2013 has already been quite a roller coaster!! I hope all of you are well!
Thank you to everyone who helped me reach the goal of 10 thousand dollars so I could get my Service Dog through Little Angels! Below is a picture of my future service dog. Everybody meet Nanuk! His name means Polar Bear! Right now we train once a month and we are getting along quite well!
I can’t believe the San Diego Enforcers football Season is starting back up already! They are playing for United Cerebral Palsy again and we are going for another Championship Season because 1 IS NOT ENOUGH!! The First game is Saturday March 2nd at San Diego High School at 5:00pm I will be on the sidelines cheering on my boys and I hope to see all of you there as well! My favorite angel Eve Selis will sing the National Anthem at the March 2nd Opener.
Tickets to Enforcers games are $5. Check out the website at http://www.sandiegoenforcers.com
Save the date!! THE EVE SELIS/JESSICA SMITH UCP/ CHILDREN’S RAINFOREST BENEFIT IS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH!! 1 set of music from Eve and the 2nd set will be a fun twist with Back To The Garden!!! You know my angel & I there will be PLENTY OF SURPRISES!
7th Annual United Cerebral Palsy/ Childrens Rainforest Benefit
Date: Saturday, November 10th
Place: St. Rose Of Lima Church Hall 293 H. St. Chula Vista
Time: Doors open at 6pm with a complete Mexican Buffet served by Taco Man when doors open
Tickets: $25.00 “ALL AGES”
Live & Silent Auction
Music by 7 Time San Diego Music Award Winning Eve Selis Band
Video produced by Rick Lakin at iCrew Digital Productions, iCrew@cox.net
I thought I’d share this exciting news! My parents & I went to see my Cancer doctor to get the results of a special blood test done by The City Of Hope to see if the Leukemia Gene has returned or not. We are overjoyed to say there was no evidence of the gene and I am a year and ½ in REMISSION! I still have to take my 3 chemotherapy pills daily but I am truly blessed!
I also spoke at the Success Optimist Benefit on May 7th which benefits The Children’s Rainforest Project. It was a nice benefit with good food and wonderful company. I bid on and won a huge teddy bear for my buddy Trevor that his mom says he LOVES! The final count is still out with how much money they raised but I hope it’s a big number!
The San Diego Enforcers hosted Bakersfield on May 12th. My parents and I love the Enforcers! I was honored once again to be able to toss the coin! The Enforcers kicked some Bakersfield booty with a final score of 47-0! If they win the game this weekend in Pittsburgh, PA they will come back home to play for the Championship!! Remember this season the Enforcers are playing for United Cerebral Palsy! That same day I was also honored to stop by Henry’s birthday party & celebrate the big #5 with him!!!
I will have some news to share in the next few weeks. Right now I am keeping it close to the vest because I don’t want to jinx anything! I will say things are looking good. Who knows I might post something sooner so please check back often!!
When I met Trevor Wigginton & his parents Wendie & Corey we both had rooms in the Pediatrics Unit, at Kaiser Hospital I had another Illeus and they thought Trevor had the same thing. Trevor would come in with his parents and read me any book I gave him needing VERY little help. Trevor also had fun reading and saying the name tags of any Doctor or nurse who walked by, and he would have no problem getting them exactly right, long names or short it didn’t matter to him. You may be wondering why I am rambling on about this. Now might be a good time for me to mention Trevor was just 4 YEARS OLD!
Days went by and he would come in reading to me. We were both getting better. Trevor’s fever had gone, he was eating one of his favorite treats to eat, which was of all things Butter (no I don’t mean toast with butter just plain old BUTTER!) Go figure kids and their eating habit’s. At this point I was starting to think of Trevor as the little brother I never had. The day came where Trevor was going home which was awesome at this point, we’d both been there for at least a week. Trevor still didn’t like anyone touching his stomach, the doctor said to his parents “hey would you mind staying a few more hours I’d like to take him down for a quick Cat Scan just to make sure everythings fine” his parents of course said ok.
The tests results came back and a parents worst fears had come true. Trevor had stage 4 Neuroblastoma (one of the worst Childhood Cancers around) Trevor and his parents were in a fight for his life!
They quickly began Chemotherapy at Kaiser for several months, which seemed to be working. Then after his parents and doctors talked things over it was decided he should go to the local Children’s Hospital where they did every test and procedure I think there was. The local Children’s Hospital suggested his best chance of survival was to go to Children’s Hospital LA where he would be placed in quarantine no visitors at all even his parents had to be sterile. They took Trevor’s old Red Blood Cells out, cleaned them, and put the clean cells back in, at this point they were also getting Trevor ready for his bone marrow transplant. This lasted a few months and Trevor was close to being called to heaven many times due to the chemotherapy and how frail his body was but he was too much of a fighter! (which we all knew) After Trevor was finally out of “lockdown” the people at Children’s LA showered Trevor with toys several times a day, it was amazing!
