Our Story

Craig and I met in December 1994.  We both had signed up for a 10 day Outward Bound snow camping trip in Colorado.  He was looking for like minded people and I was doing a bit of soul searching.  We had a bond from the very beginning.  I knew we would be friends forever.  Craig was in his second year of medical school at the University of South Carolina.  I was working for a food consultant company in the San Francisco Bay Area.  On our OB trip, we endured 25 below freezing temperatures while sleeping in a tent!  We learned how to cross country ski with a 60 lb pack.  We had avalanche training, learned expedition planning and made some great life long friends.
Craig graduated from med school and we married May 31, 1997.  We moved to Seattle in 1998 for Craig's Anesthesia residency at the University of Washington.  Not long after I found a job, I found out I was pregnant.  Maggie arrived in March.  Kate followed a couple of years later 5 days after 9/11.
When Kate was 9 months old, Craig was diagnosed with stage 4, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  It was pretty devastating news to say the least.  He underwent 6 months of chemotherapy.  His body responded to the treatment and he went into remission.  Of course, this sounds easy enough as I write it but it was the most difficult thing we have ever endured.  We were very thankful for a relatively new drug that had become available and to all our wonderful friends and family for their never ending support!
Craig remained in remission for 18 months, after which the cancer came back.  Another devastating blow, even worse than the first time because we didn't really believe it could come back (even though the doctors said it could).  And, we knew how awful the treatment was the first time around.   Once again, Craig underwent more treatment and again he was in remission.
We weren't sure if we could have another child (due to all the chemo), but a couple of years later, Olivia arrived.  Three girls and our family was complete. After Olivia arrived, we realized how crazy busy we were trying to keep up with kid activities, both of us working and looking for a very expensive fixer upper house.  We decided to make a huge, life changing move that we hoped would improve our quality of life.  With the encouragement of our family and friends, we moved to Dallas, Texas in 2007, right as Maggie turned 8.  Craig got a great job with a private practice group, I stopped working, the kids go to a fantastic public school and we could live in a place that was like a small town (University Park).  Yeah, Dallas may not be anything to write home about, but our neighborhood is beautiful and our day to day life is pretty easy.
Once we were settled into our house, school and job, Craig's cancer came back again (it had been 5 years since the last recurrence).  The treatment was 2 years long this time and he was back in remission.
This story is important because it is a huge part of why we are taking this year to go sailing.  We never imagined doing such a thing because we felt like Craig's cancer was a limiting factor.  This summer when we talked about our dreams and this type of trip in particular, we decided that he was healthy at the moment and the girls were at the perfect age.  We soon discovered that if you want something bad enough, the roadblocks and barriers that stood in your way, soon start falling down.  So many people wait to do their life long "dream" until later, when the kids are older, they retire or maybe never.  Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring and we have learned to seize the moment and live our life today.  This is an amazing opportunity and we are going to take it.  We want to experience this together as a family and  have memories for a lifetime.