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Hi, Stillbrave.org is a foundation to assist families with expenses when their child receives a cancer diagnosis . The foundation helps with non-medical necessities such as food cards, gas cards, birthday presents and holiday presents for siblings and dozens of other expenses. A donation in any amount would be so appreciated. Thanks, Marlene and Steve
 
Hi, Stillbrave.org is a foundation to assist families with expenses when their child receives a cancer diagnosis . The foundation helps with non-medical necessities such as food cards, gas cards, birthday presents and holiday presents for siblings and dozens of other expenses. A donation in any amount would be so appreciated. Thanks, Marlene and Steve.
With all going on and being asked to donate to various charities, please take time to read.  Children are our “hope for the future” and these Children need our help.
http://www.stillbrave.org/the-200.html     – please click and see why you are helping –

Volunteer

There are many ways that you can help Stillbrave help families! We have countless volunteer opportunities available in many different areas.

Our Mission

Stillbrave’s mission is to provide non-medical, supportive care to children with cancer, and their families.

Donate

Even the smallest donation can make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.

Stillbrave7 Club

  • Every day, childhood cancer kills 7 children in the U.S. alone. That’s 7 children, who have to fight harder and be braver than any child ever should, who lose their battles every single day. They are and forever remain… STILLbrave.
  • Join The Stillbrave7 Club with a small donation of $7 a month (less than $.23 a day) and start making a difference TODAY!
  • Club members automatically entered into monthly drawing for Renegade Gear and awesome prizes on the 7th of each month!
“I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody”

One Father’s Journey to Accept the Unacceptable

People often ask what Stillbrave is about, what our mission is and what drives our Executive Director, Tattoo Tom to always push for more awareness and continuously offering support to our Stillbrave families. Now we have a video that paints a picture of the driving force behind Stillbrave.

Please take a few minutes to watch Tattoo Tom Mitchell, who was fortunate enough to be asked to present at our local TEDx Event. Please share it with your friends and family, to spread the word and raise awareness for Childhood Cancer.

Please donate to Stillbrave so we can continue our mission, offering non-medical support to children with cancer and their families. Thank you.

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“Tatoo Tom” is at it again – a 200 mile run for the support of Childhood Cancer https://www.stillbrave.org/tattoo-tom/

Please read his story – and the story of how his daughter’s Cancer changed his life and how Tatoo Tom became the hero for all Children with Cancer.  Please go the website and donate.  This is one of our family’s favorite charities.  As a Grandfather you pray for the health and happiness of your children and grandchildren.  Tatoo Tom is taking this one step further.  He is our HERO as well.

 

Shayla-“Hey Dad, I haven’t been feeling too well lately, do you think you could take me to the doctors? I think I might have a sinus infection or something.”

shayla“Sure baby, I’ll pick you up after school tomorrow we’ll grab some dinner afterwards if you want.”It turns out my daughter’s sinus infection was anything but; it was actually a huge cancerous tumor that had been taking up two thirds of her little chest. It had caused one of her lungs to collapse.

We did have dinner that night, although neither of us was very hungry, we mostly just pushed our food around our plates in a room on the pediatric oncology unit of Fairfax Hospital. We didn’t know it at the time but we would wind up having our next 450 meals in that hospital as well as hundreds and hundreds of additional meals over the next couple of years.

When the doctors gave me the news that my daughter had stage 4 Hodgkin’s disease I had to dig really deep within my soul. I had to become braver than I ever thought possible… I had to have a really tough conversation with a very scared 16 year old girl. I wound up purchasing two sterling silver “feather” bracelets from an American Indian art store near the hospital, a small feminine bracelet for Shayla and a larger one for myself. I “spread my arms and held my breath” and went in to the room to have a “talk” with a sweet little girl. I talked with her about everything and nothing, I talked with her about the wind and about feathers and I talked with her about cancer. We talked about the word “brave.” We held each other very tight for a very long time. I’m pretty sure we both cried a little and we promised each other that no matter what, we would be brave; together we would get through this.

I gave her the bracelet I had bought for her and I put mine on at the same time, again I talked about the wind and about feathers and how fate had blown the two of us together.

I promised her 3 things

I have kept those promises…

The next couple of years we spent hundreds and hundreds of nights together in the hospital. We spent hundreds and hundreds of hours in the chemotherapy clinic and there was Zofran and Pic lines and Ativan…OH MY! There were “counts” and blood transfusions and radiation and more pain killers and medicines and shortly after the chemo began her poor little heart quit working so they had to install a pacemaker/defibrillator into her chest. I held her hair when she threw up, I held her hand when her hair fell out, and we held each other a lot. We cussed a lot, and we cried a lot but interestingly enough we laughed even more…often we talked about the wind and about feathers and about being brave…

One morning as we were walking to the car on the way to the chemotherapy clinic something happened that rocked me deep in the core of my bones and will probably haunt me for the rest of my days… The pacemaker/defibrillator that they had installed to keep her heart rhythms correct and safe began to malfunction.

