After a few years in the bustling borough of Brooklyn, NY, Molly Gee returned to her roots in Madison, MS.  With her degree in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising from Mississippi State University, Molly Gee fulfilled a dream and started Molly Gee Designs. “Sewing and designing has always been a passion of mine,” she says.  “A number of engaged friends requested unique accessories they couldn’t seem to find, which encouraged me to launch our bridal line.  Accessories can change a gown in so many ways; I love getting to know a bride and helping her style a look that brings out her personality.” 
Molly Gee crafts gorgeous brooches, bridal veils, dress sashes, headbands and fascinators with glass pearls, fine silks, whimsical feathers, delicate lace and sparkling rhinestones.   She admits, “I have so many favorites in my collection, but I absolutely love making hairpieces with a mix of beadwork and flower petals.  I hand cut the fabric and form the three dimensional flowers.”  The result is simply breathtaking.
Fans of Molly Gee’s accessories are quite creative themselves.  Jennifer Chappell gave her daughter, Mattie, a stunning brooch for her first birthday.  Jennifer says, “I knew I wanted to do a vintage/shabby chic theme for my daughter’s party, and as I began collecting pieces that once belonged to my grandmother and great-grandmother, it reminded me of my own wedding day, and how I wanted my daughter to have something special from her father and me.  I wanted it to have a story and meaning behind it.”  Jennifer came across a photo of a wreath with brooches adorning the fabric, and immediately knew she wanted to give her daughter a pretty pin.
Molly Gee was designing a wedding dress sash and hairpiece for one of Jennifer’s dear friends, so she began looking at her pieces online.  “I wanted [Mattie’s piece] to be something she would one day treasure and maybe pass down to her children…I contacted [Molly Gee] and she was more than happy to make this special gift for our little girl.  I felt Molly Gee fulfilled my wants for it to be unique, handmade and affordable.”  Molly Gee adds, “Jennifer was the mastermind behind her keepsake gift and I’m so glad she asked me to be a part of it!  I love designing a piece knowing it will become a special memory.”
Kendall Poole Ellis also gave her daughter an unforgettable gift.  “Molly Gee designed an elegant headpiece for my wedding day.  When I found out I was having a little girl, I asked Molly Gee to make it into a beautiful headband for my daughter, Emma.”  Kendall’s gorgeous headpiece was turned into a beloved heirloom for Emma, and she proudly wore it in her newborn photos.  Perhaps one day Emma will march down the aisle in her sparkling accessory, then pass it down to her children as a treasured gift. 
Molly Gee’s designs are one-of-a-kind and truly inspirational!  If you are dreaming of a perfect adornment for your wedding, special event, or child, please visit www.mollygeedesigns.com
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
{Click Photo(s) for Photographer Source}
 
 
Tomorrow marks the opening day of two extraordinary exhibits at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.  Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face, will be presented in separate galleries.

Robert Henri, an influential early 20th century American painter, had a great passion for traveling, especially to his beloved Spain.  Throughout his exceptional career, Henri enjoyed portraying the realities of contemporary life.  Julian Rankin, Director of Media and Public Relations at the Mississippi Museum of Art, tells us, “Spain transformed the way Henri saw art, painted, and later taught.  Spain is such a powerful place with unique characters.”  Henri was truly inspired by the dancers, musicians, singers, peasants, bullfighters, and gypsies he studied in Spain.  As Henri once observed, “It is harder to see than it is to express.  The whole value of art rests in the artist’s ability to see well into what is before him.”

