Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

My favorite holiday of the year has arrived! The one that's all about sitting around a table, or in front of the TV, with the people you love most in the world, and sharing a meal. It doesn't have to be fancy, or have 6 courses, but that can be fun, too. It's all about recognizing what's good in your life, and making a conscious decision to acknowledge it.

We at Casa de Cobbie have much to be thankful for: 

  • Friends and family that love and support us nearby
  • An extended network of contacts and acquaintances, many of whom have become good friends, even though we've never met in person (thank you, internet!)
  • Complete strangers who hear Rachel's story, and feel moved to help
  • Organizations like The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation and PAWS, plus so many others, that work hard to help people like us
  • Brett's continued ability and absolute willingness to work himself into the ground to make sure we have what we need. (This one is from Kelly & Rachel. Brett is our hero.)
  • Rachel's overall good health, and improving state of mind. Her anxiety levels are way down from even just a few months ago, and she continues to work on being comfortable in public situations.
  • Plus all of the 'little things' that aren't so little, and that we tend to take for granted; running water, electricity, heat in the winter, telephones, the internet (huge), private transportation, excellent medical care, and music.:)
We are rich in many ways, even though the bank account wouldn't show it, and we are grateful.

I almost made this post yesterday, because we received another very large donation, but I wanted to include it with my Thanksgiving post, so here it is... we have received another $500 donation from friends/family in Canada! The thermometer is now over $5100!

It's been a long road, and will be longer yet, but I know we'll get there. We have the best people in the world at our backs; how could we fail?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Big Donation Day!

Oh my gosh! Check out the thermometer today! The new total is $4686, with $525 of that coming from two donations from our extended Canadian family. Thank you so much for supporting us in this way. There is no way we can ever express fully our gratitude for this gift.:)

We are now very close to having 20% of our goal raised, and though it still seems very far away, we have raised a LOT of money in just the last few months, and just have to keep being positive. 

We truly could never do this without all of you behind us. Thanks so much.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunlight In Winter

One of my favorite things to do lately is check the mail. Today we had another letter from PAWS, a copy of a donation letter sent to a donor of $100!

We now have the thermometer up over $4100, and it's such a good feeling to know that every dollar brings Rachel closer to having her dog.

As the days get shorter, darker, and colder, it can be hard to keep our mood up, but every one of these letters is like a ray of sunlight, and just brightens my whole day.

Thanks again for being there for us.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Kittens & Giving Thanks

We are now just about a week and a half out from Thanksgiving, and I have been in the habit of giving thanks for something each day this month, and posting it on Facebook, in addition to an Epilepsy Awareness fact.

I have found this exercise to be enlightening to me, and a good reminder of how blessed we really are, even in times that can be trying.

This last weekend we visited with my Mom, and got the chance to play with some really little kittens she's fostering. We'd love to have one, but both Brett and Rachel are allergic, so no dice. Here's a photo...

Then last night the neighbor girl came over and asked if we'd babysit her guinea pig while her family is away for Thanksgiving. Heck yeah! She's a sweet little thing, and we're looking forward to it.

So in addition to all of that goodness, I updated the thermometer today by another $61! I will try and make another post before Thanksgiving, and will certainly do so if more donations are received, but if I don't, I want to be sure and wish you and yours all the best. Enjoy each other. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Patience Is A Virtue

...Or so I've been told. I have told people in the past that it's never really been my goal in life to be virtuous, and I am lousy at being patient. The reason I mention this is that I was just sure that it had been at least 2 years since we made our initial application with Paws. Today I found that application, and it is dated May, 2010. I was wrong. It's only been 1 1/2 years, though that still seems like a long time to me.;)

Also, take a look at the thermometer! It says $4000.00 today! Technically, it should say $3999.78, but it rounds up, and I'm okay with that.:)

We got notice today of a single donation in the amount of $170, from someone I'm acquainted with via eBay, but have never met in person. I'm still astounded at the generosity of folks who only know me via a computer screen, but still are willing to help. 

We are blessed indeed.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Call Me Scarlett...

You know, I've never really felt as though I had anything at all in common with Scarlett O'Hara. Today I find that that isn't quite true.

I had gone out early to do my grocery shopping. Brett was home with Rachel, and I could shop alone, taking my time, and making sure I got everything we needed.

