Happy 1st Birthday Hallie!

This is your day Hallie! A day that has our hearts in a million pieces, so much so that we don’t quite have the words to articulate it to the world. Instead of even trying, we use this day instead to announce some exciting things we have in the works to honor you, kid. You deserve the world and more and we are so proud to take these first steps in honoring your legacy.

And so, today, on your first birthday, we are excited to announce the creation of Hallie’s Hope! Our entire purpose is to honor those tiny footprints of yours that left such an enormous imprint of hope and strength on our lives, and it’s time to bring that unmatched hope and strength of yours to those who need it most.

Hallie’s Hope is designed initially to serve all the #halliestrong warriors out there battling cancer. We know firsthand the enormous battle that fighting cancer is and everybody needs (and deserves) a little hope in those dark days. We also know that the impact of cancer doesn’t magically go away with a clear scan, so we will work to bring that same strength and hope to those warriors who are learning to live as survivors. Lastly, we will honor and recognize the warriors who choose to join these cancer warriors in their journey – the close friends and family members that become care takers. Who, without pause, jump into the messy and the ugly that cancer is, to support, to aid, to do anything necessary to see their loved one through. We too know that requires enormous strength (aren’t you so proud of your Dad, Hallie?!). No one ever tells these people how much cancer will impact and change them, too, and we are going to change that!

Moments of levity are what got us through our battle so you will see a lot of that sewn into how we drive the purpose of Hallie’s Hope forward. We believe humor would’ve been one of your greatest strengths Hallie, second only to mine, right?!

What will give us the ability to act on all these initiatives and what we are ultimately so excited to also announce today is the creation of the HallieStrong Foundation. The Foundation will give us the ability to fundraise to make an even greater impact in spreading acts of Hallie’s Hope. We have visions of 5k’s, golf outings, fundraisers, etc. My biggest goal and what we are working so hard for down the road is the vision I have for a gala! Tons of people, gathered in your name, with the sole common purpose to make sure no one ever forgets your legacy. We are nearly finished with the process of becoming an official 501(c) non profit.

We clearly have so many hopes and dreams – really, you should see our business plans! Our desire is to do this right for Hallie so you’ll see this all unfold over time but we simply couldn’t pass up taking today, her birthday, to announce it all coming together. We hope it makes you proud Hallie! It’s the absolute least we could do and it brings us so much joy as your parents to serve you in such a meaningful way.

We will be launching our website & social media sites soon, we will make sure to announce everything here so you’ll be able to connect directly with it all. In the meantime, if you know a warrior (or if you are one!) that would benefit from Hallie’s Hope, email us at hallieshope@halliestrong.org.

You’ll also start to see updates to how we blog through the website, but have no fear, this personal blog of ours isn’t going anywhere. My hope is that because we are taking action for Hallie, I’ll find my way with words again and be able to let people in, again.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for hopping on this ride with us. It has made me and Kevin so happy to dive head first into it all. We have big hopes and dreams for where this can go and our daughter deserves it all. We have so many platforms because of our story and the fact that we can now go out and impact those in Hallie’s name is a opportunity that we, her parents, so desperately needed. Especially today, as we mark such a painful day. Can you imagine the party she’s having in Heaven?

As for us, we escaped to the beach this weekend to mark her birthday together in a place that we would’ve undoubtedly made a lot of family memories at. We are currently sitting under stormy skies and I can’t help but know she totally had a hand in that. Truly her Mama’s daughter. Love you forever Hallie!

One Year Appt – Cancer Free!

Another wildly huge milestone achieved: one year post treatment, still cancer free ✔️ For the past year, I’ve celebrated these milestones with such joy & pure candor and yesterday we made a few calls, sent a few texts and were in bed by 7 with Season 6 of Parenthood. I think we can simply mark this season of life with the title of, “exhausted.”

I will share, albeit hesitantly because you know, “jinx!, but my Doctors this time around chose to forego scans and opted only for the physical exam & PAP. Because of my progress over the past year, they recommended that scans be pushed to every six months, meaning my next scan will be in June. Big deal, right?!

It’s a great milestone for us – an enormous one really. I love my doctors confidence and I’m going to ride their coattails forever on it. I’m pretty sure it’s made me “feel” things in my body at a def con 5 status over the past week and still this morning, knowing I didn’t have a scan. Is that headache a brain tumor? Is that tightness in my chest cancer spread? Or is it because I just flew to PHX and I think I got coughed on 5 times directly on the plane? 99% chance it’s the latter but rationale thinking doesn’t always work in a cancer survivors brain. I can feel myself coming to grips with being 16 months cancer free & being one year out of treatment but I can see & feel how much healing is still to be had. It has been a much bigger task that we could’ve ever imagined, tackling all the baggage that comes with cancer and in the heat of those moments, we simply say to ourselves, “progress not perfection.”

This blog has collected some cobwebs as of late as my physical desire to let people in just hasn’t been there. It’s not for lack of love for you all & it surely isn’t for lack of our need for your continued support. I just simply haven’t found myself capable of opening up. As we cross this milestone and add it to hopefully a very, very long list of similar milestones, we continue to find a way to start each morning feeling grateful that I am alive. And that I have crazy, wacky, curly hair.

We are forever grateful for the way in which you all have walked with us the past 16 months & specifically during treatment as I think back all your prayers, support & acts of kindness. It inspired me every step of the way.

We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers!

All our love, Beef & Kevin