Trips back and forth to many different hospitals and long stays in them went on for months. When Trevor’s blood counts were good we would go to Coco’s for his favorite breakfast, Peek-A-Boo Pancakes. Trevor being himself would get up and go over to another table toss his ball cap down and say my favorite line “Hey! Look at me, I’m bald! So what?” When Trevor and his parents came back down to Kaiser in San Diego they realized that the kids stuck in our hospital here didn’t get many toys. So then Trevor’s Toybox Corporation came to life! We now help them collect toys and they deliver toys to many hospitals including Kaiser Hosp, Balboa Navy Hospital, and many others bringing toys to the kids though out the year and special visits for holidays.
When I was diagnosed with Leukemia I told myself if Trevor Aka Little brother can fight and win so can I. When the tables turned they were visiting me in the hospital, Trevor even brought me a stuffed blue dog, we decided to name him Blues Clues (after the TV Show on Nick Jr.) who I still snuggle with every night. They were supporting me and my parents and I don’t think my parents and I could’ve done it without them!
My little brother Trevor is now a happy cancer free 9 year old! After school he enjoys Karate, Boy Scouts, Baseball, Piano, Cooking, and anything else he can fit in the schedule. Trevor, Wendie, & Corey help at the benefit every year! We are like one big family. The Big Man Upstairs made our paths cross that day and all of us say it was definitely meant to be!
You can donate to Trevor’s Toybox Corporation by Clicking Here!
Saturday Evening, March 24 was AMAZING! I had the honor and the privilege to not only be able to attend the San Diego Enforcers Vs. Chicago Blaze Football game, I was also able to be a part of it! Since The Enforcers are playing for the local chapter of United Cerebral Palsy my little buddy 6 yr old Kelly & I were invited out to do the coin toss and we were honorary captains!
Chicago was visiting so they got to call. They called tails Kelly told me when to toss, I tossed it over my shoulder and it was…… Tails! Chicago’s Ball!
I would also like to take a moment to say this game was played in loving memory of Coach Frank Yancey who passed away suddenly the day after Enforcers mini camp. Frank Yancey worked for SDPD for many years, he was the coach at Valhalla High which he loved very much. At his memorial service he had 10 Jersey’s draped over his casket representing a team he either coached or play for. One of the teams he played for was the Enforcers, Mr. Yancey’s Enforcers Jersey # 63 was retired last night in a beautiful tribute.
We also were able to raise a lot of money during the 50-50 raffle and Kimberly King also got a lot of people to buy tickets for the signed Giants Helmet! My parents and my aunts all bought tickets, My dad was only 2 numbers away from winning the Giants Helmet! Ugh!
I do have to say my favorite moment was wheeling out on the field with Kimberly & her husband David at the end of the game! The score was 14- 13….. ENFORCERS WIN!!!!!! I was brought into the end of the game huddle and I was honored again to be asked to give the end of the game Inspirational Speech to both Teams! Just for the record the Enforcers are now 2-0!!!!!
I have to take a moment to say a special thanks to everyone at the San Diego Enforcers! The great folks at UCP San Diego! Every single team member of Chicago Blaze they were wonderful! The Referee’s were extremely helpful for the coin flip. Mr. Rick Lakin photographed the pre-game & coin flip pictures. Enforcers QB, , JJ Carrell, and all the other teammates took time for photographs. Thanks to the Enforcers Cheerleaders and to Kimberly King for the night time photos.
Lastly Dave King, thank you for making me feel like a queen! This will be a night I’ll remember FOREVER! Look up in the stands at home games, you haven’t seen the last of me and my family!
More Photos from flickr.com – iCrew Pre-game Photos by Rick Lakin – Post game photos by Kimberly King [flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157629661240011″]
I met my orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Shoemaker in 1999. I had a severe 2 way curve in my spine called scoliosic, I couldn’t sit up and I was confined to a hospital bed in my living room. I also had to be home schooled. Dr. Shoemaker placed 2 rods on each side of my spine along with plates, screws & wire. After a recovery period and removing my tailbone that broke I was able to not only sit again but sit up straight! He’s also done a double hip resection (disconnecting my hips from their sockets) because both my hips were popping out of their sockets and causing pain. As well as doing many tendon releases to help with my muscle tone.
Dr. Shoemaker & I have been through so many surgeries together that I think he knows my body inside and out. He always manages to plan ahead, usually after I go under anesthesia my stomach shuts down and I develop an ileus he places a nasogastric tube when I’m asleep so that it won’t take my stomach as long to recover. He knows what I need and when an unexpected problem rises he does what ever he needs to do to fix it while making me comfortable and getting me on the road to recovery as soon as possible. I truly don’t think I could trust another orthopedic surgeon, simply because it’s extremely hard to gain the amount of trust we have with each other. I am blessed to have him and I am very proud to say I consider Dr. Shoemaker my hero!
I met Dr. Shoemaker’s kids one time on the unit and his kids and I have become very close friends. Every time I have a surgery Dr. Shoemaker’s kids always write me letters and cards to make me feel better. One out of his 4 children wrote “Jess I’m sorry you have to put up with my dad, please tell me how you do it!” That card will always be one of my favorites! HA HA!
