Thursday, May 1, 2008

Child Champion-Always!

Owen received his award today, which was a great honor. His award was introduced by Dr. Fitzpatrick, who has been Owen's oncologist, and coach Sil Dan, who has done fundraising for Owen. Both were great speakers. The Pink Power Ranger was there to greet him, as well. Owen kissed her, and later tonight said, "I forgot to ask the Pink Ranger something! I forgot to ask her to marry me!" Too cute!
So, here is the speech I gave today after Owen got his award:
"We'd like to thank the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo Foundation for choosing our son, Owen, for the Burt P. Flickinger, Jr Child Champion award. We, of course, have always seen Owen as a champion, even before his journey with cancer began a little over a year ago.
It was a cold day last April. Owen had been vomiting and complaining of neck pain for three days. His symptoms were not getting better with time, so we took him to the ER at Children's Hospital, where a doctor and nurse spent hours trying to figure out what was making little Owen sick. We discovered it was a brain tumor-a cancer called medulloblastoma. Five days later, my three year old son was having major brain surgery to have his tumor removed. Within hours after surgery, Owen had not yet opened his eyes, but was able to smile when his grandfather bent down to talk to him.
That is the essence of Owen-his ability to continue to smile despite all he has been through. One parent we have met summed it up perfectly for everyone who has met him when he said, "From the very first time you meet him, you can't help but fall in love with that little guy." It's true. Look at him. How could you not fall in love with him?
We accept this award on behalf of Owen and all of the children and families who are facing any illness. We thank the foundation, the doctors, nurses, aides, friends, family members, and everyone who has become our family members through our journey. May Owen's smile and spirit continue to inspire hope and happiness in all of us. Thank you."

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