This weekend was a really good weekend. We attended an ATA Taekwondo Tournament at Indian Lakes Resort. My Sister and husband actually paid for my family to stay at the hotel for two nights. It was really nice being able to come out of hiding for a while. Friday while we helped set up Ellie was able to run around and play with her cousins. I actually heard lots of laughter and saw smiles from her. I have never loved the sound of laughter so much in my life. Once more people started to arrive we had Ellie put on her mask and hang out by my grandma.
Then Saturday morning came. Ellie stayed in the hotel room with Kasey (one of her babysitters) while Dave and I went down to the tournament to help out. We had a live auction, silent Auction, Raffle, Scentsy candle fundraiser all for Ellie Fund. The tournament started with the live auction, I was not in the room during the Auction because I was helping out in the lobby but I heard everything over the microphone. I was so overwhelmed with people’s generosity that I actually had to walk out the doors to get some fresh air. My heart just felt so warm with love. I kept working throughout the day as normal. Lots of hugs were given to me by so many people. It is so nice to have so much support.
Master Jeff Newberry came and informed me that his students from Champaign Illinois put on a fundraiser for Ellie. The kids did this out of the kindness of their hearts. They did not get anything in return, no prizes, etc. They raised over $5000.00 for Ellie. This touched me so much that these kids with such amazing spirits went out and did this for my precious little girl and our family. I have said it before and I will say it again. ATA (Karate for Kids) Kids are the very best kids on this planet. The values and hearts that these kids have are incredible. Thanks to the Newberry’s ATA.
Another blessing that came from the day at the tournament was that I was able to see Ellie’s Pediatrician that saved her life. She also has children in ATA Taekwondo and they were there competing. I had not seen her since Jan 4th, the day she informed me Ellie had a brain tumor and sent her directly to Children’s Hospital. I was extremely busy when I ran into her so I gave her a quick hug and told her I wanted to speak with her before she left. Immediately after that I worked on getting my mother and step father together to go meet her. I knew how grateful they were and wanted them to know this incredible doctor that did not brush off a little head ache and got to the bottom of the problem. Boy was it an emotional moment, I was sobbing, my mom was sobbing, Her Pediatrician was sobbing, and the kicker was my step dad crying. I cannot even describe how much I appreciate everything she did for my Ellie. Ellie was only maybe a day or two away from dyeing. Her brain was filling up with fluid and she caught it in time. What an amazing feeling it was to hug her and thank her. I feel so blessed to have all these wonderful doctors in my Childs life.
After this I went on with my day of working. At the end of the tournament it was my time to get up in front of the remaining instructors and students and tell them how they have impacted my life. I did an amazing job keeping a smile on my face and being social all day (except a little burst of tears with the pediatrician) Well as I was holding Ellie in my arms I walked up to the microphone I set Ellie down. She hide behind me as I looked out at what I like to call my Extended ATA Family. I could not keep my composure, I broke down in tears. I was overwhelmed with sadness and appreciation. I was sad because I wish upon every star in the sky this wasn’t my reality. But I was so overwhelmed and grateful that between the day of all the fundraising and the Newberry’s ATA Fundraiser they were able to raise over $15,000. Which will help with the doctor bills. How amazing of all these special people in my life that have stepped up to do fundraisers for my sweet child and our family. Every dollar relieves a little more stress on my life. I also had a few people come up to me and inform me they are also planning fundraisers for Ellie. I wish there was something I could do besides just saying Thank You. Our weekend did not end there.
The next day Sunday, another blessing happened. Ellie actually swam at the Hotel Pool. There were so many smiles and laughs. Not only that but it’s so good for her therapy. I was so happy to see her be a normal kid this weekend. When we arrived home on Sunday afternoon both her and I just fell asleep. It was an exhausting weekend for both of us, but I would not trade the weekend for anything. We felt like a normal family this weekend.
I also wanted to thank a few people that helped make the weekend such a success. Mr. Smith, you have been amazing helping me every step of the way and treating me like your own daughter. Thank You. My friend Jean for flying in from Ohio to spend the day running the Auction. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you too Tanya Cullimore (Wife of Black Hawks Player) who has gotten all the signed jerseys for our auctions & spent the day selling Scensy candles for Ellie. Siri Hammersly, Thank you to you and your students for raising funds by doing a private lesson day for Ellie. Thank you to Chicago ATA for collecting some money for the Ellie Fund. Senior Master Candreva thank you for giving up your scroll for auction for the Ellie Fund. I could not believe it; I cannot even describe how much that meant to me. Master Tina Newberry & Master Jeff Newberry for putting on a kick-a-thon and Class C Tournament for the Ellie Fund. I feel so incredibly loved by so many people. ATA is like family. If you ever wanted to put your child in Martial Arts look for an ATA School we are like family and the best.
A mother with a battle ahead of her.