Three years ago today our worlds were changed forever after hearing your daughter has leukemia. While it’s something we knew was coming, well I knew it was coming, it still rocked our world. I can close my eyes and remember that room they took me into when they told me. I can remember what Dr. Molina was wearing and what he said. I can also remember Kevin’s disbelief and Ava’s response. If you had told me then that three years later we would be where we are now I wouldn’t have believed it.
I know it’s been quite awhile since I posted and while I feel I should say I’m sorry but I can’t because we’ve been so busy living life there’s hardly been time to write about it. In addition, I began the process of getting my national board certification and more writing was the last thing I wanted to do.
But it’s been a big year for Ava. First she completed her first year of in person high school. Imagine saying your first experience in high school was 11th grade? Crazy right? However, I feel like she packed in everything she’d missed up to this point. In the fall she attended two homecomings and took her PSATs.
She started the new year with Covid, but was able to bounce back in time for our trip to NYC. She had mentioned possibly wanting to go to school in the city to so we took advantage of a long weekend in February to tour Fordham, NYU, Columbia, and Barnard. We also got to do some sightseeing and celebrated Kohen’s birthday. While it was a great trip she decided NYC is not the best fit.
Once we got home from that trip we started planning our next adventure. During this time AJ also started practicing her driving and studying for the SATs. She also decided to try out for the tennis team and we soon added tennis practices to our schedule. During Spring Break we made our way down south and visited UNC Chapel Hill, Elon, and NC State. We loved our time in North Carolina and all the kids fell in love with Elon.
Soon after our trip to North Carolina Ava celebrated her 17th birthday. Unfortunately, she wasn’t feeling well and we had a very small celebration. It was around this time she developed an annoying cough she’s still dealing with to this day. May flew by and suddenly it was SAT and drivers test time. After getting her license she is a little more confident driving and will soon be taking off in the Civic her Avi handed down to her. We also had a final visit with our beloved Dr. Molina and his family before their move to Cleveland. While he was here he talked to Ava about visiting schools in New England and really did a great job selling Brown.
About a month ago Ava finished her junior year and also worked her first job. Thanks to a friend she was able to work a soccer tournament and earn a little bit of spending money. At the end of June we headed to Boston to visit Boston College, Harvard, Brown, and College of the Holy Cross. We had a great time and Ava added two schools to her list. The best part of the trip though was spending the week with Ava’s godmother (my oldest friend), Kathryn and her family. It was so great to catch up with them.
After returning from Boston Ava, Kohen, and Ellie started volunteering at my school for summer school. It kind of feels we’ve come full circle. Some of you may remember we were at summer school when I got the call to bring her to Hopkins.
Except this time she healthy. Healthy and thriving. She’s driving and planning to complete an internship during her senior year. She’s living her life which is all we wanted when we started this journey 3 years ago. God willing she will stay healthy for along time to come.
We ask that you please continue to pray for Ava’s friend Ailani, who is still searching for her cure.