Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I had a dream last night and you were alive. I didn't see you, though.

I met up with Mom at some event and you were asked to leave before I got there, or escorted home by someone in the military who was doing security at the event. You had to leave because you were too boisterous, which means "too loud." I associate that more with Joe and I was struggling with that either in the dream or as I was waking up. I thought it sounded more like Joe but I was wishing it was you.

A little strange and a bit confusing, but I am glad you were battling for a spot in my dreams. It has been a while.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mom and I were trying to figure out what to get Baby Max. Both of us thought that this would be a good gift.

But that baby doesn't look all that happy. Maybe Max should be Superman instead.

By Halloween he'll have all the big muscles he'll need to fill out this costume.

It has been a while since something made me cry when walking down the street. I was looking at my Blackberry this morning while crossing K Street and I read this.

Dear Laurie and Allen (and family),

We hope these e-mail addresses works.

Ali gave birth to a boy on Saturday morning. We are naming him Max Henry (Max is for Jeremy's grandfather; Henry is for Henry). We've been waiting for a boy. We wanted you to know as we honor your Henry's gift to us and the world.

We hope you are doing well. We have plans to be in DC a number of times this year . . . maybe we can all meet up.

Ali and Jeremy

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This is what your little brother is listening to these days. It will be interesting to see how this changes over time. I will do one for Jack so you can see what he likes.

I think these are tools you can use to have this show up automatically. I will try to figure that out.

Love you.

Cal is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today. His streak of consecutive games ended about a month before you were born. I think that your buddy Jake was born the same day the streak ended or the next day. Jake is going to Bristol, Connecticut this week to represent Washington, DC in the tournament that feeds into the Little League World Series. He had a sleepover last night with Jack and Joe.

Everyone is proud of Jake and his team's accomplishment. It is very exciting. If they win a few games they'll be on ESPN!

And in more baseball news, Barry Bonds is about to break Hank Aaron's all-time home run hitting record. It might happen today which would be a weird thing to happen on the day Cal is inducted. This is the baseball card the Big Michael (Barr) and Hannah gave you when you were born. Mom saw Michael on Friday. He was in Annapolis visiting. He and Hannah and their kids live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Remember when we all went there and had lunch with Dr. Hughes.

Lastly, A-Rod is about to hit his 500th home run. He must be doing so well because of the pointers you gave him in batting practice at the Metrodome.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Uncle Dan was in the St. Louis newspaper today!

By Rachel Melcer


The project — Daniel Low, a radiation oncologist, is leading a team in developing more accurate ways of delivering pinpoint radiation treatments to lung tumors.

The challenge — Lungs are dynamic, constantly moving in changing patterns. The location of a tumor within the lung shifts with changes in how quickly or deeply a patient inhales or exhales, whether he is nervous or relaxed, his level of activity on the day of a treatment, and even how recently he has eaten.

Radiation kills healthy lung tissue, affecting the ability to breathe, so it is crucial for doses to be precisely applied. But there is no clinical way of accounting for these dynamic changes in movement, Low said.

The aha! moment — Low was working on a grant application that required him to write down a mathematical equation for calculating human breathing motion. It needed to account for changes in depth and rate of breath.

"I had a deadline and that forced me to sit down and think about it," Low said. "And I realized there was no such thing — the model didn't exist."

What he did — Low drafted the equation he needed. Dr. Parag Parikh, an instructor in radiation oncology, designed a device called the 4D Phantom to do the calculations and display predicted movement of a lung tumor.

Now, they're checking to see if it works. They are comparing the computer-generated model to dynamic images taken of real patients over time. The team uses a cutting-edge Philips CT scanner to image a patient's lung in 64 "slices," each just a half-millimeter thick, every four-tenths of a second to track tumor movement.

If Low's model proves to be an accurate predictor, companies and researchers can use the 4D Phantom for early tests of new therapeutic approaches, before patients are involved and put at risk. It also can be used to develop new software, devices and protocols for improved radiation therapy treatments of lung cancer.

