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Notes To Laura

10/28/01
DEAR LAURA ....I was finally able to access your web site from home and it is SO GOOD to know how you are and what has been happening.
I looked at ALL the pictures of the blood drive and wondered why I hadn't know about it until I found the data and realized that I was out of state for the month of August.  What a great job Anthony did in organizing 'your event'.
Hope you will be feeling well enough to enjoy the cooler weather that's come to us this weekend.
Thinking of you .... Mrs. Tremblay


10/25/01
Hi Laura-
 My name is Kaeley Steinnagel.  I am one of Nikki's swim coaches.  I found your website for the first time tonight and all I can say is you are an amazing young lady.  Your caring words for Nikki are written out of pure love.  You are one strong person, I don't know you but I can tell through your journal entries.  I have a feeling that you and Nikki will keep each other strong and be friends still when you are both 80 years old.  You will be in my thoughts and prayers.  And like I always tell Nikki, keep smiling and don't let anything keep you down.  Oh yea, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!  Hope that you had a blast!!!!!!!!!!!  
Kaeley


10/21/01
Hola Laura,
    I want to send you this congratulation message for being today your fourteenth birthday. I know this year has not been easy for you nor for your family, but at the same time the things you have gone through will make you stronger.  You and your family know better than anyone else to appreciate the gift that God has for us everyday and we not always thank.....Life.
      I don't write too much (this is my first e-mail for you) or show up often but that doesn't mean that you are no in my mind.  My heart is with you, my prayers are for you and my best wishes for a wonderful future to enjoy with family and friends. You are a very courageous young girl and I will be around to see you become a brave woman....With all my love.......

F  E  L  I  Z     C  U  M  P  L  E  A  N  O  S !

       from....Flerida Mimo & family


10/20/01
 Molti baccioni per il tuo compleanno cara.                  
Have a happy birthday Laura

Louis Guidobono


10/9/01
Hey Laura!
I am one of Nikki's friends, and I was just checking out your site.  It's awesome!  Best of luck with everything, I hope that you are feeling better soon.
Sarah


9/29/01

Hi Laura
I am one of your Mom's patients.  I have been with her a long time  - back when you had the office on Main street in Avon.  I even remember Chiquita - one of the smallest dogs I had ever seen. The first time I went to your Mom's office I had to watch a tape.  And I remember sitting there and hearing an occasional sneeze or wheeze and I couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from.  I looked down and there was Chiquita in a basket right next to me - just letting out an occasional sniff or sneeze!  I thought it was the hot water pipes! 
We have a cat named Oreo - although we never call him that.  We call him Mr. FunandGames, Tootie and Brattum Cattum.  He is a naughty little brat.  Sometimes he thinks he is a dog - he growled at the Oil Man.
I still remember when  you were born!  I will never forget when you were around 2 and you wanted to play with my big white funky sunglasses.  You looked so cute! I thought that you and Joelle were so nice and polite little girls. 
By the way - the reason I couldn't find you is because I typed in the wrong address!
Well I have to go now. I'll check in again!  I'll probably stop in to see your Mom - my back usually gives out in the fall. Please know that you have been in my prayers!
Be well
Kelly

9/12/01
Hi Laura,
Its Jenifer, one of the many Ngo girls.
How are you feeling today? I went to your website and was able to catch up on your life. I see that you are in the high school, WOW. I can't believe you are in the high school, 9th grade right? Time sure flies.
I also see that you had some chemo treatment recently. Good to see this last round went well.
This summer wasn't the same without you. In fact, we only had 2 BBQs. Can you believe that? Yeah, mom was happy about that. Normally dad invites people every other weekend.
I guess we are waiting for you to get stronger so that you can swim and play with us again. So next summer, when you are stronger, you MUST come down here. You know you are always welcome.
If you are feeling up to it, feel free to write me. I will pass the message on to Aunt Terry and Uncle George. In the meantime, I gave Jessica, Justina and Alex your email. Get ready for more notes from the Ngos.