Organized by the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia, Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain is a nationally touring exhibition.  Roger Ward, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Museum notes, “Numerous of Henri’s paintings from his extended sojourns in Spain, as well as those which were profoundly influenced by his experience of Spain – but painted in his New York studio – are true masterpieces…But they are less well-known…because the greatest works remain in private hands or were acquired relatively early by museums all over the United States.”
Roger Ward and his staff at the Mississippi Museum of Art have organized the accompanying exhibition, Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face.  Betsy Bradley, Director of the Museum, says, “The Face to Face exhibition which we have organized will provide the Jackson visitor with a perfect introduction to a larger exhibition, Spanish Sojourns.  How exciting it is to be able to display exquisite works by great artists such as El Greco, Ribera, Manet, and Cassatt alongside the beautiful works of John Singer Sargent and Henri himself.”
Julian Rankin also reveals that many of Henri’s paintings on display are 90 inches tall and tremendously life-like.  Along with these beautiful paintings, the museum will be hosting a series of events celebrating Spanish life and culture:
  
Saturday, September 27th – Opening Day of Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face
   
Thursday, October 16th – A Celebration with Spanish Music and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, beginning at 6PM in The Art Garden

Thursday, November 6th
– A Night of Passion with A’lante Flamenco, at 6PM in the Trustmark Grand Hall

Tuesday, November 18th – Unburied Treasures: Cover to Cover, starting at 5:30PM in the Trustmark Grand Hall

For more information on these wonderful opportunities, please visit www.msmuseumart.org
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Jasmine Murray dazzled us with her incredible voice and elegant evening gown during the Miss America pageant on September 14th.  Jasmine's vocals definitely stole the show.  As Good Morning America perfectly tweeted, "So I guess we'll be seeing Miss Mississippi at the Grammy's next year right?"  Miss Mississippi made our state incredibly proud as she captured a coveted spot in the top 10.  With the glow of the pageant now behind, Jasmine is looking forward to her year as Miss Mississippi.  Jasmine says, "It is so important to believe in yourself.  To see my sister on the Miss Mississippi stage growing up was so inspiring.  I never thought I would be up there!  To be on both the Miss Mississippi and Miss America stage has been such an incredible blessing for me."  We caught up with Jasmine to hear a little more about her upcoming year serving our state: 
How was your experience at the Miss America pageant?
"It was incredible, it really was.  It was one of those opportunities you never know what to expect until you get there!  We were able to go to so many places during the week, and everyday was something new and exciting.
What was a highlight from your week in Atlantic City?
"Getting to know the other contestants was a highlight.  Each young woman is so special in their own way - so talented, beautiful and friendly.  We all truly bonded; I am taking those wonderful friendships away with me."
What are you looking forward to doing in your year as Miss MS?
"I am so exited about this year and I have so much planned.  While I don't know exactly what the year will hold, I cannot wait to see what opportunities come from this experience.  I think the possibilities are endless!"
Do you have any words of wisdom for girls dreaming of one day becoming Miss Mississippi? Or for any child pursuing a dream?
"I would tell any little girl she can do anything she puts her mind to.  I grew up with three older sisters.  Looking up to them and seeing what they have become is so inspiring for me.  If I can inspire a little boy or girl and become their role model, I would love that.  I would also tell them they can do anything.  It takes hard work, time and patience - so don't rush anything, but work really hard and believe in yourself.   
Will you continue pursuing your music career?
"Music is my passion.  I will never stop singing, ever!  I want to continue with my music career and see what doors open.  I will keep pushing that door!  God gave me this passion for music, so i want to pursue it.  It is also my ministry, and I adore leading worship at Pine Lake Church; it is such an amazing feeling".  
How can we follow your schedule and appearances throughout the upcoming year? 
"My schedule changes daily!  I post frequently on social media - I love Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Also you can visit missMississippipageant.com for more information on my schedule!"
Anyone can follow Jasmine on Social Media!  Here is how:
    Click here to visit her Facebook Page 
    Visit Instagram and follow JasmineSMurray
    Visit Twitter and follow JasmineSMurray
Congratulations, Jasmine, on a beautiful performance at the Miss America Pageant!  Thank you for sharing your talent, faith, and positivity with all of us.  We look forward to watching you encourage and lead young children around our state!
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 

