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Today...I wish you a day of ordinary miracles- 
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't have to make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work or shop.
I wish you a day of little things to rejoice in...
The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing along song on the radio.
Your keys right where you look.
I wish you a day of happiness and perfection-little bite-size pieces of perfection that give you the funny feeling that the Lord is smiling on you, holding you so gently because you are someone special and rare.
I wish You a day of Peace, Happiness and Joy.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. 

Send this phrase to the people you'll never forget and remember to send it also to the person who sent it to you. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them.

If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in too much of a hurry and that you've probably forgotten your friends.


Thank you. I wish you all the same. 

Today...I wish you a day of ordinary miracles- 


"When walking through the "valley of shadows," remember, a shadow is cast by
a light."
    ~ H.K. Barclay



Best of luck in New York City.  I will continue to pray, but if there is anything else you need, please don't hesitate to ask. Laurie


Our whole family is thinking of you and hoping for a good outcome in New York.
The Custer family


Hi Joanne,

I am not sure if you are in New York yet... I have tried to get the hospital's number and I have been unsuccessful...
I am glad to hear you are going for another option... You are a brave woman with a even braver daughter !!!
I would like to come visit ..... When possible email me back your info.
I am sorry I have not talk to you in so long I was rather sick my self for a couple of weeks... Lucy filled me in on the new option for you guys...

Keep in touch
Love to you and Laura (Laura lots of kisses)


Hello and Happy Halloween to all!

We are happy to report that yesterday was another successful day at the clinic and spinal tap in the OR. Christina was thrilled when she found out that she only has 2 spinal taps left in her treatment. She continues to do great, with minimum discomfort from the medication.

As you might remember from last e-mail, I mentioned Christina was going to try out for the 8th grade basketball travel team. Well, she made it and she could not be happier. It is the same coach that was coaching the 6th grade travel team (that she had to drop out when she was first diagnosed). When he called to let her know that she made the team, he said "Welcome back on the team."

Jackie's field hockey finished last week, and unfortunately she could not play the last three weeks due to a sprained back. She is all better now and is starting practice today after-school for the school basketball team tryouts.

Laura Santiago continues to battle her Leukemia and Lymphoma and just started a new treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. As most of you know, Sloan-Kettering is a renowned Cancer Center and has treated more children with cancer than any other institution in the world, so she is in great hands. Please continue to pray for her to go into remission and for better pain management. I know some of you have been sending her cards, so please keep them coming to her new address:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Laura Santiago Room 522A
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY   10021


Thank you to all for the continued prayers for Christina and Laura.



Hey guys how are you doing? I have just had you in my thoughts for every minute of every day since I found out that your in NY. How was the trip?. How are you doing and how is our Laura ? How are they treating you there. I hope good I wouldn't want to have to come up there and kick some butt....we miss you so much. How is joelle. where is she staying and with who? seriously please know that my offer is sincere when I say that if she wants to get away and come and stay with us she is always welcome. she would be in wonderful hands. I would take wonderful care of her. we would love to have her visit specially Karlee-Ann. Joanne I am worried about you. I hope your ok. please try to eat.I know it's not easy to sleep or even think of food but you know Laura is watching you and if you don't eat she won't either. your strength between the two of you is so admired and I am so happy to say that  we know you. we love you so much I would do any thing I could to help. Please send me the phone number I would love to be able to keep up with you. do you have any idea how long you will be there? Listen if your to busy or stressed to respond I understand I know you will when you can. please don't feel pressured to send this long email unless you want to ok... seriously. i understand. I am always her for you if you need to talk or scream or cry or what ever... send our love to Laura and please tell her we love her like she was one of our own. and that we are praying for her so hard and so much. keep in touch if you can and keep your faith. all our love and prayers always, tina  and the gang


Dear Joanne,  We are thinking of you in New York, and if you get a chance, can you email us your address?  We would like to send Laura (and you:) cards!  Our love and prayers are with you always.  Love Gail




I'm sorry that you guys took off on Sunday, Hedy and I were going to try our luck at coming up to see guys on Sunday and/or on Halloween.  Luke wanted to show off his puppy costume! Your Mastermind friends were talking about you at the CCA Convention on Saturday.  We were also thinking of paying you a visit to recharge your batteries one day this week.  (But, I know you keep going and going, at this point...you are being powered from above!)  I spoke to Hedy yesterday to give her the scoop.  She said she is sending distant healing , so is Gina, and so am I.  Morgan never forgets to pray for Laura when we say Grace. (and she continues to talk about how much fun she had with Joelle.  "..she let me buy anything I wanted!") Never, never, never give up!  We love the three of you!     Love, Michele   P.S. Please keep us posted.  


