Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ethan Powell and the St. Jude Trike-a-Thon

Last week the girls got permission slips from their school to participate in the upcoming St. Jude Trike-A-Thon. I was thinking, "Bailey is three months old how much triking will she be doing, exactly? Ok, just make sure she hydrates between laps and don't let her pull a hamstring." But apparently they let all the children participate by using the wagons, bye bye buggies and any other mode of transportation so they can all do laps for an important cause.

My interest in the St. Jude Trike-a-Thon has been completely renewed today. I not only want my children to participate, I want them to raise all kinds of money for St. Jude. It is all because of one special little boy named Ethan Powell.

Ethan Powell's mom was a fellow BBC mommy where I have posted since I was pregnant with Reagan. In February of last year, word traveled quickly to my board about a sick little boy that they didn't expect to live a week. That sick little boy was Ethan. He had leukemia and he was only two months old.

To everyone's surprise (except his very faithful parents) Ethan did live that week. And he lived the next week and the week after that. Ethan had many ups and downs and many close calls while going through two bone marrow transplants and countless other therapies. I watched him grow up as I followed along every day getting to know him as though he was family. Bill and I would cheer when he got better and cry when he got worse. He captured our hearts and we carried many prayers to God on his behalf.

Today Ethan's fight to live ended. He died peacefully in his parents arms. He is now in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. He lived 424 days longer than anyone expected him to. I am comforted in knowing that his body is no longer his enemy and his spirit is free. I am comforted in believing that he will see his parents again one day. But I am sad for his family and I am sad he is no longer with us to inspire us and to bring us to our knees. I know that God has a plan. But I admit to wavering in that faith and have a hard time understanding why God would take such a precious baby from his parents. In my heart I know that Ethan was such a perfect soul that he didn't need to be here on Earth as long as the rest of us. He was here to teach us and his work was done. He is needed in Heaven more. But it still hurts and my heart is broken.

Ethan went to St. Jude at two months old and that is pretty much all he ever knew as life. He and his parents basically spent all of Ethan's entirely too short life at St. Jude. I've been incredibly impressed with St. Jude after learning much about it over the past year. All of their care and services are free. Their services are top notch. And they never gave up on Ethan. Most hospitals would have sent Ethan home to die a year ago. St. Jude did everything they could to save his life and to give him more time with his parents and with us.

So my girls will be riding, biking, triking, "wagoning", whatever they need to do. But they will participate in the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon and they'll do it in memory of Ethan Powell. Maybe they can help save the next Ethan. If you would like to help by sponsoring the girls, you can email me at and I'll give you details.

Rest in Peace, Ethan Powell
We hardly knew you yet you touched all of our souls


Anonymous said...

I appreciated reading your touching post. I, too, have been moved by Ethan's story. I am in charge of the St. Jude's math-a-thon at the school where I teach. I think I may approach the director of Cole's school about a trike-a-thon. How cool! -Stacey (Sparker111) from BBC

Mrs. Kingry said...

I haven't really followed Ethan's story, but I am saddened to hear of his passing. May his family have the strength to cope with this unimaginable tragedy.

I love the idea of the trike-a-thon!

Beth said...

So nicely written, Bridget! Thanks for articulating so well how I feel. I won't be ignoring the mail from St. Jude's anymore--that's for sure.

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