Brent's

09/22/2014

 
One of Jackson's most beloved haunts has recently undergone a charming face lift.  With a nod to the past and a hope for a bright future, Brent’s Drugs has been taken to the next level.  “We really have tried to hold onto that sense of gathering over a burger and shake, and keep Brent’s a favorite of all of Jackson’s people and generations,” says Amanda Wells.  Every effort was made to not only improve, but also preserve the historic restaurant that Mississippians know and love.
Brent’s Drugs first opened its doors in October 1946 in the Morgan Center, the first shopping center in Mississippi (later renamed Woodland Hills Shopping Center).  Pharmacist Alvin Brent left Patterson’s Drugs in the Plaza Building downtown (at the time known as the Standard Life Building), to open his own pharmacy and soda fountain in Fondren.  While the pharmacy was highly successful, the restaurant became the gathering place for neighbors and friends. Brent owned the pharmacy until 1977, when he sold the business. After passing through many hands over the years, a pharmacy-free Brent’s was purchased by Fondren resident Brad Reeves in July 2009.  Together with Amanda and Nathan Wells and Jonathan Shull, Brad Reeves set out to make his local hot spot even better.
Keeping the charm of the old interiors, as well as providing a more functional space, took top priority.  Amanda says, “It was imperative that our kitchen expand, because we had to keep up with demand, but we made sure to be as careful as possible about preserving Brent’s…charm was definitely a big factor, along with historical integrity and accuracy.”
The team researched 1940’s diners, and used several old and original materials.  “Boomerang Formica counter and table tops, 1940's wood tones, quilted stainless, and of course the original soda fountain stools where generations of Jacksonians have enjoyed quite a few milkshakes" are all included in the impressive 3-month renovation.  "We also have on display some original prescriptions and pharmacy equipment,” says Amanda.
She adds, “It was definitely a collaborative effort.  We put our heads together to make the place the most functional it could possibly be, now being a full restaurant, but also to preserve Brent’s heritage and history."
The result?  A perfectly charming setting with great food and their famously delicious milkshakes.  The updated landmark is sure to please both loyal and new customers.  
Amanda notes, "Brent's is a Jackson staple, I believe, because it is a true representation of community.  It is historically (and remains) a neighborhood joint that brings people from all walks of life together.  At any given time, you'll see young, old, college students, families, black, white, just about everyone, at Brent's.  This is a true representation of our city."
Thank you Amanda Wells for your Brent's insight!
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
{Photography by Caitlyn Sullivan}
 
 
{Bride} Heather Shaw (Jackson, Mississippi)
{Groom} Rhett Young (Greenwood, Mississippi)
{Location} Jackson, Mississippi
Picture
{Bride's Bouquet}
Picture
{Bridesmaid Bouquets}
Picture
{Groom/Groomsmen Boutonnieres}
{How did you two meet?}
We met at Mississippi State University.
{What is your proposal story?}
Rhett and I met at Mississippi State University. Rhett proposed to me on the Jackson Academy football field. The reasoning behind this proposal was that my father passed away in 1995 while he was the head football coach at Jackson Academy. My mother and father also met when they started working together at JA. His proposal was a very happy and emotional time for everyone in my family and it could not have been more perfect.
{What inspired your wedding and reception locations?}
The wedding took place at Christ United Methodist Church because I grew up going there.
I chose Union Station for my wedding reception because it was unique, it had great character, and an ambiance that was unlike other places I had seen. 
{What’s your favorite unique accessory? Is there a story behind it?}
When I walked down the aisle I had my grandmother's handkerchief wrapped around the stem of my bouquet. This was special to me because my grandmother lost her battle with cancer when I was only a year old and my mother saved her handkerchief for my sister and I to have on our wedding day. My sister also had the handkerchief monogrammed with mine and my mothers initials a few weeks before the wedding and surprised me on my wedding day.
{What inspired your color scheme/theme/flowers?}
I used pastel colors mainly periwinkle, lavender, and a soft pink. They went well with my spring theme.
{How did you choose "the dress"?}
I decided to wear my mothers dress that she wore in her wedding to my father in 1984.
{What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?}
My favorite part of wedding planning was having my mothers dress remade. Each time my sister, mother, and I went for a dress fitting we enjoyed every moment. It was amazing to see the progress and it meant a lot to each of us.
{Besides the actual wedding, what was your favorite moment of the wedding day?}
My favorite part of the wedding day was having both of our families come together to support us and bless our marriage. 
{Catering & Floral Design} Fresh Cut Catering and Floral
{Dress} Sandra Ashford
{Photography} Caitlyn Sullivan
{Bride's Cake} Jerri Ann Morgan 
{Groom's Cake} Meredith Brabec 
Thank you Heather and Rhett for sharing your story with us! 
 