Dear Joanne,

Greetings from France! Checking the news on Laura's site helps to feel as near to Avon as ever. I hope I can offer you positive energy and prayers even from this distance.

Just a short note to send love to you and Laura and Joelle, and strength for your new adventure in New York. Do not be afraid.




Hi Joanne!

I am so sorry that we weren't home when you called. My younger sister Christened her baby on Saturday, so we spent Friday through Sunday driving there, visiting, and driving back.

We are happy that you have picked Sloan-Kettering for Laura. I have a very good friend who worked there and she has nothing but good things to say about their capabilities. As I'm sure you know, they are renowned for the success they have for the hardest cases.

John tried to call Sloan-Kettering today, and they can't seem to locate you guys. Please let us know when you are settled in so that we can give a call (if you are accepting phone calls).

All our love and prayers to Laura, you, and Joelle. Look forward to hearing from you. Please keep us posted.

Love Colette


God be with you all. Thank you for keeping me in the loop. I hope Joelle
and Laura enjoyed the annual pumpkin carving. So glad you had a nice
Gigi and family


God Bless, my prayers are always with you three.



Let me know when you arrive in NYC. I am only 30 minutes from that hospital
and can come down anytime; with home cooked food, a upper back massage for
you, and prayers for all.




Hey Joanne,

I was sad not to see your guys go home however, I was very sick
I heard you are going to Sloan.... Please, Please give me your room
info asap so I can come and visit asap..... I go there once a week for
dr. appt's......

You are all in my prayers please give Laura a big kiss for me ...
Love Bethanne


Joanne:   Happy Birthday to Laura.  Give her a big kiss and hug for me.  The same for Joelle, she certainly is couragous and a wonderful sister.   Hope all goes well in NYC.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all three of you.   Love, Dina


Note: These are all the emails that I received while moving to Florida. Sorry for the delay.

Joanne -  

    We are so very sorry and will continue to hold you all in our thoughts and prayers. Just hold on to Laura and love her and hug her.  Through you she will feel the love and prayers in her honor.

I went to Cat's parent conference Thursday night and saw a pic of Laura on a blood donor poster in the gym.  Today I kissed her pic.

God Bless you all.  


I believe the gifts
you have
are there for you to share
and when you give them from the heart,
the whole world knows you care.
I believe that Love
is still
the greatest gift of all
and when its given from the heart
the gift is never small.

-Cougar Wisdom-

From my Heart to yours,
With Love to warmly embrace you
and Light to help you see your way,

Joanne, there is little I can say that will take the sting away. My heart breaks for you all. I read your note earlier in the day and I have sat with its message not knowing what to say. You know you are in our prayers, that we would do anything in our power to change the situation....if we could. I am here for you and will do anything you ask.....you are not alone no matter how alone you feel. And while Laura and Joelle are an inspiration to all.....You are a mother full of love and devotion for her children that has taught us so much. No mother could give a greater gift to their child than what you have given Laura and Joelle. Your special bond with your girls is a treasure that every mother desires. Love is so beautiful  and powerful ...and yet, it can be so painful. I am here to help in any way.........with much love, Nancy

Dear Joanne, My heart aches for you now. We will continue our prayers.  I
will contact the St. Mary Prayer line to pray for a miracle.

Love Dorothy

Dear Joanne,
I am so sorry to hear what the doctors are saying.  I can't imagine what you and the girls are going through. I will pray because I don't know what else to do. Love, JaneEllen

Dear Joanne,

As always, our prayers and our love is with you and your family.

