Where do we start??? I guess its only appropriate to begin with the one who brought us all together and makes us stronger each and every day. Emma, we love you! Next is Trina and the only other name I'm going to mention as I can't re-write the phone book tonight! Trina- you're are simply amazing. You have been there for all of us since the day Em was born with more love and support than anyone could possibly ask for. Thank you for everything. Lastly, to everyone else that has read the blog, called, texted, emailed, instant messages, tweeted, Facebook'd, mailed or prayed for Emma- Thank you!
We have amazing family and friends out there and anyone that knows me as a friend has probably heard me say that friends are family in my book. We have had people reach out to us, in one way or another, from all over the world, literally! Those poor French folks can't understand a lick of my dilact from what I'm told but we appreciate them trying! I haven't tried to put a post into a French translation program yet but I think it's safe to say that it would be lost in translation!
Speaking of the French Connection, I need to give a little more love to my sister in law, Trina. I need to explain that Trina has always been there for me in any situation. She listens to my hopes, dreams and fears without judging me and will always provide me with her most honest feedback. We don't see eye to eye on everything but that never seems to get in the way of what matters most- family!
So when Trina first mentioned starting a blog to keep everyone up to date, I honestly had no idea what that meant but I was on board. Trina called and emailed Amanda and I with all these idea's for the blog and Facebook and yada yada... and so you know I'm the furthest thing from a social media guy. I only started a Facebook acct when Em was born because they had a fibular hemimelia group. I have not accepted even one "friend" request as I feel I can piss enough people off in the real world, so I'd better stay away from outer space! Although, I soon found out that not accepting "friend requests" doesn't make people happy either! Anyway, Trina is an amazing artist and owns a Graphic Design business so when she started sharing all her thoughts and ideas, we naturally gave her the green light to do what she thought was best for Emma.
All that being said, at the beginning of this adventure, we had so much love and support from so many people that just wanted to help and didn't know how. To be honest, there have been so many unknowns over the past three years that it has been very hard to determine the financial impact this journey would have on us and that still stands today. However, we have planned and budgeted for this. The largest unknown still is the Physical Therapy. I've spoken to everyone and anyone to get answers- the hospital, insurance companies, case managers, other families and everyone in between and have determined that during this phase we will be looking at over 150 sessions in which 25 of these are covered by insurance. It's then a fight with everyone involved to see if our insurance will extend the PT benefit (big long process that I won't get into but we are prepared for the fight- I think). At $225 a session, the out of pocket expense will add up quickly. I only tell you this as it was the above conversation that I had with Trina that got her creative juices flowing. She said, So many people want to help Emma. Let me do a silent auction as a Fund Raiser for her PT sessions and we will put the money into a fund for Emma" - hence the "Emma Fund". Amanda and I agree'd to that as Trina throws a good party, it would be fun event and there would be no pressure. Then Trina was designing the blog and said let's do a donation button to support the cause as it's a quick and easy way for people to support Em if that's the way they choose. So I guess that's the point, Amanda and I have felt uneasy about this "help" from the beginning. We are very grateful and appreciate all the emotional and financial support that we have received and wanted to make people aware that donations that are made go into the Emma Fund and will be used to pay for her therapy. Any leftover money will be held in her Fund for the next phase of this journey which will be Em's decision.
In closing, Trina has also designed and paid for Emma Fund cards, designed the blog, connected it with Facebook, handled all the maintenance on the the site and a lot more. You see, my only involvement with all this is saying yes to whatever she says (happy wife = happy life...sister in law in this case) and trying to document the day to day events by use of my cell phone on a blog app. That is my disclaimer for the typo's- as the iPhone auto correct is similar to the French translator- it just doesn't get what I'm trying to say most of the time and I'm too lazy to proof read! So Trina, we thank you for putting forth the effort, time, money and everything else you have done. And to everyone else that have sent gifts (we try to recognize them in the blog but do not give the true appreciation they deserve), the comments on the blog (we do read them), all messages (however they are sent), the love, thoughts and prayers, along with the very generous donations as all of this is what gets us through each day and makes Em push forward to be long and strong!
Amanda & I are so grateful for all the wonderful people in our lives and can not thank you enough for all that you have done!
Murphy too! (we miss you buddy!)