Another Happy, Hopeful New Year

Well, another year has come and gone, and I’m still standing.  2015 was certainly a very busy year.  I’m thinking that’s the key for me – keeping busy.  My year started off with a bang.  Mason’s birthday is January 3rd (TODAY!!).  Then I went back into the classroom for 8 weeks, teaching my friend’s class while she was on maternity leave.  We headed to Tennessee to celebrate my grandmother’s 101st birthday in January.  Had a painting party fundraiser for TheTruth365.  Put 40 ladies drinking wine in one place and then add painting to that mix.  It was so much fun!  We discovered some closet artists (and then some – like me – that should keep their artistic talent in the closet).  Then Dawson’s 5K 2015 took place on April 11th.  Hugely successful and raised over $10,000 for TheTruth365 and childhood cancer research.  My team of ladies that put this together was phenomenal.  AND, we had fun doing it.  More on this year’s Dawson’s Run coming up at the end.  I took my boys to Washington DC  in June for an 8-day tour of every museum and sight to be had.  We had a blast!  We got a new dog over the summer – Daisy.  She’s a Blue Heeler and a handful but we love her.  Spent the rest of the summer getting ready to go back into the classroom full-time with my own classroom.  Started school in August.  I love my students!  Had the 2nd annual Hometown Showdown and raised over $7800 once again for TheTruth365 and childhood cancer research.  Went up to Skytop, PA in October for the 2nd annual Hope and Healing Bereavement Retreat.  Carson and I do this together.  Such raw emotion that takes place as all of us have lost a child to cancer.  But it is exactly what it says – Hope and Healing.  It is healing to connect with those that have walked in my shoes.  Our journeys are different but our paths led us to the same destination – the loss of our child.

It hasn’t been without its sorrows.  My beloved dog, Gadget, died in October.  He was 16 years old.  He lived a good life of love and pampering.  We lost WAYYYY too many children to childhood cancer.  I feel deeply the sorry whenever I see another child gone too soon, or another family being told their is nothing more that can be done.  I had more milestones I had to face without Dawson – his 16th birthday.  The Thanksgiving and Christmas family postings on Facebook really bothered me this year.  I’m thinking that the longer I have without Dawson, the more the reality sets in that he is gone.  As if somehow I will wake up and this nightmare will be over.  I still talk to him everyday.  I have had many “God-wink” experiences that lets me know he hears me.  They can’t be explained any other way.  I won’t go into detail.  I still keep the majority of Dawson’s journey very private.  I protected him as best I could in life, and I will continue to do that in death as well.   His 2 1/2 years in treatment were spent with me by his side for everything.  I think we packed a lifetime of memories in those 2 1/2 years and left me with a connection to Dawson that can only be described as spiritual.  I believe his last breath here on earth was his first breath in Heaven.  That rock-solid faith keeps me going.

That brings us to this year.  It starts with a bang again.  Mason’s 20th birthday is today!  We head up to Tennessee in a few weeks for my grandmother’s birthday – she will be 102!!!!  She is a gift!  People always ask me how she is doing.  She lives on her own (in my parent’s guest house) and has her mental faculties in place.  She is doing great!  Our 3rd annual Dawson’s Run 2016 takes place on April 2nd.  We are well on our way in planning that.  This year’s race is an official timed and certified course.  Same course as the last couple of years, but we had it certified this year and timed so we could bring even more people out to our beautiful Geneva.  As always, 100% of the proceeds go to childhood cancer research via TheTruth365.  We have planned food trucks, a basket raffle, prizes, and music.  We really want this to be a community event.  Each year just gets bigger and better.  Some of the themed baskets we have already are:  Vera Bradley (5 of those), Lego, Barbie, Frozen, Hot Wheels, Pampered Chef, Transformers, Star Wars, Mary Kay, Bath & Body Works, and several Arts & Crafts baskets (for both children and adults), and many more to come.  We have so many children that come to the race, we wanted to have some baskets for them also.  The race sign up page is ready to go and will be available for registration starting at midnight tonight.  The link is:

https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/Geneva/DawsonsRun

All race participants will receive a race t-shirt.  This year all race shirts are performance material.  Ladies have a choice of a V-Neck Tee or a V-Neck Tank.  Men have a choice of a Crew-Neck Tee or a Crew-Neck Tank.  All Youth sizes are Crew-Neck Tee.  The logo has been completely re-done.  We hope to have a huge turn out this year and raise even more awareness of childhood cancer.  We are still looking for sponsors so please contact me at dawsonscircleofhope@gmail.com if you are interested in sponsoring and having your logo on our race shirt.

Thank you for reading this whole post.  I hope to make them more frequently to keep you posted on things we are doing for childhood cancer.  I started this blog to give you insights into the life of childhood cancer.  I will post race updates on here as well as our Facebook page.  Please comment if there is anything you want to see us do.

Susan Creager

CIRCLE OF HOPE new fonts

Our new Dawson’s Run 2016 Logo!