Sara & Arthur


I just read the note you forwarded.  My heart breaks for you. You've been
blest with such an incredible child - and she with you as a mother. Hold her

Sending prayers,


Hi, I was trying to get on the laura's journal and I keep getting wrong page?  Am I doing something wrong  www.laruassurvivaljournal.com

How are you?  I miss seeing you and now I have a cold!!!!  Can we talk on the phone?  If so, what is a good time or should I just take my chances!  Can I do anything and leave at the door?  Please dont' forget to tell me if I can help!

How is Laura holding up - I know she just had a birthday!!  I actually thought about it the other day and I smiled cause it is only one more year till she drives!!!  We talked about that the day we went into Hartford for makeup!  You can tell her I remembered!

Talk to you soon!  Love, Anne

Thinking of you and the girls!
A Little Wisdom

A mirror is only as good
As the reflection in it.

Worry enough to anticipate trouble
But not so much as to bring it about.

Look back to where you have been
For a clue to where you are going.

Melt the icy fingers of fear
With the sunshine of hope.

Step by gentle step,
You can overcome the greatest sorrow.

The sweetest grapes
Are picked from the vineyard of friendship.

Find something you truly believe in,
And everything else will have meaning as well.

Beth Donohue, D.C. 

Janne, I don't know what to say.  You have been so strong, I pray for you
to keep your strength during this difficult time.  You have many people
praying for  you, Laura and Joelle.  My very best wishes to all of you.
Love,  Laurie


Just to let you know that you that, even though we're not immediately on the scene as before, you and Laura remain in our prayers and I appreciate the updates that you have been sending along. Give Laura a big hug.

Carl (Shuster)

Morning Joanne, The days have been full but my thoughts and love linger with your household. Sunday was a lovely day-colorful and sunny.........a perfect day to celebrate a special birthday. I hope Laura was feeling better as the day went along so that she able to enjoy her day. I know Rotarians were surrounding her with all kinds of birthday wishes! I am available to run any errands you may need, so please leave me a message if I can be of help. I pray today will be a day full of love and special ordinary moments for you all. Love, Nancy

Joanne- It was so nice to see you, Laura & Joelle at last Friday's meeting.  I think I can speak for the entire club when I tell you what a pleasant surprise that was.  We keep you in our prayers constantly.  Laura is an unbelievably strong young lady!  I pray for her to keep her strengh up... you too!  I can't even beging to imagine what you're going through.  Love, Michelle


I read the e-mail you sent to Chip this weekend. Know that we are thinking
about you and your family.  I'm praying that the Virgin Mary is by your
side, guiding you as you decide the next steps to take in Laura's treatment.
If you are at the hospital, don't hesitate to e-mail or call if you need



my prayers and heart are with your family during this especially trying time.  let
me know about my platelet offer.  anytime any place.   love - jackie g.

All my prayers for great strenght.
Love you

Our love & prayers are always with you and the girls.
Mary & Don

Hi Joanne - I hope you can receive my great big huge hugs over the computer screen.  We think of you and pray daily.  Bruce has accumulated some airline miles, so if you need to travel I can make arrangements for a ticket.  Just let me know.  Love, Marsha

Joanne, I don't know what to say! When I first read your e-mail and saw that they were no longer considering radiation  I thought you were sending good news. In fact, I sent a joyous note to you.....which I quickly retrieved on my second reading of your note. What can we do? What will make this birthday so very special? Please ...is there something that you want to do for Laura but are unable to do so?  We will run any errands .....make phone calls.....you name it. My love is there with you all. I will wait to hear from you . Meanwhile, I will think and pray hard. Nancy

dear joanne,    i am with natalie in louisanna for the next few days, we drove here with the caravan and i will be flying b ack on monday.,  Natalie wears the bracelet that laura gave nikki all the time.  We are thinking of Laura all the time, but especially on Sunday, her 15th birthday.  I am hoping that Laura is feeling good enough to enjoy her birthday, do you have any special plans? our prayers are with all of you ... we love you!!  love gail  and natalie

Dearest Joanne, Our thoughts and prayers are with you...we will pop in probably Sunday to drop off a little somethng for the birthday girl( we won't stay)  Let us know if you need anything this weekend..love YA

Christina Johan Steph and Anders xoxoxox

Joanne, I just want you to know that you and Laura and Joelle are always in my thoughts.  If there is anything I can do to help - you know I will do it.  my heart aches for what you are going through.

