The Neverending Story

'The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.'
--John N Mitchell

We set up this website in late October for our wonderful, inquisitive, loving Aiyana. Yana is our eight year old daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend and granddaughter who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia (MPAL).

Aiyana had an amazing life and we are filled with hundreds of heartwarming memories. May all of us take to heart how much a little girl from Lockeford, CA, impacted the world and be reminded and inspired to never let the sun go down without living each day all the way through.

Her Spirit is in every Butterfly.


Recipe of Love

Saturday was day 3 of chemo, different types in a combination as unique as her cancer. We came in to her smiling and laughing at videos of her crazy good family dancing around like goofballs and celebrating her mother's birthday. Her dad and brothers, mom and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandpa altogether. When we got to her breakdancing solo and her cousins chanting in the background 'Go Yana, Go Yana, Go Yana, Go Yana,' we watched her laughing over her shoulder as she twisted and writhed in dance moves, center stage and all eyes on her. Aiyana's face lit up with the memory of such a fun day: and she exclaimed, here comes Daddy and watched him dance into view.

When was that again? Oh right, two weeks ago ... today.

Aiyana takes it in stride, the bags coming in and out, in and out, and the monitor making blips and bleeps to track flow and volume. Everyone comes and goes, saying she is doing wonderfully well and even better than they had hoped. She slept some of the afternoon and the nurse verbalized what we were all thinking: wouldn't it be great if her memories of this time were only of movies and videos and sleeping a lot?

Her folks of course know what all the chemicals are, how many hours it takes to administer, and which ones are given on what days. For the rest of us, all we understand is that 'aggressive' means the greatest minds have pulled out all the stops on this one and are holding nothing back. Here! Here!

Love does wonders with normalizing life for her siblings through homework and dinners, school, play time, and performances. When life reminds them how different it is and they feel blue, a ray of sunshine is right there to hug and talk it through. What a relief that Mickey D gave Aiyana's dad a safe place to sleep peacefully through the night tucked beside his littlest child. It is healing and right and appreciated.

There are tiers to a family like layers in a cake. No layer is meant to replace another, and why would we want to when the ingredients all add to the unique, sweet, tangy flavor? Visits and cards, good wishes and dinners, funny stories and memories, errands and housework, thoughts and prayers, an unexpected hand, hugs and tears -- it is all a part of this family's recipe of love.

Keep it comin'!


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