Progress report — Low's lab has sold the 4D Phantom to research institutions including Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital for academic work.

The National Institutes of Health in July awarded the St. Louis team a grant to use Low's model in improving nuclear medicine imaging therapy. Low expects Royal Philips Electronics, already a research partner, to provide a multiyear grant.

If all goes well, "in terms of it being a turnkey approach, that's probably three years from now. That's where the patient will walk in and it will all be a part of the process and the (radiation treatment) appliance," Low said.

I was excited to see that they had new super hero stamps at the post office.

I was even more excited when I found these in the bin that was in the garage. These are photos of the 3 astonauts who flew on Apollo 11. They were the first mission to the moon. On the photos are stamps that were issued to commemorate the lunar landing. They are marked "First Day of Issue." I bet they are worth a lot.

I had a lot of cool pictures of astronauts when I was growing up because our friend Mr. Medway worked as NASA. I showed all of this to Jack tonight and he was definitely more impressed by the Marvel Comics super hero stamps. I said the astronauts are super heros too, but that didn't register.

This video shows some of the action at the Harry Potter parties. You would have loved it.

Sick muggles! Ha, that's a good one.

Mom got a little choked up when you see her talking about the books. I knew at that moment she was thinking so much about you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This is a very sweet and thoughtful email we just got.

From: Kathryn
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:56 PM
To: info@hopeforhenry.org
Subject: Henry


I just have to take a moment to tell you what a wonderful organization I think Hope for Henry is. I am sure that you hear that sentiment quite often but I imagine that it never grows old.

I happened to learn of Hope for Henry after subscribing to CarePages to follow the progress of a friend’s 2 ½ year old son who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I get updates from CarePages that I sometimes review, time permitting. Today’s CarePages update gave information about Hope for Henry. I was at once overwhelmed with sadness over the loss of Henry and for his family and happiness for the time Henry was here to love and be loved and to inspire so many. (words just simply do not do justice to what I am trying to say)

I would love to receive updates/newsletters, etc. so that I may follow the organization’s efforts and share them with others. I am in Florida so I don’t know if I can volunteer, however, I will be making a donation to the organization.

Thank you for sharing Henry with us.


I love that more people know who you are.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We picked up Jack at camp. It was great to see him. He is loving Ramah and wants to go back for 8 weeks next summer. I think we are going to Spain and Israel so he is only going to be able to go for another 4 week session. He'll be okay. And this way Mom won't have to suffer an entire additional month of missing Jack.

We met Jack's counselors, Moti and Mike. When saying "goodbye," Moti gave Jack his hat from his tank division in the Israeli Defense Forces. That was a very nice thing to do and it made me think that Jack and Moti had a relationship like I had with my counselor, Howard Schwartz. He is the guy whose "autograph" I showed you a few days back. Mike is going to the University of Maryland and I told him he is welcome at our house for a homecooked meal anytime he wants.

Now that we rescued him from his no-tech camp, all Jack wants to do is "plug in." I think he missed his computer more than he missed me. I haven't really seen or talked to him since we picked him up because his face is buried in the laptop.

I am sure we'll get around to getting reacquainted. Maybe if a fuse blows it will be sooner rather than later.

Love you.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The "aunt" is Aunt Jen, and Minneapolis is actually St. Louis, but otherwise, this is a nice snapshot of what happened today. There were parties in St. Louis and Georgetown. Fairview is just giving out the books like they did last time (hopefully on the meal trays) and the Hackensack party is Monday.

We finished up at Georgetown and drove 9 hours up to Massachusetts to pick up Jack at camp. It has been a long day. We see Jack tomorrow. Yea! Love you.


Harry Potter the Healer
With Book Release Party, a Magical Dose of Medicine in Pediatric Cancer Ward

Theresa Hammann, 6, right, attends the release party with her brother William, 3. Theresa's black curls are returning after recent chemotherapy treatments. (Molly Frances Norris, ABC News)

July 21, 2007—

Young patients had their Harry Potter fanaticism nursed for a change at Georgetown University Hospital's Lombardi Cancer Center here in Washington today.