Lots of love,
Jenifer


9/6/01
Hi Laura,

I'm Nikki's aunt and I thought I'd just drop in to say hello.
I am glad you two have become friends.  I admire you both for your courage and great attitudes!!! loved the "cancer eater" on your website.   I wish you the best and liked your back entertainment for the doctor.
                                     Aunt Sherry


8/20/01
Hi Laura
Thanks for your email. I love your journal and definitely will come back to read it. I love it here but still miss CT a lot. I just wrote to your sister I love her website to.
Please Write back soon.
Mary Rita


8/20/01

Hey
I don't think the temperature ever got up to 111 deg. when we were living there.  However it is really hot in Illinois.  It is really flat here! No Mountains!!   :-(
I a really sorry to hear about your cancer.  I remember how hard it was for my mom.  Anyway, Mary Rita is bugging me to get off so she can email you and Joelle! G2G!
Kate


8/20/01

HI LAURA...
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER ME....MY HUSBAND JOE IS YOUR MOMS COUSIN (2ND I THINK) ANYWAY MY NAME IS DAWN...YOU GUYS CAME TO PHILLY TO SEE JOE AFTER HE GOT A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT AND THAT WAS PROBABLY THE LAST TIME I'VE SEEN YOU....ANYWAY I HAVE BEEN KEEPING UP WITH YOU ON YOUR WEBSITE AND I REALLY ENJOY IT....I ESPECIALLY ENJOY THE PICTURES SINCE I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU GUYS IN QUITE A WHILE....WHAT GRADE ARE YOU IN IN SCHOOL??  I HAVE A 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, AN 8 YEAR OLD SON AND A 4 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER......I WAS REALLY WRITING BECAUSE GINA
(9)  GOT HER HAIR CUT FOR SCHOOL RECENTLY AND IN YOUR HONOR DONATED THE CUT HAIR (ABOUT 7 INCHES) TO A LOCAL PLACE THAT MAKES WIGS FOR CHILDREN WHO LOSE THEIR HAIR WHILE UNDERGOING CHEMO....WE ALWAYS ENCOURAGE OUR KIDS TO DO THINGS LIKE THAT BUT IT WAS ALL HER IDEA AFTER VIEWING YOUR WEBSITE....SHE FOUND THE PLACE AND EVERYTHING HERSELF.......THANK YOU FOR BEING SO COURAGEOUS AND SHARING YOUR STORY....WE PRAY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY EVERY DAY AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE....DAWN OGONOWSKI


8/20/01
Laura,
Sorry I haven't written in awhile but I have kept up with your progress through your web page.  You continue to be a courageous young lady and an inspiration for everyone.  My nephew was in the Philadelphia Children's
Hospital a few years ago and I visited with him there.  It is a very nice hospital and I am happy to hear you "enjoyed" your visit and had good news.
I took a short trip to Florida last week for work to look at hotels for the March  Board of Trustees Meeting.  While there I couldn't help but remember all the trips you, your mom and Joelle, took with us to  Florida. It was much fun.

I continue to keep you, your mom and Joelle in my daily prayers.  Please say hello for me.

Keep your beautiful chin up!

Love
Laurie Reynolds


8/20/01
Hi Laura,
Received an E mail from Kimberly Durham and she told me about your web site. It's terrific!
Just wanted you to know that your friends in Springfield. Illinois are thinking of you and praying for you, Joelle and your Mom.  I read your journal and I do know how difficult your chemo regime has been.  Hang in there because there will be an end to all of this and you will feel and look like yourself once again.  Now when my hair grew back it was more curly and all the gray had disappeared (for about three years)...which did save me some money at the hair salon!...Of course you don't have to worry about gray hair for a long time!

Mary Rita and Kate are asleep now (It's quite late!) but I will tell them about your web site tomorrow so hopefully you'll get some E mail from them too!  We're all settling in to life in the Midwest.  Summers are hotter and more humid but we don't mind too much since we have the lake in our backyard and a pool down the street.  Kate and Mary Rita learned to sail this summer and their Dad and I race our sail boat twice a week. We manage to come in last most times because the people we race against are really good!!! but as I always say "someone has to finish last".

