Well, folks, the final emails went out this morning. I’ve officially notified everyone of their prize wins. Check your inboxes and your spam, as it’s possible it will get shuffled there, even though I tried not to make it sound like a “You WON!! IMPORTANT! Message from THE QUEEN!” email from Nigeria. We had over 530 people donate, so many of you will not receive an email from me, but I’m sure knowing all the difference you made in Sam’s life will be prize enough.

The grand total, at this very moment, in the #helpSam account is $9,292! As of Friday night when I shut down entries into the giveaway we were at a little bit over $9,100, and even more donations have rolled in since then.

That means we not only reached our ultimate SUPER DUPER goal of $7,500, but we put more than another $1,500 on top of that!! You all are phenomenal. I tweeted this Friday night, but I’ll say it here again. Thank you. You make me happy to raise my babies in this world.

I also have more FANTASTIC news from Cassie. On Friday, just hours before entries to the giveaway closed, Cassie got a call from her employer regarding her COBRA coverage. It turns out they made a mistake when filing her paper work and she IS eligible for the reduced premium. It will now only cost them a little over $500/month instead of $1,500/month. With the amount we raised, we basically just paid for all the COBRA coverage they will be allowed to utilize. Cassie expressed some guilt that people gave based on the $1,500/month amount, but I reassured her that when Sam gets better and she goes back to work, if she has a surplus of donations left over, she can pass them on to another family facing challenges. Until then, I told her to hang on to it, breathe a sigh of relief, and just focus on taking care of Sam. The money will be there to support them in whatever way they need.

ON TOP OF ALL THAT, I have even better news (from Cassie’s blog):

Sam’s CT results came back today and showed a marked improvement! One tumor near his spine is completely gone! We haven’t gotten the MIBG results back but everyone is very pleased with the CT results! The drugs are doing their job and our prayers are being answered! Praise Jesus!

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

A reader posted this poem on my Facebook Fan Page and I wanted to share it with everyone here. It’s one I’m familiar with, but completely forgot until she shared it with me.

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”

No, we didn’t cure cancer with our efforts to #helpSam, but we made a difference, even if just in the life of one boy. Now, what we have to do is keep the momentum going. Take the energy we got from this, the great feeling that came from the huge success of this fundraiser and help more people. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It doesn’t take very much. Lots of small efforts can really add up to something huge.

I encourage you all to keep the giving going. Consider sacrificing another lunch out or a couple coffees next week. I want to introduce you to a blog called Raising Madison (for those who aren’t familiar with the cuteness already). Madison’s mom is raising money for Keegan who has a similarly heartbreaking story. He’s 8 months old and was just diagnosed with Medulloblastoma after having a malignant tumor removed from his brain. You can read his whole story here, as well as make a donation to help his family out. The fundraiser is run very much like the #helpSam fundraiser, with some amazing prizes up for grabs for just a $5 donation. Let’s continue the love and support of #helpSam by #karingforKeegan.

9 thoughts on “Still Blown Away (#helpSam)”

  1. What you did was utterly amazing. You decided what to do and you made it happen. As someone touched by cancer, I am COMPLETELY in awe of you. Thank you for raising awareness and helping this wonderful family!

  2. I got chills reading this. I’m so excited that they where told the COBRA will be reduced. Even if it pays for all of the COBRA than it was all worth it. Cassie has no reason to feel bad. She’s got more important things to think about. Prayers to her, Sam & the family. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  3. I am so happy to hear this! I hope everyone can continue to open their hearts and give to the families of both of these babies. I can’t imagine having to go through this and I hope I never have to. It must be so scary and heart wrenching to know your child is sick and you can just kiss and make it better. These families have enough to worry about with their babies…they don’t need the extra burden of finances bearing down on them. I sincerely applaud you and Joanne for pulling these fundraisers together to help these families. I’d love to see the donations continue to pour in for Sam and Keegan…even after the giveaways are over!

  4. What. Fantastic. News.

    I’ll definitely check out the blog today.

    Thank you for all you’ve done for Sam and his family.

  5. I’m so glad for Cassie! Thank you so much for starting this fundraiser. I’m glad that I can turn here to contribute to the families.

    Thank you for the poem too. It really touched my heart.

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