Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Introduction - Who we are

Greetings, Blog Reader,

My name is Lady Ozma and my son is Caramon, The Million Pillowcase Kid. Caramon asked for my aid in preparing and managing this blog. He plans on recording videos as his contribution. We shall see how all of this works out, but his first video is already in the works.

Caramon is currently a thirteen year old Life Scout in his local Boy Scouts of America troop. In order to advance to his next rank, Eagle, Caramon must prepare and act out a large service project. His project involves assembling pillowcases and placing in them some various items such as crayons, colouring books, and the like. After completion of the project, he plans to distribute these items to children in local hospitals.

Why is he doing this? Just a few months before his fifth birthday, Caramon fell ill. What we thought was pneumonia turned out to in fact be a Wilms' Tumor. This cancerous tumor grows on the kidney and is generally found in children under the age of six. In fact, the disease is typically found in children under the age of three and is a very common form of cancer. His diagnosis was Stave IV, and unfortunately deeply affected both of his lungs. He lost his right kidney and the lower lobe of his left lung.

He spent many weeks in the hospital over the next year as he received treatment for his cancer. All of this occurred between August 2001 and September 2002. Lucky for us, he has been in remission since 2002.

While going through all of this, someone turned Caramon's name over to a wonderful charity called Hugs and Hope. Their goal was to brighten critically ill children's lives with "happy mail". Several volunteers took it upon themselves to adopt certain ministries. One such volunteer made pillowcases for each child that came her way.

The pillowcase was to remain the special hospital pillowcase. Upon leaving the hospital, you were to launder and put somewhere safe until the next visit. This allowed the child to have something a little special in the hospital to brighten the sterile environment, hopefully be germ-free even though it came from home, and it could keep "home" and "hospital" separate.

An outside might see nothing special about Caramon's pillowcase, but to him it meant the world. He loved his pillowcase then and has kept it as a treasured keepsake. When asked about it, he referred to the volunteer as an angel, and truly, she was to our family.

This year, Bernina and American Patchwork & Quilting teamed up to issue a Million Pillowcase Challenge. Their goal? For American sewers to make 1,000,000 pillowcases to donate to local charities. You can see why our family has taken a shine to this. Caramon knew immediately he wanted to use this challenge as part of his Eagle Project.

Are you interested in following his adventure? Helping? Giving encouragement? Well, this is the place for you! Over the next several months we plan to use this blog to update you on his progress. Look for more blog entries detailing his progress, what people can offer, and hopefully we will end this saga with details of his receiving the award.

Here's a picture of Caramon with his very special pillowcase. With love and thanks to his angel from nine years ago, this picture is dedicated to you. (FYI due to comments on this picture elsewhere... Caramon is wearing Red Cross flip flops from when his father recently gave blood. They were too small for dad and Caramon loves the Red Cross for donating when he was sick. If you are able, donating to the Red Cross is a wonderful thing.)

So where is Caramon at in his progress? Pretty much at the start. He has all his ducks in a row verbally. He turned in his paperwork for the official approval. With any luck that will return to us in about a week's time and he can begin really working on his project.

Thank you for visiting and reading. Please, share this with your contacts. We would love to hear your comments. Subscribe to our RSS and connect with Google or Networked Blogs. Those of you already in touch with us, Caramon's tender heart has been touched more then I can describe. Thank you!

--Lady O

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