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Notes To Laura

7/29/01
Dear Laura,
Hi! Its Nikki. We met in the hospital last week. I just wanted to let you know how awesome it is to have met someone else going through the same thing as me that is my age. This is all so new for me, and now I have someone to talk to. I wasn't very talkative last week in the hospital because I really didn't feel well-I was in for a fever. I hope next time we are admitted at the same time we can do more stuff together. Oh yeah, I will sign your petition for the teen lounge next time I see you-that's a Great idea!! well, I'll probably see you soon. I hope you are feeling as well as I do right now! Love,
Nikki Giampolo
my email address is NiLLi34@aol.com-id love to hear from you soon!


7/23/01
Dear Laura,
I saw you on the last day of school and that was the last time  I saw you . I miss you a lot! I really hope to see you soon! You have shown great progress and I am very proud of you. Remember that your friends family and I are by your side rooting you on and I look up to everything you went through. You are lucky you made it this far and you have so many people who care about you! Remember that! I hope to see you soon!
~Sara Rosati~


7/19/01

Dear Laura,  Sorry it has taken me so long to get to this. I thought this web page would be harder to work than it is. This  is amazing.!  I love the music and all the little figures moving around.  Your dress for class night was lovely. I can't believe those cute little Santiago sisters are growing into beautiful women.  I'm glad you got to Relay for Life.  It is such a good event.  Every luminary is someone being remembered.  It is so powerful.  Every year we have more and more.  The first year we had about 400 and this year I think there were 2000.  A lot of light!  I read your name. It was on my list.  Just know that I remember you in my prayers and that I am so proud of you.  You are doing great. 
With Love, 
Leslie Chaput


Dear Laura,  I'm typing on a new computer and this is the first e-mail  I have sent in ages. You must be patient with me. Your web site is great.....first time I have seen it. 
Thanks so much for all your efforts with the polo shirt sign up sheet for Rotary.  I think I may have to get some lessons on my computer......do you have any free time?  I'll play with the computer for a while and see if  I can't get more comfortable with it.   
I am so over whelmed with papers for my various projects i.e. Rotary and the Milner School that I know there must be a way to  keep papers to a minimum with the computer.......I hope you enjoyed this beautiful day....and how about your weekend in New Jersey? I thought about you all so often and I hope the time was special just as you are. time to wish you sweet dreams....you will hear again from me shortly. 
love,  Mrs. Nation (Nancy)


6/16/01

Hi Laura!

Courtney is looking forward to seeing you at Class Night, as I'm sure everyone is. 

You are in my prayers every day, and I so admire your strength and courage.  I know that every day brings you new challenges, and I pray for your strength to bear them.  I pray for your healing, and for your relief from pain and discomfort.  Hang in there, honey - we are all pulling for you!

Love,
Mrs. Wagner (and Mr. Wagner, too!)


6/15/01

Hey Laura!
I am sending my first letter on the Web.  And I am so happy that it is to you!  Please do not let too many people know that your uncle is a little slow........  It was great to see you last weekend.  I had a lot of fun flying up to see you and your mom.  Soon I am going to bring up Sun-Runner near you again this summer.  Maybe I can pick you up on the beach again, but please speak to Joelle and have her not scream in my ear!  I thought that people on the beach were going to call the cops on me for kidnapping! Hey,  I remember the time you screamed at me in the canoe on the lake with Maria. And it was you or your sister that screamed at me when we went driving in the convertible Jag.  Now that I think of it, my nieces yell at me a lot!  Hey!!!!  Help!!!  Women are always screaming at me. Now you know why I am Single!!!  I am looking forward to going to your graduation next week.  I'll see you then.  I love you very much!!!!!!!!!xoxoxooxoxxo!!!!!
Uncle Jimmy

6/12/01

Hi Laura,

Uncle Joe and Aunt Nidia in New Jersey, used to call you that when you were little, I don't believe I ever told you that. I have spoken to your Aunt Phyllis and she has kept me up to date on your progress. I want you to know that all of us here, Michelle, Frank, Kaitlyn, Madison, Jenni, Michael, Kayla, Matthew and Sarah
(the triplets) all love you very much and even though we don't see each other that often doesn't mean that you are not in our hearts. Every night ,you, your Mom and sister are included in our prayers. Uncle Joe and I want to come up and see you, let me know when you feel like having company. I'll find some cool nail polish colors and we can have a polishing party.
All our love and prayers to you and your Mom.
Aunt Nidia


6/12/01

Hi Laura

This is Jennifer (Cunha) Martone my mom is Nidia Cunha. I just wanted to write to see how are you and to let you know your in our prayers.

