Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Step One! Newark to Cinncinatti!

We arrived at Newark International Airport safe & sound, thanks to my awesome Dad! It was a bit easier this time around because we knew what to expect. As soon as we got out of the car and unloaded the bags, I let the Delta attendant know who we were. We were immediately escorted inside where another attendant was waiting with a smile!

We even got to see our escort from our trip to D.C., and he helped us through security-which took all of 5 minutes!-and down to the Delta Sky Club. We are now sitting here watching the planes take off, checking out the TV, surfing the net, and eating pretty much everything the club has to offer! LOL

The kids, I can tell, are building with excitement! I think we might see one of our Champion friends in Cinncinatti, too. We can't wait!

More later....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Orlando Here We Come!!

Well, it's certainly been a while since we last updated, but we have just been on a total whirlwind since we got back from Washington, D.C.! We've had lunches with Miss New Jersey, been to concerts with Nick Cannon, done a bunch of walks for our awesome hospital, Children's Specialized, had TONS of ice cream at various Dairy Queens, been to baseball games, met the NY's just been GREAT!

Tomorrow, we will be heading out to Orlando, Florida to be reunited with what we know are the best children, parents and staff CMN has to offer to the world. Not only that, but we'll have the honor to meet ALL of Canada's Champions as well!

This is very much a bittersweet trip for us. We lost our friend, and fellow Champion from Maryland, MacKenzie Stuck not too long ago. It will also be difficult to say goodbye to everyone on Sunday, not knowing when we will see one another again. But, through the next 5 days, I am certain we will all make the very best of this wonderful trip and truly enjoy one anothers company!

I know our family would like to take this opportunity to thank Delta, WalMart & SAMS Club, Marriott, Disney World & their staff, the CMN Staff, Newark, Cincinnati & Orlando Airports, and most especially, Children's Specialized Hospital, for nominating Mackenzie & Michael for this true honor. Without their support, love, and encouragement, all of these wonderful events would still be just dreams. Thanks so much for making everything we wished for come true!

I'll update during the week!
The New Jersey Champion Family
The Wight's

PS-Attached are some photos of what we have done since June!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Leaving Tomorrow!

Well, here I sit! 2131 here in New Jersey on June 5th, and I am sitting here in my bed, still in utter disbelief that we are leaving for a trip to Washington, D.C. tomorrow.

While I waited for more laundry to get done today, I sat and read some of my older entries that I had on our CaringBridge website. Things like being told that Michael may never wake up....he would never walk...never talk...we had to start was like someone hit the reset button on him...things about Mackenzie, like how she could barely kick a ball, she couldn't write, and didn't have any of her basic math skills...all, at this point, almost inconceivable to us.

Now, here we are, almost four years later, with a trip that could only be conjured in a dream awaiting us. I simply cannot believe that this is really happening.

I have spoken at just about every event we have been to so far, and I say the same thing. I remember almost everyone we knew in, friends, everyone...telling me that there had to be a reason for this. That there would be a light at the end of this tunnel. That, even though we couldn't fathom anything that could be so important, so valuable at the time, there was still a bigger reason for all of this horrible sadness and tragedy.

THIS is it.

By that, I don't mean the trip itself. I mean that through just the experiences we have had with Children's Miracle Network so far, I know my children and the pain and suffering they have gone through-it's HELPED another child. When I go to these Wal*Mart's, the Costco's, the Dance Marathons, and tell their story, you can see these people, and their motivation brewing inside of them to sell those balloons and help this great organization-and it's all because of MY Champions, and the other Champions out there just like them.

My mother, Sue, she was probably the most amazing person to ever walk the earth. I am sure lots of people say that about their moms, but there are also a lot that don't. My mother was special. She had a special purpose here with us. Her love was unconditional, and went further than anything you could imagine. Her death amongst all of this, no longer feels so much in vain. Why? Because she LOVED children-AND, she was a MOM! She would be so honored, so beside herself to know that through her death, and through this tragedy, something beautiful has come of it all. I know, as painful as it even is to say out loud, that deep in my heart, she is smiling above at all of this. Cheering with all the employees at Wal*Mart during the kick-off...dancing with all the college kids at the Dance Marathon....getting a good whiff of those awesome pancakes at IHOP on Pancake Day-and all for the sake of the children. My God, she would be SO HAPPY.