with love - Pam

Just a quick hi to let you know you, Laura and Joelle are always in our prayers and thoughts and we wish everything gets better for all of you soon. Hope you are still at home and are enjoying each moment with your precious girls!
Lots of love,

Hi Joanne,  Just want you to know that you are still in my daily prayers. It
must be wonderful to be at home and back to a more normal lifestyle.  Say
hello to the girls for me.  Love,  Laurie

This is all good news.  Glad you're all  home together.  I need to talk to the farmer and make sure the pumpkin crop is still well.  You know all the problems farmers have with the weather and all.  I will try to go over there today.  And then I will call you.  Gene is moving to Floriday.  I am glad tfor him, sad for all the all the people he has helped with his generous gift of time and talent.  What a beautiful person he is.  I'll give you a call!!  Love leslie

Dear Joanne and Family, your last message was encouraging, so of course, we are hoping and praying for good results this Thursday--Linda Schultz and Marie Mulhall, both gals I work with, met me at the Leukemia walk, and needless to say, we were all thrilled to hear the announcement that the Rob Branham Foundation was donating ALL the walk proceeds to your family!! Such great news-anyway, Love to the girls, and we are all pulling for you!! p.s. Gail Weed says hi, and you are in her thoughts and prayers, also-Love, June and Burt Schweitzer

OUTREACH - Kids helping kids It's our last call for new and gently used books and videotapes Your donations of books will go to "Books to Dreams" and videotapes will go to UCONN Children's Medical Center. In addition... All PG-13 and N65 games will go to Laura Santiago's Hartford Hospital Entertainment Center for teenagers. The last day for drop-off is the end of October! All children helping to coordinate the end of the collection will meet after school on October 21st. Please get your permission slips in! Call Karen Herbert 675-7970 or Linda Stein 673-8376 with questions.

Visit our website at
http://www.avon.k12.ct.us/thompsonbrook/ for more information.

I am so excited for all of you!  Sorry I have not written, we went to Washington (for a wedding) and decided to visit my brother and his family and of course a couple of toy dealers!!!

I am just delighted that you are home and can enjoy all the comforts of home and family!!  I bet Joelle is jumping out of her skin to see you both!!!!

I do hope Laura is doing well and also you!  Please tell me if you need anything at all!  I know prayers and you are an automatic on my list!  I will call you this weekend!

Lots of Love, Anne

This all sounds wonderfulyly going in the right direction. Nice to be home I

The Mother Seton high school reunion was really nice to see everyone. I
think with so many of the women having survived CA or had other problems
that did not go so well, many were deeply grateful to see each other and
share the good and bad news.

All my prayers,


Hi, Joanne!
Thank you for the update on Joelle and Laura. You sound delighted to be back home and that is understandable.  Please give Laura a hug for me.  You are all an inspiration.
Love, Jane Ellen

Oct. 14th, it's good to "hear" the positiveness in your message. You'll all
be in my thoughts and prayers always but extra prayers for Thursday. I'm
looking forward to hearing about a Boston trip!
Yesterdays Lukemia walk was great. A little wet, but we (June, Marie &
myself) were very happy to hear everything was going to the Santiago family.
It's nice Laura and Joelle are so close. This will be an unbelievable bond
forever. Love you all. God's blessings.  

  I'm so happy to hear that Laura's tumor is shrinking and that you have been able to spend time at home. I hope that you are able to manage her pain. I assume that while you are home, you are receiving a lot of help.  Let me know if you need anything.   Thinking and praying for your family, Nancy

Dear Joanne,
Great news about Laura and her wonderful sister Joelle...what a team you have!  They don't fall far from the tree!  Must feel good to be moving forward with healing!  Do you need any help?  Can we send the food ladies soon??  Let  me know and I'll arrange to have it delivered!  Looking forward to seeing you soon!
cheryl xoxoxo

Note this is the end of the messages missed during the move.