Dr. Shoemaker was a fan of the Kaiser pediatrics Rainforest Unit Renovation from the word go. He and his family come to the benefit every year, (that would be 6 straight years now) He always speaks on a number on different topics, how great the rainforest project is for his patients and he even noticed a happier demeanor from his co-works & staff. He also does an amazing job explaining to people what Cerebral Palsy is as well as the different severities so the public can understand it better.
I may not know much but I know one thing for sure, I would not be where I am today without the help of my amazing orthopedic surgeon, thank you Dr. Shoemaker! Actually I might know one more thing, every one of your kids is lucky to have you as their dad.
I first saw Eve Selis when she was singing “Do You Know Me” on KUSI News probably
back in 2002. I listened and I was hooked! It was also around the time when I was laying in a hospital bed in my family room waiting for my scoliosis surgery. Eve was still using AOL at the time so I took a chance and IMed her. I told her I loved her song I heard that morning, told her that I was being homeschooled at this time and sent her to my “About Me” page on my web site. We talked for almost a hour, she asked for my address and send she would be sending me something, I thanked her for talking to me and we said goodnight. 2 days later I got a box filled with signed CDs, posters, and other goodies!
I went to her website and saw that she and her band were playing at the Calypso Café. My parents and I decided we would go surprise her & thank her for the box of goodies. We were sitting at our table at Calypso as soon as she looked in my direction she said “Is that my Jessica?!” and came running over. Eve was singing a set and she paused and said “I am passing around a jar to help to get enough money to sign up for the City Of Hope 5k because my sister Gabrielle was diagnosed with Breast Cancer Yesterday”
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, yeah, everything was alright
Til the telephone rang, disappointment came with some news that wasn’t very bright
Could be a stepping stone or a stumbling block, or I could turn it around somehow
I think I’ll just keep livin – lovin and givin – that’s all I can do right now
I said mom we need to help. My family & I joined her City Of Hope Team, I sat outside of Starbucks asking people for their spare change and I wheeled in my first ever 5k with Eve and my family to help combat Breast Cancer! May I also say our team Eve’s Everyday Angels raised the highest amount of money.
It’s just a bump in the road
Its just an opportunity
It’s just a chance to discover
The best things inside of me
As you might have figured out Eve and I became fast friends from that day forward! On the day of the walk Eve also introduced me to a fan of hers Dennis Driscoll who went to Hilltop High as one of the firsts graduating classes of Hilltop. Dennis is a very good friend & my family & I enjoy his weekly visits.
Eve and her band sang at my graduation party when I graduated from Hilltop High School with my graduating class of 2005 with a diploma! (which I was told could never be done because I was too far behind in credits, but I stuck to my motto “If You Believe It, You Can Achieve It” I went to summer school and I got caught up) I love proving people wrong! The band also decided to give me the Grand Prize for being the top fundraising team which was a BIG TV!!
Once Eve’s sister went into remission her best friend Mattie Mills was diagnosed, Mattie is also a local singer with The Hero’s. Then “The Music For Mattie Benefit” was born. Gabby and Mattie are both doing AMAZING now!
I’ve learned to embrace all the troubles and trials that try to mess with me
It’s time to refuse any more of them blues and all that negativity
Whenever lightnin strikes and thunder roars I’m not gonna be afraid
I’m think I’ll just keep laughin, whatever may happen – why should it ruin my day…
Eve came up to me at a concert and said you’ve helped me so much the band and I want to do a benefit for the local chapter of United Cerebral Palsy and then I told her about the Rainforest Project and The UCP/Rainforest Project Benefit was born!! This year will be the 7th Annual! We’ve become a huge part of each others lives. She has been there during my many “bumps in the road” Thanks to one of her songs Heart Shaped Tattoo, she and I both got matching ones. I’ve had many surgeries but it was after a particular shoulder surgery that we hit a big bump in the road. Two doctors walked into my hospital room looked at my mom and dad and I and said your White Blood Cell Count is 250 thousand and we think you have Leukemia.
Whenever the tears start to fall
And I’m feeling buried beneath it all
Whenever I’m up against a wall….I’ll just climb over
Eve was actually in Florida doing concerts promoting a new anti nausea drug when my friends called her and told her I just was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was still the very early stages. We didn’t know if I had Acute Leukemia (the bad kind) Or Chronic Leukemia (the one that you can manage with chemotherapy meds)
Eve flew home after that gig and came to see me in the hospital, she began to cry and we hugged then I said, “Don’t cry it’s just a Bump In The Road.”
It’s just a bump in the road
Its just an opportunity
It’s just a chance to discover
The best things inside of me
I’m not gonna be angry – not gonna be sad
Keep a smile on my face for good times to be had
In grand scheme of things this ain’t really that bad
It’s just a bump in the road*
Eve then went above and beyond once again and ran for me in the Rock N Roll Marathon with Team In Training in my honor to raise more money and awareness for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society! What can I say, she’s my best friend, my angel, and I’m The Lucky One!
Bump in the Road by Eve Selis and Her Band, written by Eve Selis, Marc Intravaia, Kim Mclean and Rich Wiley. Used with permission.