School starts for us the Thursday after Labor Day.  Kate and Mary Rita start in a new school.....again!!  Mary Rita's is a 4th and 5th grade school and Kate's is 6th thru 8th.  Caroline has one more year at Montessori....her kindergarten year!

Take care and say "Hi" to Connecticut for us!!

Love,
Linda McKenna 


8/18/01
Hey Laura,
I don't think you will remember me but I met you a while ago but my name is Rachel.  Your mom brought you and Joelle to my brother Bar Mitzvah in New Jersey like 6 years ago. I just wanted to know that I'm sorry that you are going through this and at such a young age.  I hope and pray you get better so you can enjoy life with your family and friends like you should. I know this is a tough time for you right now but if you ever want to talk about anything I would be here for you. 
Well take care and always remember that you are in my prayers.

 <3 always, Rachel Becker


8/18/01
Hi Laura:

I've lived in Avon for 18 years and am always interested in what's happening to my "neighbors".  When I read the article in the Hartford Courant about your Blood Drive I visited your WEB site and learned about what you've been going through.  I must say, you are a very brave young lady!
 
I wish I could participate in the Blood Drive.  However, my veins don't want to cooperate.  My youngest son had an operation when he was in 3rd grade.  The hospital asked me to give blood just in case he needed it.  Well, I practically had to stand on my head when the nurses tried to get blood from me.  But I would like to help you in any way I can while you're undergoing this fight. 
 
So, tell me about your interests.  I love to read, needlepoint, and work out.  I have 2 boys - one in college and one in high school.  And I have the best dog - a yellow lab. 
I hope to hear from you.  I'll be saying special prayers for you.  God Bless 

Christine Bogino
Physical Therapy Program
Clinical Education Administrator
Dana 240

8/18/01
I cannot believe the summer is coming to an end.....and we have to begin a new school year soon.   I think about you so often and hope all is going well for you.   Are you going to be at AHS or are they going to provide tutoring for awhile?  I know the tutors seem to be great and the kids love them.... If there is anything I can do to help you, please call.
    I have been spending the summer at our beach house which is where my parents lived at Black Point in Niantic... I truly love being here and they will have to drag me away soon..   This seems to be a place where I can truly relax!   Please know you are in my prayers!  xo  Mrs. D.

8/2/01

Hi Laura,

It is great to read that you are feeling better.  Mary, Evan & I walked at our local Really for Life.  You were on our minds.

Blackberry season is in full swing out here.  Evan reminded me of when you, Joelle, he and I picked strawberries and pumpkins in Seneca Falls. The four of us really enjoyed ourselves. 

I pray your recovery continues at light breaking speed.

Anthony DeSiena


8/1/01
I sent you an email but I  might have  goofed up so I am going to try again.
My mother  always spoke of the two sweet angels that visited her in the nursing home! She told everyone who visited her about Laura and Joelle. Two angels visited her, she said. Well!    knowing  her as I  did  she is looking down on you and saying  (Laura  do not be  afraid I am going to be your guardian angel and I will look out for you) she always said that her whole purpose in life  was  to love, care, and protect  all the children.
Laura, I know that's what she is doing!
I look forward to seeing you  as healthy  as ever real soon.  My love to Joelle and may God bless you.
All my Love                  
Papa Lou  Guidobono


Click here to see mail from May June and July.

Notes From Mom

October 31
Happy Halloween!
Well, Laura had her blood test today, but did not qualify for Chemo tomorrow!
So this will give her another week to get stronger. I hope everyone has a safe evening. We have about 45 pumpkins on our front yard! Thanks to Leslie Chaput and all the people who helped with it-they look good great lit up at night.

