This is for my nephew, Richie Smith. Thanksgiving weekend 2012, Richie underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor that was later found to be cancerous - glioblastoma. He's since been through radiation and chemotherapy and a longer term phase of treatment which included chemo and biological treatments as well as steroids for 12 months. Since then, he's been through several other phases of treatments. Richie had been off all treatments for a while. His body had taken over the healing process, although he has ongoing mobility issues, but progress was being made. Richie's MRI of six months ago showed that one of his tumors (which he had named "Kevin") was GONE. One remained ... it was stable and his journey continued. A couple of months ago, there was "an area of concern" that was treated with a rare 3rd round of chemo. Five weeks ago, Richie got word that the original tumors were in remission.
But things can change in a heartbeat ...
This was our Valentine's day 2017 news:
Life changes quickly. One day up and the next day down. This is not easy.
And there’s no easy way to say this – Richie’s MRI was not good. It showed rapid change in just five weeks – which appears to be tumor growth. This is not something that can wait and will need immediate attention.
We’re in tears. We’re devastated.
The other tumors are still in remission. The UTSW Tumor board will meet* to discuss options with a goal of acting quickly.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.
Please pray for Richie and our family.
*The board meets on Friday, February 17th 2017.
Through all of this Richie is maintaining a supremely positive attitude, his deep faith and exuberant good humor remain intact, he is "happy, happy happy." He's always about doing for and helping others, like starting his own foundation, For A reason World Foundation. Richie's energy and enthusiasm for life is such an inspiration ... he completed a 60 day Bikram yoga challenge in January and started a garden in association with his foundation. His passion for music, his family and an amazing group of devoted friends and extended family keep him energized. You can check out his music via his Facebook page here.
There is great joy in his 22 year old eyes. When asked why he thinks he's been given this challenge in life, he answers, "Why not me?"
Richie and his family are extremely fortunate to live just outside of Dallas with access to one of the best neurological facilities in the country. Extraordinary care also means extraordinary expenses. They have health insurance, but out-of-pocket costs are quite high.
So what's an auntie do do?
Well, since this auntie is a jewelry designer with a penchant for creating talismans and meaningful jewels, I've designed and am making a medallion to sell and donate the proceeds to Richie's medical bills. On one side is my "All One" symbol ... we truly are ALL ONE, on the other side is "P4R" - Prayers For Richie. This ties into a growing "Prayers For Richie" Facebook community (now over 2400 people) following Richie's journey towards healing. I've also stitched up little muslin bags stamped with the P4R logo to hold the medallion.
Each medallion, hand formed from metal clay, averages about 3/4" (22mm) in diameter and hangs from a 30" adjustable red nylon cord. I chose red to symbolize the "red thread of connection" - the blood that pulses through each of us - as another way of connecting with our powerful Prayers For Richie Community.
To make this project sustainable through Richie's healing journey, I am asking for a minimum donation to cover my materials and postage. The minimum donations will be great, but if you would like to make an additional contribution (via the button at the top right) . . . well that would be amazing.
Click here or on the image to the right to choose from a bronze medallion with a minimum donation of $20 or a sterling silver medallion, minimum donation of $40. Medallions are made to order and will ship 7 to 10 days after ordering. By the way, one of these sterling silver medallions would normally retail for $90.
with deep gratitude and light filled blessings ... Kathy