Ownby Family

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Dear Jack &Jill Foundation,

We would like to thank you for the wonderful opportunity to have a vacation in Orlando, Florida.

So many feelings come to my mind that I would like to share with you. You do not know how much this trip has meant to us.
For the first time in many years we were able to stop the worries, frustration, and pain and sadness, so we were able to enjoy the wonders of Disney World and Sea World and we were able to relax, laugh, and remember that we are still a regular family, with dreams, and we are all together having fun, something that I think we have forgotten about for a long time. Thank you, thank you for allowed us to stop and to not thinking about chemo, and doctors and medications, thank you for giving us that time back. We did not realize until now, that we really needed so bad!!!

To Heidi, Thank you so much for all your work, for all the details you took care for us. I felt that you were with us in our trip!. For all that hard work, making sure you are coverage all the details, Thank you so very much!!!.

Let me explain a little bit about us. I came from a family with another culture, with different expectations, with many financial difficulties. I was not allowed to dream, Education after high School it was just only for rich people. My parents enroll me to become a secretary, has to be something fast so we can pay the bills. We have been “parents for our parents” so, we never expected anything, just whatever your work is allow to provide you, so you can image it to receive a gift like this, it is something so big, wonderful, it is a blessing. And we owe it all to you.

Tired not to have my own dreams, I came to USA to study English when I met my dear Husband Mike. I felt that we meant to be together since the first time, but also I felt I was trial by fire, because I did not have much chance to adjust to a different life. We did not have anything just the both of us. I remember going alone to get my wedding dress…oh well… After a few years, we decided to have family, the last 10 years has been a bumpy road… and I find out I was infertile.. What else? . Treatments comes and goes, finally Daniel came, about 4 months pregnant my Gall bladder decided to come too. More intensive treatments of insemination and invitro and in and out the hospital due to side effect for the drugs dissapointment, fears, lost, subsequently, Amanda was born premature, as my water broke at 23 weeks, which caused me to spend two more months in the hospital. And my dear Daniel has to be pass from house to house thru my friends. Thanks God to put them in our way!!!She was then born at 29 weeks, and spent an additional two months in the NICU. My husband has lost his job 3 times, in this period of time; one lasted 8 months until he found a job. As you can see, nothing have been easy for us, my mother in law died the same day I found out I had cancer…how long it took for the doctors to find out what was wrong with me? More than a year, I was ready to have back surgery; also they told me it was to much stress. My cancer was already staged 4, Mammogram? Yes I get one every year but because I had a reduce breast surgery (due to back problems), it was hard for the Doctors to identified…. a few more days….and I could not tell you my story, The Breast Cancer was already in my neck, but for the love of our family and for each other we keep trying and trying to go to the right path and to not to put so much in the faults.

My husband has been taking care of the kids and me, and our finances, job that I used to do. and sometimes you can not take care everything, he tried, but it is hard. With me, I spend most of the time laying in the bed because it is so painful or in the doctors office. There is no way to think of planning a vacation, less when financially has been a roller coaster for us. How to explain to the children why we can not take a vacation? We spend to much in medications and treatments and bills pile up. And we did not have any help. Friends, yes we have friends, they come and go, is not their fault I understand, it is very difficult to be close to somebody that is sick all the time, I do not blame them for that. On top of everything else my own mother died two years ago, and because of our financial problems I could not be present for her funeral. We also came close to losing our house.

Mike is very smart and he decided to go to school so we can increased our income, but with me in this situation, has not been able to finish it.

But we have accepted, It is God decision and nothing we can do just keep praying that the cure is going to be found. Believe me, there is not a day that I think how I am going to leave my children’s. How can I protect them?
I do not know how many times I cried seeing my kids laughing and jumping and joking during our vacation, How many times I said God Bless this Foundation for this wonderful time, thanks to them we are here all together please, no doubt for any moment that you are not doing the right thing God Bless you all for giving a brake for our life with cancer. Really, I really want to say Thank you, thank you so much, and is there anything I can help or do please let me know. My family deeply appreciated all the effort you put on this.

Please do not think that we want just to complain, we share this with you to better explain how much your gifts means to us. It was like a light in the tunnel for us, it gave us the opportunity to charge our batteries to keep with the fight of this cancer, cancer that not only I carry, but affects all my family. What you are doing is such a wonderful Gift.

Again, thank you for providing us with this break, because it has been the most beautiful gift we have ever received.

From all of our family, thank you so very much,

The Ownbies