Of course, the selfish side of me wishes more than anything that my mom could be HERE with us right now, to experience all of this happiness with hug us and the kids and hold us and wish us well on our trip. But, it is okay for now. It is okay because someday, when it's my time, I am going to get the biggest hug ever from her, and I KNOW that we have made her proud. Even further, we have honored her memory in the way that she would want it to be...with LOVE.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Almost ready to go!

Well, this is it! The last few days before our big trip to Washington, D.C. to meet all the other Champions we have for 2010, and do some amazing things for Children's Miracle Network. The anticipation is driving our whole family insane. The kids are so excited they barely get to sleep at night!

I am still awaiting the pins from am praying they get here by tomorrow! Otherwise, I am going to have to have my father fedex them to use at our hotel! :(

The kids had a super busy morning today, as we went to a Walmart Grand Re-Opening in Toms River, and the kids were given HUGE bags full of stuff for summer! Beach towels, water sprayers and water guns, waterproof cameras, and more! We were late, but we made it, and I was relieved-I am sure Dawn at Walmart was, too! LOL

Mackenzie & Michael have been in quite a few news stories as of late. This one aired last Friday on the 11 o'clock news on Channel 9. You can check it out here:

We cannot even wait until Sunday!!

Walk N Roll, Piscataway, NJ

What a fantastic way to celebrate Michael's 8th birthday! On May 22nd, the day before Michael turned 8, we attended the Children's Specialized Hospital Walk N' Roll in Piscataway. This walk is sponsored by Kohl's and directly benefits OUR hospital that we represent as NJ Ambassadors.

We got there early, and had SO much food, played games, and danced to some great music. Our dear friends, the Clutter's & Riccio's were also in attendance, and it was a great way to spend a Saturday!

Mackenzie was even able to check out the video camera that one of the TV reporters had! It totally made her day, being that she is an aspiring film maker! It was my proudest moment of the day to see her so happy!

Hackensack, NJ Costco

On May 24th, we were asked to help the Costco in Hackensack, NJ sell some balloons and tell Mackenzie & Michael's story to the employees and customers. Apparently, this was the first time that any NJ Champions have been to this location, and of course, we were happy to oblige!

This particular Costco went above and beyond! They had a stand set up right in their lobby, where they had cotton candy, Italian ice, drinks, face painting-and EMPANADAS! All for free when you made a donation to CMN!

We had a great grand tour of the place, which was very clean and organized. We were also given a free one year membership to any Costco, a tetherball set, Michael was given the new Super Mario Galaxy game, and Mackenzie was allowed to pick out any DVD from their store. They were so super generous!!!

All in all it was a fabulous day! We were so happy to be there!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Walmart Kick-Off Party!!

Yesterday, we attended the kick-off party at the North Bergen Walmart Supercenter. It was totally amazing!
The kids were put into one of the Walmart rigs, with a really wonderful driver named, Bob. Bob drove the kids around to the front of the store, and I helped them prepare for their grand entrance.
Among our guests were TV crews, reporters, and 11 different Walmart stores were represented. Jerry, the DM for Walmart, and Phil, from Children's Specialized were there, too. Of course, no CMN event for us would have been complete without our lovely Miss NJ, Ashley!!

When the kids came into the garden center, everyone was clapping and cheering. Music was playing and everyone was taking video and pictures. It was so overwhelming.

We all sat down, and listened to the great guest speakers. Everyone had wonderful things to say about Mackenzie & Michael. They talked about how strong they are, and how inspirational. It was absolutely amazing.

Miss NJ then gave Mackenzie a tiara and Michael a ribbon, and then one of the people from the Corporate Walmart gave each of the kids a $500 gift card for shopping before their trip!

There were 4 cakes for the kids, and they even sang Happy Birthday to Michael! We ate tons of great food, had a tour of the store, and did some shopping before heading home.

We were featured on a local news program as well, the link is here:

All in all, it was just a fantastic day, and the kids conked out early. Tomorrow we have the Walk N Roll to benefit the hospital, and then Sunday is Michael's 8th birthday. Only about one and a half more weeks and we have our big trip to Washington, D.C. to meet all the other Champions & the PRESIDENT!!!