Dear Joanne, It was wonderful to see you and the girls this morning. Wouldn't you know I would have the beginning of a cold....no hugs! We were just talking about your last e-mail and Laura's upcoming birthday before you arrived. Am I to understand that testing went well yesterday? I sure hope so. And can you give us any suggestions for Laura's birthday? Think of you daily.....and surround you with love. Nancy


Hi Joanne, I just checked my email and your website - no news since the 11th.  Called CCMC but heard Laura was discharged.  I hope you are all snuggled up in your own home on a cool, rainy night.  Must be so nice to be home.  I pray that Laura remains comfortable and can stay away from the hospital for awhile.  I hope that she's feeling well enough to enjoy being at home; Joelle must be thrilled to have everyone home again.  She's such a cutie!  I laughed when I read her entry on the website about having Co-co blessed at church.  My cousin and his daughter brought their lop-eared rabbit and their very hyper dog to be blessed.  My cousin said it his animals were not impressed.  There were two policemen who rode up on their horses, which were blessed.  Then there were little pedestals with bowls of birdseed and pet food in them, but someone's dog flipped out and ran around knocking everything over.  Guess that's the last time THAT dog gets blessed!!  It's such a cool idea, though, and I know it means alot to the kids.  Any news about Laura's ct scan or tests yet??  I pray so often for her to be well again.  My heart aches for you, also.  Just wanted to check in and let me know we're thinking of you.  Wanted to visit you this weekend at CCMC, but we'll wait to hear from you.  Love you lots, Marianne


My dear Joanne,  I am thinking of you and your two young ladies.......daily.  Our prayers continue each evening....  Hugs paula d


Dear Joanne,

Just wanted to say you and girls have been in my heart and prayers. Think of you often. All is well here. 

Love Karen 

Will be going to Mother Seton H.S. 35th reunion this Saturday. Will ask for prayers.


Good morning :)   Lindsay and I met Laura and her mom during one of our stays at CCMC.  Lindsay was on her way to Boston for her BMT.  We dyed her hair blue for the occasion.  Not sure if that was the time we met Laura or not... after awhile, our stays at CCMC all seem to just mush together.  I'm sure you know what I mean :)   Lindsay had her transplant and is doing very well.  We still need to travel to Boston about every 6 months, and we're seeing Dr. Hagstrom about every 6 weeks.    :::knock on wood:::  Lindsay is doing wonderfully.   Perhaps you'd like to include a link to her website on Laura's site?  I found that when Lindsay was first diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, I began scouring the web for any information I could find.  It was pretty sparse, and what I found was so incredibly technical and scary!  I built Lindsay's site with the hope that other families could read about our journey though Aplastic Anemia in plain Mom-Speak.   The address is http://www.templefamily.net/LCT   I still add pictures to show that even though you might doubt it, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.   I will keep Laura as well as her family in my prayers, as I'm convinced the Lord provided the miracle that brought Lindsay home to us.  Please let me know if there's anything that we can do.    Fondly, Kimberly Temple Lindsay's Mom

Hi Joanne: Please know I am thinking of you all and praying that Laura's fever is gone for good.  I too, said the prayer to "The Little Flower" for Laura.  Perhaps everyone can do the same.  My heart goes out to you all, my dear friend.  Please know I am a phone call away and will come in an instant (alone).  I am sad for you all about Michelle, but take comfort that she is with Nikki, looking over all those they love.  May her family find comfort and strength.  God Bless you all, Love, Donna xxxooo


Dear Joanne,

Today is the feast of St. Terese of the Child Jesus ("The Little Flower").  She is a Carmelite Saint and that is the Order of Priests that we have in my parish so it is a special day for us.  I said the following prayer since I was a child and I prayed it for Laura many times today:

            O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick me a rose from the heavenly gardens and sent it to me as a message of love.

            O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place in your hands.......     (mention specific requests)

            St. Therese, help me always to believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your  "Little Way" each day.  Amen.

I hope Laura is having a good day and I will continue to pray for all of you.




I read your latest journal entry and I am sorry little Michele passed away, may God give her family the strength they need to get through this extremely difficult time. Are you all still home? What is going on with the treatments? We continually pray for Laura as well as for you and Joelle. May God keep you all strong and bless you with the miracle you so desperately seek and definitely deserve. God bless you all.


John J. Ercole
Honeywell CPG
Director, Systems Accounting and Reporting

Joanne, Laura, and Joelle:
Just a quick note to let you know you are all in my prayers ....
Love, Beth

Beth Donohue, D.C.           
Director, Accreditation and Planning
Chair, Public Education Committee
New York Chiropractic College

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