Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Enjoying vacation

Mason and the family have been enjoying vacation with loved ones in Westchester and the Adirondacks...lots of fishing, swimming, tubing and other outdoor adventures.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Uncle Matt is in town!!!!

And the boys have not stopped laughing since he got here. He brings such positive energy with him. The boys have a great time and he is very patient with them. A true gift for them.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A great photo

Mason with Joan- another strong cancer survivor
photo courtesy of Duane Stork

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A busy week or so...

Mason has had a good week and half. He began his chemo of Temodar and Tarceeva. He has been handling it fine. Last week he came to Danielle's conference for work where he met many cancer patients and survivors. I will post a great photo of him and woman with no hair that is priceless. He was really fascinated by the women with no hair and said they looked like boys like him. He also double checked with Danielle that many of those women that looked fine had cancer and were doing fine. A powerful message for him indeed.

He has been going to camp this week and he has really like it so far. He says it is like school.

He will continue for one more round of Temodar and another 28 day cycle of Tarceeva after he completes this round. Then we will do pictures. But he is feeling pretty well and having fun. It is a joy to watch him just be a regular kid.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Good news!

We had the MRI this morning. There is no new cancer, and the one tumor he already had, at the base of the spine, has shrunk by 20%. So, we finally got some good news. Thanks to all for your prayers and positive thoughts!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A time for reflection........

A year ago today we flew to NY to save Mason's life. It is hard to believe it has been one year since his diagnosis. So much change, so much has happened. We need to continue to focus upon the positive. Mason is a happy little boy, walking, talking and enjoying his life. We have so many good friends and family that have supported us through this all. Do we get sad, mad, and frustrated? Of course we do. But life must continue and we do our best to give our boys and our family as normal a life as possible for a long as we can. Thank you to everyone. Your phone calls, e-mails, prayers, visits, meals, gifts etc etc make all the difference. You have no idea how loved we feel and how important that has been to our family.

Mason's MRI is tomm in the morning. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Celebration of Life Fund created for Mason

Celebration of Life Fund
Mason Robert Leach

Dear friends and family of Kirk, Danielle, Mateo, and Mason Leach:

A wonderful saying greets you in the foyer of the Leach home:

Follow your heart wherever it takes you and be happy. Life is brief and very fragile and only loaned to us for awhile. Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen.

With these thoughts in mind, a community of friends has created what we call the Celebration of Life Fund, with the hope of giving Mason and his family more chances to celebrate moments in their lives together as Mason continues his courageous fight against brain cancer. Specifically, our hope is to provide Danielle and Kirk with some financial peace of mind so that money will not be among their many worries during this challenging time. We also hope that the Celebration of Life Fund will allow Danielle and Kirk to take more time off from work so they can be with Mason, Mateo and each other more every day. We know that this extra time will give Kirk and Danielle more chances to enjoy Mason’s laughter, to be with Mason when he is feeling both good and bad, to relish in Mason’s angelic voice and chatter, to take pleasure in the special bond between Mason and Mateo, and to comfort Mateo when he has trouble understanding what is happening to his brother.

The Celebration of Life Fund has been created with the permission of Kirk and Danielle, who understand its purpose and who are grateful for the opportunities that the Fund will provide to their family. On behalf of Kirk and Danielle, we thank you for your love and support. We also personally thank each of you for joining with us to make a meaningful difference for our friends.

We encourage you to contribute in any way you can. Any contribution, whether it is big or small, on a one-time basis, monthly, or whenever you feel like it, will help their Fund grow. We will keep you updated each month on the Celebration of Life Fund and its growth. Please see the attached Q&A for how to contribute.*

Laurel Hockey, Caitlin Palacios, and Cynthia Perera

* We are attaching a list of questions that friends and family might have about the Celebration of Life Fund and answers to those questions.
Q: How do I donate?
You may send a check to Citibank, 1010 North Glebe Street, Arlington, VA 22201, with a note saying "please deposit to account of Danielle D. Leach ACF Mason Robert Leach, #6739772509". If you happen to have a Citibank account, you can transfer funds into the account for free from any Citibank ATM. You may also send a check or deliver cash to Laurel Hockey at 1815 North Adams Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201 and she will make deposits into the Fund at Citibank. Please email Caitlin Palacios at mailto:palaciosac@aol.com (please put Mason Robert Leach on the subject line) if you need furhter assistance.

Q: To whom should my check be written?
Please make your checks payable to Mason Robert Leach.

Q: Is the Celebration of Life Fund the official name?
We have chosen to call this account the Celebration of Life Fund. However, the nature of the account requires a different legal name. The legal name on the account is Danielle D. Leach ACF Mason Robert Leach.

Q: Is it tax deductible?
Unfortunately it is not tax deductible. The process to become a non-profit entity is quite long and involved and not applicable under current guidelines in this case.

Q: What is the min/max I can give?
There is no minimum amount but no person can give more than $11,000 ($22,000 per couple) gift in one calendar year for tax reasons.

Q: Will the family be notified I gave?
We will keep track of a list of donations that come in through the mail. If you donate via wire transfer, we will be notified. If you make a direct deposit to the account, only the amount would be reflected. You may donate anonymously if you so wish. We want to make it as easy as possible for friends to donate so please let us know how we can best accommodate you if these options do not.

Q: What will this money be used for?
The Leach family will have discretion regarding the use of the Fund for their needs. The objective of the Fund is to provide funds for the family to alleviate their financial burden. This will allow both parents to take leaves of absence as needed and still be able to pay their bills. We also hope that they will use some of the funds to spend time together and do fun things as a family when Mason is feeling well. For those of you that don't know Danielle and Kirk personally, we can assure you that they will use the money with care and responsibly.

Q: What happens to any money remaining in the Fund if Mason passes away?

The family has discussed this and will support the Children’s hospital and other charities that have helped them during Mason’s illness in the event he does not survive and there is money still in the account.

Q: Who can I call with questions?
You may call Laurel Hockey at (703) 516-4458 or Caitlin Palacios at (703) 351-9239 if you have any questions. You may also email Caitlin Palacios at mailto:palaciosac@aol.com (please put Mason Robert Leach on the subject line).

Q: Where can I go to find out more about Mason?
Danielle and Kirk have a wonderful website that you can visit. Please visit it at http://masonleach.blogspot.com/

Some photos from last week.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Keeping us on our toes....

Sorry it has been awhile since our last post. Things have been a whirlwind the past week and half. We have had many friends come in from overseas passing through DC. It was wonderful to see everyone and it really lifted our spirits to see everyone. It also reminded us how much we miss Ecuador and our life there. Nana also visited this week, which was fun for the boys. They went bowling and she helped keep the system rolling during the week while Kirk was at his conference. We will post some photos tonight of our adventures.

Mason has been feeling well overall. If he had hair, you would really never know what was happening with him. He naps every afternoon and continues to eat a lot from the steroids. We still struggle with constipation and he continues to wear a pull up for security.

We just got news that he will have his MRI on July 9. So our hope is that nothing has grown and we are stable. We will get him on the SAHA clinical trial. It appears to be the best course so far.

FYI- we have some wonderful friends who have started a fund in Mason's name. We will post the information about this when we have more details. They generously started this so that Kirk and I could take time off and spend time with Mason while he is feeling well. Since we have used up so much vacation and may need to take unpaid leave, this is a big relief for us. If you want more information now, you can e-mail us directly at kirkndanielle@yahoo.com