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Nat update - But here in my heart, I give you the best of my love.

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November 28th, 2006


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08:12 am - Nat update

With deepest apologies to all for the distance between emails, believe
me, if I could muster the time and energy to get one out sooner, I
would have.

Nat is currently in ICU at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital with a
variety of infections. As you remember, we began chemotherapy last
Friday, 10 days ago. The first 7 days weren't without hiccups,
therapies were progressing. We were discharged from the hospital on
the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving and celebrated the holiday at
home with the help of neighbors and friends.

Late Friday night/Saturday morning, Nat awoke and began a verbal loop
(like what he was doing right after his tumor ressection surgery) with
the phrase "take this". We were really concerned by this seeming
regression, so we called his doctor who had us bring him into the
hospital. Neurologic exams were ordered, but by the time they were
finished, his fever spiked to 102.9 and the first stages of pneumonia
became evident. By 11pm Sat. night, we had identified a number of
infections: bacterial, clostridial and fungal. He has been on heavy
sedation, anti-biotics, and blood therapy ever since.

These infections are not uncommon in children undergoing chemotherapy,
but our guy has been hit especially hard. With white blood counts
extremely low because of the drugs in use, his little body is
unfortunately vulnerable to the most common bacteria found in all of
our bodies. These pathogens take the opportunity to grow and spread
infectiously leading little Nat to the state we're currently
experiencing in Intensive Care.

To you, our wonderful friends, neighbors, family, and new friends who
have heard about our son from co-workers, familiy members, and
neighbors, we thank you for your cards, prayers, thoughts, emails,
phone calls, gifts of gas and visa check cards, toys, balloons, food,
help with our cats, etc. Our gratitude is as immeasurable as your
support has been. What can we use? Now, since we're here for a while
in Intensive Care, healthy food is important to us. Gift Certificates
and Cards to Whole Foods and Publix are helpful. We're still
encouraging people to get involved with their community's Ronald
McDonald Charity, or to give to the RMH in Orlando where we have been
staying. You can donate much needed goods by visiting www.target.com
and viewing the "Wish List" for Ronald McDonald House Orlando. In
Louisville, Rabbi Gaylia R. Rooks is in the beginning phases of
starting a drive to fundraise for the Ronald McDonald Charities in
Nat's name. Please contact Lark Phillips at 502-423-1818 for more
information. Rabbi David Ariel-Joel will also need volunteers as he
brings a group to cook and serve 2 meals at the RMH in Louisville –
the Friday before Christmas and the Friday before New Years' Eve. He
may also be contacted at The Temple at 502-423-1818. In addition, the
Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler Counties has been very
generous. Also, you may call or email Temple Beth-El in Ormond Beach
386-677-2484 – cathy@templebeth-el.us and they can tell you how you
can help our family further.

We have also been grateful when Nat has received blood and platelets
that are marked "volunteer donor". I strongly believe in blood
donation. The Holly Hill branch of the Central Florida Blood Bank has
been to the Daytona Speedway several times this year and I'm proud to
say I've donated at each opportunity. I'm enclosing 2 pictures of Nat
and me from the September 11th NASCAR
Foundation Blood and Bone Marrow Drive at the Daytona Speedway that
were taken by a Foundation photographer. This blood is one thing that
can [help] chemotherapy patients can fight off the infections in their
bodies. I hope those of you that are able can donate the 45 minutes
of time and 1 pint each six weeks to your local blood bank or Red
Cross agency.

Even though this might be possibly the greatest challenge our family
has had since Nat's diagnosis, we are still hopeful and resolved to
successfully return to health. Please continue to keep your prayers,
cards and letters, emails, suggestions coming. Nat needs all the help
and support we can give him. We thank you all for your continued
support and prayer.
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