 
Last Friday, we featured wearable women’s trends fresh from the runways of New York.  Today, we are delighted to highlight new looks for men, with the help of one of Mississippi’s finest shops.  Great Scott offers tailored clothing, as well as sportswear and shoes in their handsome Jackson store.  For over 28 years, Great Scott has not only served loyal customers with wonderful service, but has also dressed them head-to-toe with impeccable style.  Co-owner Wright Scott shares 5 trends from Spring 2015 Fashion Week, with tips on how to wear each look:
Sneakers
"This spring you will see a lot of sneakers with no shortage of color.  Around Jackson you will see them worn mostly with denim, but don’t be afraid to put them with your fitted suits!"
Graphic T’s
"Designers were trying to elongate the t-shirt to give it a new look.  I don’t see Jackson being ready for that.  We will continue to wear them fitted and short.  If the look sticks, you will see us pick it up in about five years!"
Bowling Shirts
"To me they look best with a pair of shorts."
Jackets
"You saw bombers, unconstructed sport coats and reinterpreted sweatshirts.  Because of our climate, I feel that an unconstructed sport coat in a fabric like washed linen is the way to go. Not really dressy enough for a tie, the unconstructed jacket is a great way to dress up a denim and t-shirt look!"
Denim
"The consumer is tiring of denim, but designers are showing it in a big way right now.  Shirts, jackets, and of course, jeans.  I still think a man looks best in a great fitting pair of jeans.  Get bold and put a denim shirt under a dressy suit with a linen or cotton tie.  The blending of dressy and casual is a fresh look that the younger generation is able to get excited about!"
Thank you, Wright, for sharing these fresh trends and fashionable ideas with Inspiration Mississippi. For more information on Great Scott, please click here!
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Over the past week, New York’s most fashionable have dashed between runway shows in towering heels and carefully curated outfits.  Designers are showcasing their Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear looks, and as always, the clothes are stunning.  Though we can’t all wear pieces straight off the runway, they can inspire our wardrobe for the upcoming season!  We have chosen six wearable and classic trends that are perfect for spring, as well as many seasons to come.  We turned to Camille Hodges of CoatTails in Ridgeland for expert advice and tips for wearing these trends:
Embellishments
Evenings out often call for a dash of sequins and a heavy dose of elegance.  Whether you choose feathers, embroidery or sparkling beads, tasteful embellishments help create a feminine silhouette. Camille adds, "For a fun night out, embellishments both in sweaters and silk blouses give you the perfect pop of sparkle."
Black & White
Whether color-blocked, layered, or placed together in a pattern, black and white truly are the perfect pair.  Camille agrees.  "Black and white patterns contribute to a super flattering silhouette, either in color block or graphic print." 
Crisp Collared Shirts
A collared top is no longer stuffy.  This season’s blouses are chic, youthful and tailored to perfection.  Camille says, "Crisp collared shirts are always chic under a sweater, be it loose or fitted.
Floor-length dresses
Whether you are dressing for day or night, reach for the unexpected - a long dress that gently sweeps the floor.  Simple silhouettes feel fresh for spring. 
All-white
Dressing head-to-toe in bright white is a key trend for spring.  "The buyers are CoatTails are thrilled to see the all-white trend hitting the runways for Spring 2015! White isn't just for Memorial Day through Labor Day. You can wear it year-round!  The crisp trend can be seen from Joie, Rebecca Taylor, Elie Tahari and many more!"
Accentuate your waist
Whether carefully tied or cinched with a belt, highlight (or create!) an hourglass figure this spring. 

Thank you, Camille, for your expertise!  Shop CoatTails for fashionable outfits for any occasion!  

