Beth McConaughy
Frank & Mary Jo Spinola
Rob & Andrea McConaughy
Jan Van Iten
The Allen Family
Bob & Pam Janoske
Paul S Williams
Tiffany & Paul Hanson
Craig & Marianne Brasch
Judith W Hughes
Dwight & Poonum Avery
The McDonald Family
The Sandmann Family
Knowledge is Power
Dec 15, 2013 by Jenna McConaughy
This month’s post in honor of Colin is about education. Educating you, the reader, about childhood cancer. While you may not have a child who is battling cancer, it is important to know the facts about this unfortunate reality of our society and how you can help.
On December 27th, Colin should have turned four. Unfortunately, Colin was taken too early from this world almost two years ago. This week, my best friend’s family friend, a bright eyed, five year old little princess, also lost her battle with cancer. I am sure, reader, that you know of other children who are currently battling cancer as well…
Did You Know?
Approximately 13,400 children between the ages of birth and 19 are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Approximately one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls will develop cancer before their 20th birthday.
Cancer is the most common cause of death by disease for children and adolescents in the United States of America.
What are the Warning Signs?
While speaking with Andrea about Colin’s battle with cancer, I will never forget the sound of helplessness in her voice when she was recalling the early symptoms Colin had displayed. Andrea was persistent and unrelenting about taking Colin into the doctor’s office multiple times before discovering the truth. Many of these symptoms are signs of minor illness, but could also be a serious illness such as cancer. Do not hesitate to seek a second opinion if a doctor is not able to determine the cause.
Fatigue, listlessness or pallor
Swelling or lumps anywhere on the body
Nausea or loss of appetite
Insomnia or sleeping too much
Change in disposition
Regression of toilet habits
Stumbling or falling
Double vision or other eye problems
Easy and frequent bruising
Nosebleeds or bleeding from any part of the body
On a Positive Note…
In 1962, children diagnosed with neuroblastoma (the cancer that Colin succumbed to) only had a 10% survival rate. Today, children with neuroblastoma have an average survival rate of 55%.
Today, the overall five year survival rate for childhood cancer is close to 80%.
These survival rates are due to advanced education and research about cancer.
In 2012, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was able to invest $68 million in research, which includes funding for 111 new grants to researchers in academic institutions and $14 million in contracts through the LLS Therapy Acceleration Program.
You can make a difference. By making a donation in Colin’s honor, those funds will be going towards vital cancer research, patient and community services, and patient financial assistance.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
We can do this. We can defeat cancer.
An Apple Tree and a Candle
Nov 13, 2013 by Jenna McConaughy
Two years ago this month, the McConaughy family gathered together in Gig Harbor, Washington to celebrate Thanksgiving. At a time in which everyone was counting their blessings, no one could have possibly imagined just how quickly their lives would change.
Colin began showing signs of his battle with cancer during this family event. Unfortunately he lost his battle just a month and a half later.
Two people who miss Colin greatly are his cousins Sean and Adam. I took a moment to speak with them this morning about Colin and their favorite memories of him.
Both Sean and Adam fondly remembered just how cute and adorable Colin was. Adam's favorite memory of Colin was being able to spend quality time with him during that last Thanksgiving. Sean recalled just how much Colin loved "Yo Gabba Gabba." Sean's favorite memory of his cousin was playing on the beach and finding crabs with him.
To help the boys with the loss of their cousin, their father Bryan bought a candle and personalized it with a picture of Colin. On days when any of the boys are really missing Colin, they light this candle in order to create an atmosphere filled with reflection and love.
As a child, Bryan remembers having the opportunity to choose and plant a fruit tree with his brother. When Bryan decided to continue this tradition with his own sons, Sean and Adam took this opportunity to plant a tree for their cousin Andrew, as well as a tree in honor of Colin. The boys chose an apple tree.
An apple tree and a candle. Two everyday objects that now mean so much more to two young boys who lost their cousin to cancer.
Please join me on this journey to honor Colin and defeat cancer. No family should have to go through what this family has. Thank you for all of your support...so far you have raised $2,085. With two months until I run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in honor of Colin, we only need to raise a minimum of $115.
We can do this. We CAN beat cancer's butt.
And the winner is...
Oct 14, 2013 by Jenna McConaughy
Thank you to everyone that voted! I look forward to creating a fun and creative Nemo running costume for the Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon in January in honor of Colin.
I do need to apologize for the lateness of this month's post...this weekend was spent in Walla Walla running a half marathon. As I type, my legs are continuing to scream at me in agony, but I know it was worth it.
So, why do I run?
I run to feel alive. I run to feel present and in the moment. I run to honor those who can not run themselves. I run for Colin who left this world much too early. I run for those who are currently battling cancer and for those who have yet to start their battle with cancer.
If me running a half marathon in Colin's honor raises money to help some other child going through what Colin went through, then my aching legs can continue to scream away. I will continue to push myself in honor of those affected by cancer in hopes that the money we raise will help us conquer cancer.
Help me conquer cancer. Please donate in honor of Colin. Only $300 until we reach our minimum goal!
Thank you for running alongside me on this journey,
The Happiest Place on Earth!
Sep 12, 2013 by Jenna McConaughy
For those of you who are unaware, I will be running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in Disneyland in January in Colin's memory. Of all the half marathons out there in the running world, this one could not be more perfect to honor this amazing little soul. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon holds a special place in my heart already as it was the first half marathon I ever completed two years ago.
But when I run this magical half in January for Colin, it will become much more special for a variety of reasons. Of course there will be the pure Disney magic at every mile, the thrill of running through Disneyland first thing in the morning while Mickey & Minnie cheer you on, and dressing up in costume (we will come back to this later). However, I know I will be energized by the fact that during his brief life with us here, Colin LOVED Disney.
For his first birthday in December 2010, Rob, Andrea, and Andrew celebrated Colin's special day by taking him on his first trip to Walt Disney World. At the happiest place on Earth, Colin met Mickey and Minnie and enjoyed all the pure joy and magic that is Disney with the people that loved him the most. Andrea fondly remembers the giant life sized Mickey Mouse balloon they bought for Colin that he absolutely adored.
In fact, Colin adored a few select Disney characters. His favorites were Mickey, Classic Pooh, Tigger, and Nemo. And this my friends, brings us back to that dressing up in costume bit. One of the most anticipated elements of the Tinker Bell half is running in costume! Most runners tend to go the Peter Pan / Tinker Bell route, but how could I do that when dressing up as one of Colin's favorite characters will help me be that much closer to him on race day?
While I unfortunately did not have the pleasure of knowing Colin when he was with us, I believe running in a place Colin loved and dressing as a character he adored will help me connect with him when I take on 13.1 miles in his honor.
Join me in helping to find a cure for cancer so that others may not suffer as Colin and his family and friends have. For every $25 donation you make, you will get one vote to determine which character I will dress as to better honor Colin on race day. Simply email your vote(s) after you donate!
So...would you like to see me dressed as THE mouse himself? The lovable and cuddly Pooh bear? The ball of energy that is Tigger? Or perhaps our lucky finned friend Nemo?
Donate between now and October 11th to participate! The winning character and costume ideas will be announced in my next post on October 12th. For all of those generous donations that came before this post, please email me the one character you wish to vote for.
Thank you sincerely for being a vital part of this journey,