I was standing in the checkout line, and the cover of the People magazine caught my attention (as they're designed to do), featuring Kim Kardashian's marriage/divorce debacle. The woman in line ahead of me clucked her tongue and said how foolish she thought it was that so much money was spent for nothing. I agreed, and told her what my mother had said about it, that so many people could have been provided with seizure response dogs. I told her that we are currently in the process of raising funds for Rachel's dog.

She finished her checkout, and I was unloading my cart onto the belt, when I felt her hand on my arm. I looked up, and she was holding out a couple of folded bills. It was $6, and she apologized that she didn't have more on her, but wanted me to have it for Rachel's dog.

I was gobsmacked, and immediately teared up, but managed to choke out a thank you, though I forgot to ask her name. We are incredibly thankful for every donation made in Rachel's name, no matter the amount, but somehow the ones that come from strangers have a special impact, and really help me remember how much goodness there really is in people.

So, in relying on the kindness of strangers, I have become a bit like Miss Scarlett, and I'm learning to embrace that part of me. It's a journey for someone who's always been very independent, but getting Rachel what she needs to be independent has to come before my pride.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Donations & Doggy Dreams

We've received another donation letter, and increased the thermometer by another $50, moving it up to $3830.00!

Rachel woke with a small seizure this morning, which left her tired and needing to go back to bed shortly after breakfast. When she's feeling kind of bummed by seizures we like to imagine that her Seizure Dog is one of the many puppies being raised by foster parents right now, just waiting for the time to be picked out and trained just for her.

Please keep sending those positive vibes and energy our way. We are so ready for that dog!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Epilepsy Facts And Figures

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. In honor of this, I am sharing this information from the Epilepsy Foundation. Please make particular note of the items in Bold. This is why Rachel needs a Seizure Response Dog:

Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States after Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. It is equal in prevalence to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined.

 Epilepsy is not a single entity but a family of more than 40 syndromes that affect 2,700,000 people in the U.S. and 50,000,000 worldwide.

 Epilepsy strikes most often among the very young and the very old, although anyone can get it at any age. In the U.S., it currently affects more than 326,000 children under age fifteen and more than 90,000 of them have severe seizures that cannot be adequately treated.

 The number of cases in the elderly is beginning to soar as the baby boom generation approaches retirement age.  Currently more than 570,000 adults aged 65 and above in the U.S. have the condition.

 Epilepsy imposes an annual economic burden of $15.5 billion on the nation in associated health care costs and losses in employment, wages, and productivity.

The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is 24 times greater.

This year another 200,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with epilepsy and an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 will die of seizures and related causes, including status epilepticus (non-stop seizures), sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), drowning and other accidents.

 Epilepsy and its treatment produce a health related quality of life – measured in days of activity limitation, pain, depression, anxiety, reduced vitality, and insufficient sleep or rest – similar to arthritis, heart problems, diabetes, and cancer.

 Thirty to forty percent of people with epilepsy are severely affected and continue to have seizures despite treatment.

 Of major chronic medical conditions, epilepsy is among the least understood even though one in three adults knows someone with the disorder.

Lack of knowledge about proper seizure first aid exposes affected individuals to injury from unnecessary restraint and from objects needlessly forced into the mouth.

 The leading non-medical problem confronting people with epilepsy is discrimination in education, employment and social acceptance.

 Epilepsy is prevalent among other disability groups such as autism (25.5%), cerebral palsy (13%), Down syndrome (13.6%), and mental retardation (25.5%).  For people with both cerebral palsy and mental retardation the prevalence is (40%).

 The association between epilepsy and depression is especially strong.  More than one of every three persons with epilepsy are also affected by the mood disorder, and people with a history of depression have a 3 to 7 times higher risk of developing epilepsy.

 Some people with epilepsy do not even know that they have it, having been told they have a “seizure disorder” instead.  This unfortunate euphemism arose because of the historical stigma associated with epilepsy, which the Epilepsy Foundation and others have fought to dispel.

 It is 14 years on average between the onset of epilepsy and surgical intervention for seizures uncontrollable by medication.  American physicians may be unaware of the safety and efficacy of epilepsy surgery, making it among the most underutilized of  proven effective therapeutic interventions in the field of medicine.