Photos Courtesy of http://www.style.com/
 
 
Poised, gracious, and impossibly talented, Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray will represent our state in the Miss America pageant this Sunday evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  A native of Columbus, Jasmine was crowned Miss Mississippi just a few weeks ago, on July 12th.  Jasmine is thrilled with her new role and says, "As Miss Mississippi, I have the ability to inspire so many lives.  Even though they don't understand the title, little girls love that I am wearing a crown.  We can help these young girls succeed - whether they dream of becoming Miss America, a lawyer, or the President of the United States!" 
Jasmine certainly inspires us, and we had the great pleasure of speaking with Miss Mississippi during her busy week of preliminary competition in Atlantic City.  The kind, driven 22-year-old shares some fun and interesting facts about herself with us:

·      Jasmine is the youngest of five!  She has three older sisters and a brother.

·      Jasmine has been involved in pageants since she was 13-years-old!  She even competed in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in 2007

·      Jasmine’s older sister competed in Miss Mississippi pageants!  "She really inspired me to do the same thing.  It changed her life - her communication and people skills are amazing, and she understands the importance of community service."
·      At age 16, Jasmine auditioned for American Idol in Jacksonville, FL, and became a finalist on the show!  "I was so excited and thankful for the experience.  I spent the next year and a half pursuing my music career in Nashville."  She sang anywhere she could, including Mary Kay seminars! 

·      She has graced the Miss America stage once before.  Jasmine sang the National Anthem on the final night of competition as a teen.  Jasmine says, "It was such an incredible moment on the stage.  I am so thankful and incredibly blessed to be here again!"

·      Jasmine has a passion for teaching young girls to embrace their age.  With her platform, "13 going on 30", she has the opportunity to mentor young girls and encourage them to enjoy their childhood, not rush growing up.  She enjoys inspiring them to become the women they want to be.  

·      Jasmine has partnered with 10 ambassadors in different states around the country.  Just like Jasmine, these incredible young women spend their time mentoring little girls.

·      Jasmine loves being from Mississippi.  “The support from my fellow Mississippians, family and friends has been incredible.   Everyone is backing me 100%...I hope I make everyone proud!” 
YOU can vote now to help Jasmine be chosen as America's Choice!  Click here to watch a quick video about Jasmine and vote for her to secure a coveted spot in the Top 16 on Sunday evening.

Miss America will be crowned LIVE this Sunday, September 14th, at 7:00pm on ABC!  Tune in and cheer for Jasmine! She would certainly be a perfect choice for Miss America 2015.
 
 
Cancer does not discriminate.  Over 15,000 precious children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with the disease every year.  The month of September has been named Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, with a goal of spotlighting cancers that affect children, and helping raise much-needed funds for research and family support.  

Today we share the story of Campbell, a young boy fighting cancer, through the eyes of his courageous mother, Jill Dale.  Jill and her family are facing Campbell's battle bravely, with positivity, hope, and a strong faith firmly rooted in God. Jill reminds us that children with cancer are just like any other child. "Most of the time, you will see them running down the hall with their IV pole or playing in the activity room. They are an inspiration…they quickly take your mind off of yourself and your problems and make you see what is really important in life…loving others and helping each other through life."
Tell us about Campbell's diagnosis - what were his symptoms and what type of cancer does he have?
Between our two children, Campbell has always been our healthy eater. He ate fruit around the clock and never blinked when we switched from baby yogurt to Greek yogurt. We really had not noticed any glaring signs that something was wrong, even the weekend before we entered the hospital. On Monday, February 10, he went to school like normal, but got upset because he was having trouble going to the bathroom. We decided to do an enema that afternoon to see if we could get things moving. He was only running a 99* fever, so we weren't too alarmed. The enema didn’t do much for him, so we did another one Tuesday. He had gotten 2 cavities filled that morning so he wasn't in the best of spirits. By that afternoon, his temp was 100, but I decided to call the pediatrician anyways. The nurse told us to do MiraLAX and watch him. Wednesday morning, we kept him home from school. By then we had noticed his belly was a little tight, but seemed only hollow so we thought it was a lot of gas and some constipation. Mid-morning, his temp shot up to 101 and with no relief from the MiraLAX, we called the Dr back and they told us to come in at 2. After running a flu and strep test that were both negative, the Dr looked at his belly and noticed how swollen it was. He sent us to a Radiology group to get an X-ray done. When that came back inconclusive, they did a CT scan that revealed a mass in his abdomen. We were immediately sent to Blaire E Batson Hospital for Children where we were admitted at 5:30. After running more tests, the next day we sat down with our doctors and were told our son had a mass in his belly that needed to be removed. It could be anything from lymphoma, to Neuroblastoma, to a taratoma or Rhabdomyosarcoma (at this time Rhabdo was toward the bottom of the list). On Friday, surgeons were able to remove a 4 1/2 to 5in mass from his abdomen. After surgery Friday, we sat down with our surgeon and were told it wasn't lymphoma, but they weren't sure what it was, so we had to wait until the pathology reports came back. I thought Feb. 14th (the day of the surgery) was the worst day of my life, but Feb. 19th quickly became that day.