Mom


October 29,
Hello every one -- hope all is well. Laura had 75% dose this past week. It was not as painful as before but instead of affecting her legs it went to her head. The worse is over, but it is still painful. If she makes count Thursday she will have a full day of another combination of Chemo. If you are local-have you seen our front yard?
We have about 43 pumpkins to light up at night! I could not do our regular carving /food drive party this year. So, Leslie Chaput had a farm donate pumpkins!  Laura, Joelle, friends, patients and of course, Leslie's and her husband carved pumpkins! We have fun watching people walk the front yard looking at all of them!
Now Joelle goes out with me to light them up! They looked great last night.
Hope everyone has a good Halloween!
Mom


10/22/01
Hello every one!
Well, I now have a 14 year old child and a 10 year old one!
I cannot believe how the time goes.....I am so proud of them.
Laura has been doing well. The half dose worked good enough so could enjoy her birthday. She really enjoyed the school coming and singing. After her choir concert, she was so happy that she said she did not want to leave the school that night. The high school is really helping her to feel that it IS her school and not her "friend's school"! She is still quite swollen but that should go down a little now that the steroids are gone for a little while.
Wednesday is full dose again - I pray it will not be hard again. She always has a good attitude!  In November she will have a full MRI - so far so good!
Joelle helped me put the fall Halloween Lights out -- she was a great help with this project. They were happy that I kept the tradition up. Just, no party this year....
Will write again soon. Enjoy the beauty of fall!
Mom




Oct 9, 2001
Hi All,
It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Laura. One of the chemo drugs had a side effect that Laura ended up with. It was severe pains in the leg. Sunday she finally had to be admitted for this. In the middle of the night Joelle went to our neighbor's home-the Boychuk's to sleep She and they were great about it. Joelle got to see that she did not have to be afraid of their 3 dogs!!!!!
This week end is the night time golf tournament by the youth ministry at St. Anne Church. Sounds like they are planning a special time to benefit Laura. Joan Gould has been the master mind for this project!  Say a prayer Laura gets home soon and the next chemo  has a pain management for her.
Love,
Mom


September 26

Hello Every one!
 It has been quite a couple of weeks for the world!
As for Laura-well this has been a hard one. Friday she had a reaction to a med that caused her to hallucinate - she saw all types of horrible visions. As a result she is timid to stay at the hospital alone. As for the chemo, this too has been rough with the usual difficult side affects. Daphne stayed with her Friday morning so I could work. We have been back Monday and Tuesday. She was going to be admitted, but due to fear was afraid, so we were able to work out
hydration and med by IV at home. She was happy about this....
Yesterday, our priest came and gave her Holy Communion. Today, Wednesday she had her teachers come and tonight her Uncle Jimmy is coming up to do acupuncture on her. (He is more experienced in it than I am and so, only wants him! It is their special bond!)
The hair cut a thon was a success! Bobby said everyone enjoyed it. Thank you every one who helped!
Well I have to work now I will keep you all posted.
God Bless All of you and our Country.
Love,
MOM


September 10,

Hi all!
This Chemo went easier for her in the hospital. Her Oncologist made some adjustments on leukovorin to rescue her-which may have helped. The good news is that we are home for the next 9 days! She will have a nuclear test and blood tests on Thursday - but outside of that, all is well. The Echo for her heart looked great-so we can start the next level of Chemo. This is called re-induction. Another check off!!!!
Laura was happy to hear about all the people that came to the car wash by St. Anne's youth group -- both as volunteers and to have the car wash! She wish she could have been there to watch, but she was admitted for chemo.
This stay Joelle came to the hospital and slept over with us on Friday and Saturday.
It was nice to all be together there. When Laura rested, I could have time with Joelle alone too. On Saturday they had an event on the hospital grounds that Laura and Joelle were able to attend. It was a nice change. The residents put it on.
On Sunday, Laura was feeling good enough to help paint the windows with Joelle on the 8th floor. In October the oncology children will be on the 8th floor. Now they are on the 7th when admitted. We should have had Jenny Bolch with us!!!
Please, keep your praying for Laura. It is important to us.
Mom


