Two Ways You Can Help

August 16, 2009 We have been, as I have mentioned before, but cannot mention enough, profoundly blessed by the kindness of friends, neighbors, church members, family and people we have never even met since we began this journey 2 ½ months ago. It is humbling to know just how many are praying for Tanner every day, much less bringing us meals, sending sweet gifts and offering words of encouragement and hope.

Yet, amazingly, people still ask us on a regular basis what else they can do to help. I’ll be honest, if I took any more meals from someone at this point, I’d just be taking them because I’m a lousy cook, not because I have any less time than you do to make dinner. Things are fairly normal in that department. And, I have my Jake-care situation well taken care of, thanks to Aunt Beth, my parents and my mother-in-law.

But, now two dear friends have found another way you can help… by contributing to some great causes in Tanner’s honor.

Leslie Woods, friend and babysitter to Tanner and Jake, has organized “Tanner’s Trotters” a team for Franklin 4 the Cure 5k run/walk and family festival held in the Westhaven community on Highway 96 in Franklin on Saturday, September 19. It’s a great event that benefits the American Cancer Society, the National Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. There are children’s runs right after the adult version as well as a kids fun area and a concert later that night by Deana Carter. The event is being held this year in honor of Tanner’s friend Lily, who has ALL, and a little boy named Cooper who has brain cancer. Both kids live in the neighborhood. You can register to run or walk on the Tanner’s Trotters team by September 17 at

Robin Embry a great friend and former co-worker of mine at Lovell Communications, has started a Team Tanner for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Event held on October 1 at LP Field. This is a really special event where teams of people walk in support of those who have cancer. Cancer survivors carry illuminated white balloons and are surrounded by their supporters carrying illuminated red balloons. Those who have lost a loved one to cancer carry a gold balloon in their memory. Although Tanner will not be able to walk with us, due to her immune system issues, we will have a team for her this year and hope she can see for herself next year how many people love her. You can either join the team to walk with us and raise money from friends, family or co-workers, or you can simply donate to the cause on the Website. This is not a fitness walk, but more of a short, ceremonial type of walk. There are activities for kids at the event, so it’s even appropriate for children. To join the team or donate, go to

I’ve never liked asking people for money; it’s just not my gig. But, if you could help us honor Tanner in one of these two ways and raise money to help keep another family from going through this misery, John and I would be very appreciative. We’d love to be able to tell Tanner that her team made the most money. Especially since she can’t attend either event.

And, thank you, thank you, thank you to Leslie and Robin for doing this for us. We can’t tell you what this means.


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