On that day, we learned that Campbell had been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer of the tissue. They were able to remove the entire tumor, but unfortunately there were some studs left in the abdominal region. We were scheduled immediately for a bone scan and PET scan for Monday, Feb. 24th. On Tuesday the 25th, a bone marrow aspiration was done along with the placement of a chemo port. The preliminary results from the bone scan and PET scan came back favorable meaning it had not spread to the bones or other organs. That Tuesday at 5:00, we were told that our son has Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma and they had found a spot in his bone marrow.
Campbell is a twin.  How important is his relationship with his twin sister?
Campbell and Avery are very close. She is the older of the two (only by a minute) and has definitely taken on the caretaker role over the past 7 months. Our biggest fear throughout our cancer journey has always been what would we do if something happened to Campbell and how would that affect Avery. Twins have a bond that is unlike any. They speak their own language and when one hurts the other hurts. The first night they had ever been apart was his first night in the hospital on February 12th. I remember sending her home with my parents and telling them they may have to sleep upstairs with her or even let her sleep in the room with them. She had never been without Campbell and he had never been without her. Since birth, they have looked out for each other.

These children are my miracle babies. I remember sitting in the conference room with my husband David on one side of the table and a team of doctors on the other. When we received our diagnosis, I told them, through tears, their story. I had a miscarriage a year after David and I were married. In the months to follow, we had trouble getting pregnant. In February 2009, I was convicted about my prayer life and committed to praying for 28 days about a specific need I had. I remember pleading and asking for God to bless us with a child. A month later, we found out we were expecting not only 1 baby, but 2! Being a high risk pregnancy, we knew the complications that could happen. I was put on bed rest at 29 weeks and had them at 33 weeks. They were both very tiny. They both went immediately to the NICU, needing oxygen and more time to grow. It was hard to watch them struggle those 3 ½ weeks they were in the NICU, but we brought them home and they thrived. God had answered our prayers and was continuing to show His healing power in our lives. And in my mind, we had faced our struggle and my babies were healthy and doing great.
How do you and your family stay positive and strong for Campbell?
It’s a balancing act. He doesn’t understand his diagnosis and prognosis. As his parents (and adults) we do. We know that we are fighting the battle of our lives, of his life. When we received his diagnosis on February 25th, I remember being numb and feeling helpless. Our world had changed in an instant without warning. One minute, your biggest worry is will he ever sleep through the night and the next minute, it’s “Will he survive to sleep through the night?” Our diagnosis was grim…as is any Stage IV cancer. There wasn’t a 100% survival rate, but it wasn’t 0% either. We didn’t want statistics; we only wanted to know what the plan was to give him the best chance at living a long, healthy life. We signed the papers to begin treatment and told the Dr. to do whatever needed to be done to save Campbell. The one thing that stood out in my mind was David telling the Dr. we know the Great Physician (Jehovah Rapha) can heal Campbell, not doctors or medicine…HE provides the means to do it. We decided from that day forward, we would not lie down and give up. Someone has to be in the success percentage to have that number, so why not Campbell. We know that if God wanted to heal him at any point in this journey, HE can and HE will, but until then, we will trust HIS ways and not ours. We know God is in control…HE promises never to leave us or forsake us, so we trust HIM and rest in HIS promises. HE is Jehovah Rapha. Isaiah 40:28-31 v. 31: “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Where is Campbell treated?
Campbell is being treated at Blair E Batson Hospital for Children. We are so thankful to have such a wonderful hospital here in Jackson and even in Mississippi. The care we have received has been excellent. The nurses and doctors truly love these children and want each one to be a success story. You can tell that they love what they do…to do their jobs, they have to. They deal with life and death on a daily basis and it takes a special person to do their jobs.

