I learned something from Andy's late grandpa Lester. Whether he was receiving a plate of food or opening a gift, Lester always responded with the phrase, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" It was as if one thank you wasn't enough and he wanted to make sure we knew how grateful he really was.
One thank you would surely not be enough to express our gratitude for all of the donations Elijah has received in the form of prayers and money. It is our firm belief that it is from all of your prayers that Elijah is doing so well. And, now we want to also thank you for the monetary donations we've received to fund Elijah's alternative therapies. I'm sure Elijah has received money from complete strangers, friends of friends, and some who've never met us but read about Elijah on the web. I am completely humbled that so many would dig in their pockets, especially as we hear constantly about the bad economy, and give to help Elijah thrive.
I've honestly been writing this update in my head multiple times as I don't know how to fully express our gratitude. I have gotten teary-eyed multiple times when I have heard that we've received another donation for Elijah. What a blessing! It's a humbling experience to ask others for money and I have been overcome with how many people have opened up their hearts (and also their wallets) to help Elijah. It's amazing and what else can we say other than, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" We feel humbled, thankful, grateful, and blessed.
I should end the entry here, but I have more - much more - to report!...
Fundraiser and Matching Funds
Elijah will be having a fundraiser in Menomonie, WI on February 22nd (more details to come). The Chippewa Valley chapter of Thrivent Financial is providing matching funds for that event, so if you've donated money up to this point it will get lumped in that fundraiser and will qualify for the matching funds. Isn't that great?! They're matching 50% (up to $10,000) - which means that we could potentially make up to $5,000! (If you'd like your donation to be included in the matching funds, please donate by early February or come to the fundraiser on the 22nd).
I think it's safe to say that Elijah has taken his first steps! Lately Elijah has been working so much on balancing. He's been enjoying standing, sometimes even more so than walking! This morning, I tried to set him on the floor, but he wanted to stand - so I put him on his feet and let go. He stood for a few seconds, balancing himself and then – took steps! He's done this before, but this morning was the longest I've seen him able to stand without falling. I know it's going to be awhile before he's walking around the house, but it's still amazing. Literally every week he makes improvements. He's a miracle in progress! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
You know how we've said that HBOT isn't covered by insurance? Well, it isn't covered for cerebral palsy, but we found out that it is covered for cerebral edema - which Elijah had after he was born. Long story short, we were able to resubmit a claim with a different code and it looks like his treatments are going to be partially covered!!! This is huge and I'd encourage any of the few fellow "special needs" parents out there who read this blog to check your child's medical records and check your insurance – there just may be a way to get HBOT covered. Someday I hope that this important therapy will be covered by insurance for all of those who need it. (As a side note – I hope you all know that your donations are still as important as there is still much we need to cover out of pocket. There are other therapies we'd like to try and every cent will be used towards therapy for Elijah).
Elijah and I are getting ready for our adventure in March. We're heading back to Madison, WI for our second round of hyperbaric treatments. Andy won't be able to join us this time, so we're sad that we won't be able to see him every night. It'll be difficult to away from the daddy of our little family, but we know that this is so important for Elijah's growth and healing. We'll also be doing intensive therapy (PT, OT, speech) while we are there. This trip has been made possible by all of you, so again I say: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
PS. Please know that although I say "I", Andy feels the same way as I do and is also so thankful for all of the support.
PPS. Keep those prayers coming! They're working.