It shocked my daughter inappropriately several times as she was screaming “Help me Dad! IT’S SHOCKING ME!!…IT’S SHOCKING ME!!” ….the damn thing was hitting her with powerful jolts of electricity designed to restart someone’s heart if it stops beating…but she was wide awake and her little heart was beating just fine all on its own. I pulled her close and held her as tight as I could. It shocked her AGAIN and nearly blew her out of my arms. But I refused to let go I just held her as tightly as I could and just like that it stopped shocking her as quickly as it had started and we rushed to the hospital. It turns out the manufacturer of this device had to recall thousands of them like brakes on a Chevy…and that’s all I have to say about that!!

So, once again, she and I talked about the wind and about feathers and about being brave… There was to be still more chemotherapy and more blood transfusions and more nights in the hospital and more heart surgeries. There was also a failed bone marrow transplant attempt and yet, in spite of it all, Shayla never quit fighting and she still managed to find time to take pretty damned good care of me…but the day came when the doctors told me there was nothing else they could do. How in the world was I supposed to have this conversation with my darling daughter? How in the world was I going to be brave enough to tell my daughter she was going to die? I once heard a quote that sort of sums things up for me. “Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?… That is the only time he CAN be brave.” I knew I had to be brave for HER! I did of course have that conversation with her, and as unbelievable as this may sound it turned out to be the most amazing, beautiful, magical, wonderful conversation that I’ve ever had in my entire life and one that I hope you NEVER EVER have to have…

“Am I still brave Dad?” she whispered softly in my ear. I placed my hands on her face and looked deep into her eyes; my baby was tired and she had fought so bravely for so long…but she was so very tired… she was still brave alright but as I looked into her eyes I began to realize something: this whole time she hadn’t been staying brave for herself, she had been staying brave for ME!!

A few days later my daughter Shayla lost her battle with childhood cancer. She fought hard and she fought bravely.

Today I rarely talk about the wind…and I NEVER talk about feathers…but I talk a great deal about a little girl I once knew, and about the importance of being brave.

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TO ESPN: sent to our family from another Tom Mitchell supporter ——I feel that you guys should do a story on Tom Mitchell. Tom just completed one of the hardest tests an athlete could face. He will tell you in his own words that he is “not a runner” however he just completed the Tahoe 200 Ultra marathon. He also would be a perfect person to be awarded the ESPY Courageous award next year. You see, Tom ran the ultra marathon to help bring awareness and funding to childhood cancer, carrying 200 children’s pictures (one for each mile) with him to honor them as he battled each and every mile.

He did this to honor his daughter, Shayla, who died from the effects of Childhood Cancer. But he also did this for all of his “Renegades” who have or are currently fighting childhood cancer. This one man raised over $215,000 for his non-profit, Stillbrave, which helps families pay for things not covered by insurance. You want to find someone courageous? It’s a man who puts everything he has as a father in order to keep his promise he made to his daughter which was to remain Stillbrave and to keep fighting for all of the kids. This man “Gives a Damn” and you should too….

Please click on this link and watch “Tatoo Tom Mithell” complete the “Tahoe 200 Ultra Marathon”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BTQDzXKU4s

This is what “courage, commitment and love” is all about.  Keep on fighting for kids with childhood cancer.

Please support this cause – to http://stillbrave.org

With much respect

The Gerbsman family

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Hi, Stillbrave.org is a foundation to assist families with expenses when their child receives a cancer diagnosis . The foundation helps with non-medical necessities such as food cards, gas cards, birthday presents and holiday presents for siblings and dozens of other expenses. A donation in any amount would be so appreciated. Thanks, Marlene and Steve.
With all going on and being asked to donate to various charities, please take time to read.  Children are our “hope for the future” and these Children need our help.
http://www.stillbrave.org/the-200.html     – please click and see why you are helping –

Volunteer

There are many ways that you can help Stillbrave help families! We have countless volunteer opportunities available in many different areas.

Our Mission

Stillbrave’s mission is to provide non-medical, supportive care to children with cancer, and their families.

Donate

Even the smallest donation can make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.

Stillbrave7 Club

  • Every day, childhood cancer kills 7 children in the U.S. alone. That’s 7 children, who have to fight harder and be braver than any child ever should, who lose their battles every single day. They are and forever remain… STILLbrave.
  • Join The Stillbrave7 Club with a small donation of $7 a month (less than $.23 a day) and start making a difference TODAY!
  • Club members automatically entered into monthly drawing for Renegade Gear and awesome prizes on the 7th of each month!
“I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody”

One Father’s Journey to Accept the Unacceptable

People often ask what Stillbrave is about, what our mission is and what drives our Executive Director, Tattoo Tom to always push for more awareness and continuously offering support to our Stillbrave families. Now we have a video that paints a picture of the driving force behind Stillbrave.

Please take a few minutes to watch Tattoo Tom Mitchell, who was fortunate enough to be asked to present at our local TEDx Event. Please share it with your friends and family, to spread the word and raise awareness for Childhood Cancer.

Please donate to Stillbrave so we can continue our mission, offering non-medical support to children with cancer and their families. Thank you.

 

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