What is the best thing about having Campbell treated in a Mississippi hospital?
Being able to stay in Jackson close to our support system - family, friends, and our church family at First Presbyterian - has been awesome. We live in Madison and we are fortunate that because of our close proximity to the hospital, we can do some of our chemo outpatient. It also helps to keep our family intact…Avery can go to school and still attend her different activities without much interruption and she and Campbell aren’t separated for very long at all. My husband can also continue working at his 2 clinics (Briarwood Animal Hospital and Millcreek Animal Clinic) without too much interruption when we aren’t in the hospital. We also were able to do our radiation therapy at UMC. We ended up having to radiate his entire abdomen…something that is rare and even rarer for children. The Radiation Oncology team at UMC took wonderful care of Campbell (and us) for 24 treatments of radiation…5 days a week for 5 weeks.
Do you have any advice for other parents going through a similar situation with their children?
A year ago, I would never have imagined I would be talking about my child’s cancer…even 7 months ago when we received our diagnosis. Getting up in the morning was a daily struggle. I would wake up in the morning and within 5 minutes, our new reality would hit me. I begged and pleaded for God to take this cup from us, to heal our child right then and there. Going through those first weeks was hard, but one day, a peace washes over you and you know that you have to do it for your child. He doesn’t know how grim his diagnosis is, only the adults around him do. For the time we have him here, we want to give him the best life possible…filled with joy and happiness. That’s what everyone wants for their child. No one knows how long our life will be… As much as I wish my child didn’t have to go through this, what God is doing in our lives, in the life of our family, is something I wouldn’t want to miss. I came to terms months ago with his cancer and healing. As much as I want to see him healed on this earth, I also know that may not be God’s will. We are all placed on this earth for a purpose and when HE sees fit to call us home HE will. Our purpose on earth is to bring HIM glory, honor and praise…however HE achieves that (through living a long life here or being called Home) I must remember, that it is HIS will and not mine.

My best advice would be if you don’t have a personal relationship with Christ that is first and foremost. Knowing HIM as my personal Lord and Savior has given me (and my husband) a peace that surpasses all understanding. HE gives us hope and we are stepping out in faith praying and believing that HE will heal our son. The army of people we have praying us through this journey, feeding us constantly over the past 7 months, taking care of us, and just loving on us has been unbelievable.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends…none of us like to be a burden on someone, but if people offer to help, let them! That is part of life…ministering to others…being the hands and feet of Jesus. I wish I could list each and every person that has been that to us, but I know I would leave someone out. Life is hard; we were never promised it would be easy. Life can also change in an instant. Life is precious…enjoy each and every minute you have with those you love and hug them a little tighter each day.

What do you want people to know about childhood cancer?
Childhood cancer does not discriminate - it occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class or geographic region. The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown and not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors, unlike many adult cancers. Things just happen that are out of your control. It’s always heartbreaking when you are on 3c (the cancer floor at Batson) and a new diagnosis is admitted. You hurt for the family and the long journey you know they have ahead. But by visiting 3c, you will see that these children are just like any other child.

There are so many ways people can get involved including volunteering at Batson or becoming a Friend of Children’s Hospital. Childhood cancer is very underfunded and more money is needed to research and find a cure for the different types of childhood cancer. Get involved! I promise you will be blessed by the people you meet at Batson.   
|{Professional Photographs} Allison Muirhead Photography|
Thank you Jill Dale for sharing your son's brave story!
 

Everett Turns One!

09/03/2014

 
{Cake Design} Stephanie Dill with Dillicious Cakes
{Photography} Marianna Russell
{Invitation and Signage} Dani Griffing