Tuesday, October 12, 2010

no. 12: (insert name here) awareness month

dear little leah, 

this month is not only rett syndrome awareness month, it's also down syndrome awareness month, domestic violence awareness month, cyber security awareness month, dwarfism awareness month and...breast cancer awareness month! {and more, i'm sure!}

how cool that you and your grandma get to share a "month". grandma hauley was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks after we told her you were baking in my belly. she went through radiation and chemotherapy just weeks before daddy and i moved two states away. she was nearing the end of her chemotherapy when you were born - and she and grandpa drove through the night in the middle of a snow storm to surprise me in my hospital room. 
because of this timeline, grandma feels a special connection to you. in a book about her thoughts about cancer, she wrote, "leah was born one week before my last chemotherapy infusion. maren and ryan had just recently moved to california and didn't know many people there. the birth was sooner than expected, a c-section, and leah was in the NICU. richard and i decided that we needed to be with them so we braved a mountain snowstorm and drove to san francisco. surprising maren was so great - i will never forget the look on her face when we walked into her hospital room. i have felt a responsibility to educate my daughters and granddaughters about the potential for cancer, and leah being born in the middle of my chemo treatments was an unbelievable experience. i felt very connected to her. it was a blessing to hold her."
over the course of your first few months, you and grandma had a hair growing contest. grandma beat you out of the gate, but now you're about even. you both have great hair. 

almost every year, we've made shirts for the salt lake city half marathon for grandma and her boob cancer. you've worn one each year. can't wait to see what the next ones will say.

grandma was diagnosed in october. YOU were diagnosed in october!

each october, grandma {and whoever can join her} walks in a race to cure breast cancer. 
each october YOU will walk in a strollathon to cure rett syndrome.

i can't wait until the day when both of these diseases are out of our lives. cured. gonzo. it'll happen. i know it will. for now, i'm just glad you have someone to share your special month with!

i love you, little leah. 


  1. you have a super special family, maren.

    and those shirts! you should sell a whole bunch to raise awareness this month! I'm in :)

  2. This year I tried to get grandpa hauley to walk the cancer walk with me and wear a t-shirt that said "my wife has killer boobs", but he wouldn't do it. I need you to walk with me because I know you'll wear a fun t-shirt with me. I lug you, little leah.

  3. Leah, you and your grandma BOTH ROCK in my book! Yes, I LOVE the shirts too!!! Such an amazing family - thank you for sharing them with us!

  4. Ha! I just read your mom's comment. That's hilarious! (sigh) What an awesome family!

  5. Umm, I'm bawling!! that is the most beautiful thing ever!!! What a special bond Leah has with our Grandma! What amazingly beautiful ladies!!! So happy that you have shared that with all of us!!