I'm sending you some pictures of the triplets, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

If you need someone to write back and forth with (e-mail) I'm a stay home mom now so write me and I'll write you back between feedings. :-)


God Bless
Love Jennifer, Michael, Matthew, Kayla & Sarah Martone


6/10/01 Dear Laura,

I know your mom through my sister-in-law, Judi Gamba.  I enjoyed seeing your mom at my nephew Bill's wedding a couple of years ago.  Your mom spoke so lovingly of you and your sister.

I am sorry now to hear that you are ill.  I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.  I will ask others to pray for you as well.  May God bless you and give you and your family the strength to get through these trying times.

Dellamarie Larkin


6/10/01

Dear Laura;
 
Just wanted to let you know how often I think about you.  Aunt Phyllis has been keeping me posted because I didn't want to bother your mother. 
 
After reading your notes on your journal I see that you are definitely your mothers' daughter......so strong and compassionate.  I wish the distance between us was not so far away.  Aunt Phyllis & I wish we could be there for you, your mother and of course Joelle. 
 
Well we are praying here in New Jersey and I know you will conquer this awful disease. 
 
Please let me know if there is anything we could do for you or your mom.    Please give her all my love,
 
            Aunt Toni
6/6//01 Hi Laura,

I hear the last few  days have been really hard.  I am praying that your surgery is all over and that you will be coming home soon!
I think your web site is wonderful and check your journal and mail almost everyday!  So much love is pouring out to you.  I hope you can feel it wrapping around you when you hurt.  And I hope your mom and sister can sense it too.  You are one very special person to so many of us.

We love you and hope you feel better,

Kay Kellogg

6/4/01 Joanne,
Both you and Laura are in my prayers, especially today in the Mass.

Carl+
--
Fr. Carl D. Bartholomew, SAC
St. Peter's Italian Church
London, UK


6/3/01 Dear Laura,

      Hi I miss you so much I just wanted to let you know that I agree with your mom and that I believe in you and so does everyone. And I look up to you in a way because of the fight you have to go through and how you are dealing with it and I am very proud of you!
luv,
Sara R


5/31/01  Laura, 

I am a member of the Avon-Canton Rotary club & have met you and had breakfast with you many times****I want you to know that we think of you  every day and hope you will have breakfast with us again very soon.
Love,  Mary Lou Addazio


5/24/01 Dear Laura,

 
I have to say that you are the bravest of all my friends!  You are the first friend I ever had.  You came to the hospital when I was born and from that moment on we were best friends.  Just to let you know, my Hebrew school class decided to send money that we raised in an auction to cancer research. The reason we decided to send the money there was because when they heard your story not a single kid in my class refused the idea! I miss you so much ! I can't wait to see you!  At my Bat Mitzvah you're going to be the guest of honor because above everyone who is coming you are the most special to me.  Get well really soon.
             lots of luv,
                Amanda 

5/21/01
Laura,
I want everyone to know how proud I am of you! You had a good weekend!
Out door Mass was so beautiful Sunday and we went to the Movies as well!
You are doing a good job beating this condition!
Love,
Mom


5/21/01
Dear Laura, It is so special to see how terrific you look and to hear how wonderful you are doing.  There is not a minute in the day where you, Joelle and mom are not in our thoughts and our hearts..I hope that you can feel our love flying around the world from our heart to yours...we can't wait to see you in June and we definitely can't wait for you to come visit us down here..we have your room all ready and waiting for you.  I am sure that you have tons of e-mails to read and answer, so we won't keep you too long for now, but we look forward to keeping in touch....Keep up the great work and we are all with you every step of the way..we are so very proud of you...Love you lots, Aunt Robin the Aussie


5/21/01

Que bonita foto!!!
It has been so wonderful to have the opportunity to write a personal note to you because really - I confess - I was very nervous to write a note that everybody can read because my language barrier.

I want you to know that you are in my heart and also in my mind every day, even when I am working with all of those kids that make a lot of noise. I pray to God for your health and, I also ask him to bring the necessary knowledge to the doctors that are taking care of you. Oh! I almost forget to tell you that my prayers are in spanish, because I think God can better understand what I am saying, just in case that He has some problems with my pronunciation.
I also want to tell you that my Mom send you her blessing and my sisters Libia and Leeu too and, of course Alejandra. They all are praying  for you health.

Thanks so much for make me feel part of your family and share with me that gorgeous dress that you will wear for you graduation.

Send my love to Mom and Joelle, and please don't forget that I am here for whatever you need.


5/19/01

Dear Laura,
      My sister-in-law, Judi Kasiewicz Gamba, is a friend of your Mom's from high school. I have heard my husband, Bernie, mention her too. I am so sorry that you are sick.
      My brother-in-law , Dr. Gregory Hair, does cancer research at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am emailing your site to him. He is up to date on all the latest discoveries and treatments. Maybe he can help in some small way. It never hurts to ask.
      In the meantime,  we will all keep you and your family in our prayers. Keep your spirits up. With much love, Barb Kasiewicz


5/19/01
Hi Laura,

Just wanted you to know that every time I adjust a patient of mine I
think of you and say a little prayer.  25-35 patients / day, I hope its enough to speed up your journey.

