Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Team Noonie

When science finally perfects the human-cloning process, we're going to have to get busy with building an army of this woman, Nicole Rattay, and her husband Steve Smith. These guys are the diehards who flew out to VA to drive an RV with 13 Vick dogs back to CA. Nicole then went back to VA and lived in a run-down little rented apartment for six weeks so she could offer daily assessment reports to Rebecca Huss, along with exercise opps and general comfort to the sheltered dogs that were still waiting for their ticket home. We could (and should) write a long blog on what Nicole did for those Vick dogs and how her care brought so many out of kennel stress and depression.

Shown here with Bouncer now Leo, a fantastic example of the breed - destined to be a working dog (and quite likely related to Hector). Leo has a way of making toys out of anything he can get his big fat mouth on, and after demolishing a plastic garbage can for sh*ts and giggles, we knew that flying him home in a vari-kennel might cause a little bit of a problem (!) So without a second thought, Nicole raised her hand to do another coast-to-coast drive, this time solo - except for her special passenger, of course.

During the long and difficult dogs days of the Vick ordeal, Nicole learned that her three year old nephew Charlie was diagnosed with leukemia.

As you may imagine, our family was rocked by the diagnosis and the reality that came with it. Hospitals…procedures…tests…needles…chemo…all scary stuff, and bad enough when an adult is faced with these things, but try explaining the necessity of all of this to a child. Charlie has been a real trooper during his treatment. Initially of course there were battles over medication, but those are few and far between now. He understands that there are “bad guys” in his blood and the medications and healthy food are going to make them go away. (Letter from Nicole)

So what do you do in that situation besides rack up the cell phone minutes and frequent flyer miles?

What else. You shave your head in solidarity for the little guy who lost his hair.

On March 15, Nicole and Steve will be going chrome-dome as part of a St. Baldrick Fundraiser to bring attention to kids with cancer, and to raise funds for research. Cancer is the #1 disease related killer of children under the age of 14 years and currently, one in every 330 children in the United States develops cancer before the age of nineteen.

Nicole's whole family is in on this and have formed 'Team Noonie.' Noonie is the name of Charlie’s beloved softie that accompanies him to all hospital visits. If you'd like to pledge a little something to support this family, I know they would love it. Team Noonie Pledges.

Thank you!


Jenifer said...

I cried when I read that!
My heart and thoughts and prayers go out to Charlie, Nicole and their family!
I am sure he will get better. His family seems has done so many kind acts, that they must be surrounded by kindness themselves.
Go Team Noonie!

Leesa said...

I had to send a small something...
I really wish the family all the best. It's heartbreaking to me that people who are so giving, are now having to deal with such a hardship in their own family. I wish them the best, and I know that my donation isn't much..but I hope it can help!

Good luck guys...
And good luck little man, you'll beat those baddies.

x x x
Leesa and Sean Simons

Mac`s Gang said...

Prayers and best wishes go out to Charlie and his family from Ontario.
I`m heading over to the site now.
What a cute little guy.
All the best.

Kirsten said...

We had to send a little something, too...

With our very best wishes to Team Noonie,

Kirsten and Dan

Donna said...

You guys are great...Thank you for remember the wee human. If she lets me, I'll post pix of her new 'do (or, lack of 'do) after she gets the big buzz.

smason39 said...

Kids and dogs--my two favorite things! People always send me these links to donate to their fundraiser and I don't always do it but this story is very touching and I felt quite satisfied to give back to someone who works so selflessly for the dogs--Thanks Nicole and GO Team Noonie!


Nicole Rattay said...

Thank you for your kind thoughts and generosity. I am touched by the support. Charlie is part way through his treatment and we hope to be in maintenance phase by summer (which means only one trip a month to the hospital for chemo). Maintenance phase lasts for 3 yrs. Then he will be cancer free...YAY!

Donna - I'll send pics after the "shearing" and we can all have a good laugh.

I thank you, my family thanks you, kids who will benefit from the reseach this organization supports thank you.