The children gathered in the clinic dripping with Potter-themed decorations. Some wheeled IVs and spoke from behind face masks guarding their weak immune systems -- features that faded when donning thick Harry glasses and Quidditch player capes.

"This party is for children undergoing chemotherapy and other difficult treatments who are missing out on some of the joys of childhood. It's to deliver some fun during what can be a bleak time," said Laurie Strongin, talking with a volunteer.

Strongin's son's passing at the age of seven after a life-long struggle with a genetic disease motivated her and her husband to start a foundation in his memory called Hope for Henry. They shower young patients with the finest tools of distraction -- personal DVD and mp3 players, Ninetendo Game Boys, digital cameras and other consumer electronics.

Pediatrician Brooke Trenton watched some of her patients bounce around eating cake and waving plastic wands at 10 a.m.

"Kids need a break from what they're going through," Trenton said.

She added the three hour party was already making for an easier morning for everyone in the oncology hematology clinic.

Outside of the hospital, some worry about the swell of darker themes embodied in the very title of J.K. Rowling's final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Strongin said the sinister undertones speak to children fighting potentially fatal illnesses.

"They understand things that healthy kids don't. Threats and danger lurking goes along with their life experience," said Strongin.

"Harry Potter is a symbol. Harry went through so much adversity," added Strongin. "With determination and courage, and lots of help from friends, he pulls through."

The foundation is a result of bonds forged through Henry's illness. An aunt in Minneapolis, Minn., lined up with the Strongin family to buy copies at midnight for another release party at a hospital where Henry once received a bone marrow transplant.

At four hospitals nationwide, 275 copies of "Deathly Hallows" were bought for patients who may have been to sick to line up at bookstores.

Subhan Jamil, 19, came down from his hospital room for a free copy of "Deathly Hallows." He's spent about a year here after spending one semester at college.
"I never thought I would say this, but I miss school," said Jamil.

He used to major in accounting, but now he wants to work with children, or maybe be a journalist.

When talking about the Sony PSP he received from the Hope for Henry Foundation, he said, "My time passes faster. It's pretty boring usually."

Maybe less so on a day with gummy rats and a few black witches' hats.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tomorrow we leave to pick up Jack. These are all of the letters he has written home this summer. There are a lot. I'm pretty certain they make them write letters or they don't get to go to the canteen.

Not bad.

Tonight is Harry Potter book night everywhere. I waited on line this morning to get tickets to wait on line tonight. The world is strange that way.

Love you, miss you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Harry Potter Book Delivered to Hospitalized Kids on July 21

The reason I was going through the bin from the garage was to find stuff from the 1970s when I went to camp. A friend and I are trying to get in touch with everyone we went to camp with and we may have a reunion. That should be fun.

One of the things I found was an autograph book, which is a lot like your Disney autograph book. Instead of Buzz, Woody, Chip and Dale, I have some nice notes from people who went to camp with me. Here is one from my counselor who said some really nice things. Interestingly, I remember almost getting kicked out of camp one year. Maybe when we have a reunion, someone will fill me in on what happened.

On Friday night the new Harry Potter book comes out. We'll be waiting on line at midnight to get the books to bring to the hospital on Saturday morning. Hope for Henry is giving books to kids at Georgetown, Hackensack, Fairview and Aunt Jen and Hannah are bringing them to kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

After the Harry Potter party at Georgetown, we jump in the car to drive up to Massachusetts to pick up Jack at Camp Ramah. Last year we went to the Basketball Hall of Fame and Fenway Park for a Yankees/Red Sox game after we got Jack. Not sure we'll have time this year.

The Talbot County fair, which was pretty yucky, reminded me of when you and I went to the Minnesota State Fair - anything on a stick, and earlier when you, Jack and I went to the Montgomery County Fair. Some guy operating a ride at the Minnesota State Fair wasn't nice to us. I remember calling Mom from the fair. I never use the cellphone so it must have been pretty bad.

Here is you at the Montgomery County Fair. That's a really good one.