Luv you and your mom and sister

Dr. Carol

5/18/01

hi Laura,
I know you don't remember me, but I am an old friend of your mom's.  we met when my oldest daughter was 3 and she is now 29.  we had some wonderful times together throughout the years that she lived in new jersey.  she was and is a wonderful friend.  my family and myself are all hoping and praying for your return to good health.  please stay strong ( i know you can do it,  your mom is very, very strong).  take care and the best of luck to you.  love, Nancy
Malcolm and her family.
 


5/17

Dear Laura,

We miss you so much in the Youth Choir. Your voice, your many talents, your smile, and your friendship is missed here and throughout the whole parish ...but we are right behind you and beside you, praying all the time. We know how much of a trooper you are and that you are fighting hard, even when it is more difficult than we can ever imagine. Whenever we are singing, you are in
our hearts.

Thanks for putting together a beautiful website! It is really impressive and
great to hear how you are doing in this way. Thanks for adding your photo too!

With much love and many prayers,
Renee and the St. Ann's Youth Choir
xoxoxo


 

5/17 

Dear Laura,
 
Now we know who made that beautiful sign in front of your house -- the Rotary Club, right? Anyway, today is Wednesday, so that means you probably had a treatment today.  I remembered and prayed for you.  It's so neat that you have your own web site -- you and Joelle!  Please give her and your Mom our love, and remind your Mom that I'm available if you need someone to sit with you or to give Joelle a ride.  I hope that you or someone close can give us regular updates on this site on how you're doing so we can know how to pray.  All for now -- love, Mrs. Silk

 


5/16

Ok Laura we did not hear the speech/talk you gave last week, if you wrote it down we would love to read it!

We love the picture in front of the sign!!!  You are beautiful!
Lots of Love, Anne & Michael


5/16 

Hey Laura! We are all cheering for you! We can't wait to see you in High School!
Luv Always~ Crissy, Whitney, Jody, Allie, Alli, Meghan, and Debra
P.S- We love your website!

5/16 What a Great Speech!

Your quiet words spoke to us all last Friday. We admire your strength and are ready to help whenever you call.
Bob Bessel

5/14/01 - I really enjoyed the talk that you gave to Rotary on Friday 5/11/01. It is nice to know that in some small way we are helping to make your recovery a little easier.

Gene Gillis

Notes From Mom

July 30
Hello everyone! It was nice to all be together last night after work!
Joelle has her last day of camp this week. She learned and played a lot but now will be able to stay up in the evenings and sleep in a little more in the morning for a month! She is pretty happy with us all home. Yesterday she served Laura dinner in bed and brought me a cool drink in between patients. I hope to get them to Watch Hill again -- they love that place.
Enjoy your day!
Mom


July 28
Hello all again! Laura has started her new Chemo-her spirits are good but thinks it may be a rough phase. Her room looks great! She decorated it with pictures from when she was a baby until now. We get visitors on the floor stopping in to see them. She will be here every 2 weeks for 4-5 days with no complications.
Therefore, she will have a return visit every 9-10 days. Joelle has been with Joan and Larry on Thursday night and Friday-and Saturday with Linda and Sunday night she will probably sleep with us at the hospital. Joelle has been a great sister and daughter!
Sunday, Laura has a MRI scheduled-pray that things keep looking great!
Love,
Joanne


July 20, 2001
 Hi all! Laura is doing great right now-it was a wait and see process for chemo to continue due to low counts-but finally she is there! This means that the next phase of chemo starts. Every 2 weeks she will b admitted starting this Thursday for 4-5 days. This chemo is supposed to be easier on the counts but create some bad mouth sores-so if she does not wish to talk I am sure you will understand! But pleas, keep the cards coming in! When she is in the hospital she can have e-mails delivered to the Connecticut Children's Medical center! Her school work is going fine-she has started her high school work now which is good since chemo has been easier right now! In the pictures you can see Laura with her tutor I it gives class pictures a different meaning!
She has enjoyed this little break -- we went to NJ, to Watch Hill, RI. She attended a hospital sponsored oncology teen group picnic, has had some visitors and of course --
studied!
As for Joelle, she has been a big help. She has about 2 more weeks of day camp --then she can sleep in!!! She is really maturing in responsibility- I am proud of her!
Keep your prayers going!
Love,
Joanne