August 29.2001

Hi everyone again!
Well, Laura's Chemo was a little harder this time - she had little energy to visit with the other oncology patients. The complaining that she did about being hot-well, she was correct! She was so hot that it created 3 inch burn blister on the bottom of a foot! She had quite a lot of pain -- but still cooperated and kept up with her responsibilities.
Our Podiatrist Dr. Richard Grayson helped up with this problem....Next time the Oncologist is going to change some procedures for Laura in the hospital. They will increase the rescue part of this for her.
Right now she is happy -- the Squillaro family is here with us for a few days to prepare for the blood drive. It looks like it is going to be a success both in volunteers as well as blood donors! Friday she will go for Freshman orientation at school -
WOW, High school!!!! If she is up to it she will do part of the first day of school so she can feel what it is like to be with other classes.
Sat. she has Amanda's Batmitzva. And then we are back into the hospital on Thursday! She is doing well with her home tutors. They are both there for Laura and she knows that and respects their advice.
Well, have to end here. Have a nice Holiday weekend!
Mom

Dr. Joanne A. Santiago


8/18/01
Hello!
Well, our train ride to Philadelphia was a good one! We all did well-it was like an adventure for us after all we have been through! The weather held out for us, so I took Joelle and Laura to see the Liberty Bell. That evening she felt very dizzy so we checked into the ER to check her counts. Joelle was good -- finally she slept on a chair. At 2:30 AM it was decided that her counts were OK so we went to our hotel.
The room was great! U of P has 3 floors of room in a medical building that is connected to the hospitals by a walking bridge. As for our meeting, it went well. Dr. Meadows said that we are receiving the best there is to offer medically and she seems to be doing well. If we ever need to use a transplant donation it would not be for at least 31/2 years -( who knows what will be out there by then!)
Uncle Phil met us there for the appointment, which was helpful and nice for the company. Laura felt good enough to sit upfront with him in his airplane so we did not take the train home. We got home before it was time for the train to leave!
Our dear neighbor Uncle Larry was there to pick us up at the Simsburry airport.
Last Thursday we went to Watch Hill-the Ocean is so good for all of us!
Thursday Laura will be back in the hospital for her next round for a few days.
The plans for the blood drive honoring Laura is going well. Check Laura's journal for the date and times. Volunteers are needed!
Keep your prayers going for her -- we believe that is the most important thing and that she receives God directed Chemo!
Enjoy the day!
Mom

August 12, 2001


Hi All!
Well, we are all home again! It always feels good. My neighbors watch the house and the pets, staff keeps the office running. Things went better this time until she had an allergic reaction to a new drug for her. She was uncomfortable but is better now. Tomorrow we may have to stop at the clinic because of this before leaving for the train to go to Children's hospital of Philadelphia. We have an appointment with an important lady in pediatric lymphoma, thanks to Steve! Also, should Laura need stem cell or bone marrow donation from Joelle in the future, we will have seen the place. They do not do that here-only Boston, so Philadelphia is better for us due to NJ family! Well, keep your prayers going for us that it is a good informative and maybe a fun trip!
Mom

Dr. Joanne A. Santiago


August 7.2001
     Hi again everyone! Laura is doing well -- when she feels well she has started her high school classes at home. They work with her daily when she can. It has been good for her! Bobby our hairdresser is talking about doing a cut -a -thon for Laura's benefit-she said it will be fun! $10. a haircut!
As for tonight, there is a training session for the volunteers who are helping Anthony Squillaro do a blood drive on August 29 at St. Anne's Church hall. Anthony wanted to do something to help Laura and people like her. So as an Eagle Scout Service Project, he decided to run a blood drive with the Red Cross and dedicate it to Laura.
If you want information about it Anthony can be reached at 306-6757.
Laura will be back in the hospital this Thursday for a few days. Our friend Robin Salerno is taking Joelle this time. She will have fun-there is a pool in the yard and Aunt Robin always is up to something! Plus, she will check on CO-CO and visit us...
Keep sending her cards, or e-mailing her. And of course, keep the prayers going for us. Thanks for checking in on us!
Joanne