6/23/01

Hi everyone! She made her 8th grade class night ceremonies, dinner and even part of the dance! More than I ever expected. We thank God that she had the gift to be able to go! She looked pretty - Anne Yolles had someone come over to help with makeup and of course Bobbie our hairdresser came over to put the finishing touches for us!
Her class mates all looked beautiful-so grown up they have become! I remember Laura coming home on the bus in 1st grade talking about a new friend on the school bus who lived by a vegetable store! That friend was Courtney Wagner! They are still close and I think will always be there for each other as her parents have been to me! Then there was Philip Kayan -so tall and considerate! Being neighbors before- I learned a lot about baby activities from his Mom, Phyllis. Laura and Philip are days apart in birth dates -- so they spent a lot of baby time together!
Then there was Erin, all grown up with an up hair do looking beautiful -I remember meeting Erin when Laura was not yet walking at a Fun with Music class. Erin's Mom Linda was always there -- we gravitated to each other as the "older" moms in the class! We hit it off and still do! Her son Daniel and Joelle are great friends-definitely like cousins! This is a small part of a memory lane of my community up here! The calls from NJ are unending -- hoping that she would make this special night -- and she did!
After that we went to Relay for Life in Simsbury and walked for the Avon Canton Rotary team. Our Rotary club dedicated their part to Laura. It was a good night for
Laura, Joelle, me, and her Aunts and Uncles.

Joanne


6/21/01

Hi everyone!
Laura made it to the awards ceremony at school.
She received a good citizenship pin! She was so happy that she made it......
When she stood up her classmates gave her a huge round of applause!
How great our community is -- on all levels!
Tomorrow - class night and Relay for Life. Keep praying that she makes it with no chemo reaction. I think she will. Her uncles and aunts are coming up from New Jersey for this.
Thank you everyone for all your love shown to us during happy and hard times!
Joanne


6/20/01

Hi all again!
Tuesday was a great day-Laura had her counts down and they are going back up!
Part of the cycle! We came home from the hospital stay Sunday night.
Tuesday she met the CEO for the hospital with her proposal for a teen lounge for the cancer teens. She feels it will go well and that serious consideration will be given! After that our dear friends who are new to Australia came to visit us since it was a good day! Our daughters had fun-even a water balloon fight! It was good to hear the laughs! Today Laura is going to her 8th grade awards ceremony,
She is looking forward to making class night! As for Joelle, she has been great!
We all feel good under the one same roof!
Keep your prayers for her.
Joanne


6/11/01 Hello everyone-
Laura has been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks-
The fevers are gone-but the infected site not located.
Today, Monday-she will have another scan and of course-the counts.
Her spirits are much better now-because she feels better and is still talking about class night.
Laura has also been busy in the hospital. She started a petition to see if possible to transfer one of the sitting rooms to a hemoc teen lounge -- table, sofa, stereo, large TV/video, etc. This way when not room confined there would be a place to go to that is mood elevating and where they can share fun and experiences. She has made up a drawing on the computer with an explanation to Mr. Gold-CEO of CCMC. She has about 90 signatures so far!
Keep your prayers going! Maybe she will be home tonight or tomorrow!
Joanne


6/5/01  Hello every one-
Laura came home Saturday night after several says in the hospital. Her Aunt Mona and two cousins Gregory and Jessica  came to visit and take her home and stay for the weekend. It was a great visit for all of us.
Monday our neighbor Uncle Larry took Laura for blood tests and x ray because she was going to have a port put in Wednesday. But, as it turned out Laura had a fever in the middle of the night, it went up to 104.5. So, Joelle went to our neighbor's home who is also Joelle's Sunday school teacher. Joelle again got up so nice from a deep sleep and went with Anne. I am so proud of Joelle -and I miss her too!
So here we are in the hospital-Laura's surgery delayed. She is on IV and will have a spinal tap and bone marrow check in a little while. They are looking for the infection cause. Laura does not want  visitors now- But when stronger she will . Our priest from St. Anne's just left . He gave her a special blessing before these tests.
Keeping praying for her.
Later in the day:
We are back- they could not complete the procedures-too much pain. So, tomorrow she will go to the OR and have it done there. A priest from a local church came to give her Holy Communion. That was nice.
Keep the prayers going.
Joanne


6/4/01
Laura is back in the hospital again - she was home for one day but has returned with a 104.5 fever. At this time she very sick from an infection and cannot have visitors-just keep her in your thoughts and she will soon be back on the computer!!!
Dr. Santiago


5/30/01 Hello everyone-

Laura went into the hospital in the middle of the night on Mon.-
she had a fever of 103. Her counts are low and the chemo creates these
problems at times...Her spirits are good when the fever is down and then out of nowhere it spikes up. Joelle has been with the Kayan family. Today Nancy Nation is picking Joelle up from school early so we can have a little family time until I go and do a few hrs of "other" patient care.....This way I can have my time with Joelle also. We are so lucky to have the people around us that we do!
Thank you to all

Joanne


5/19/01 Hi everyone!

I am doing "so-so" on this chemo. Thank you so much for all the wonderful cards and notes... I love reading them! Thank you also for keeping me in your prayers and thoughts. Laura