Friday, September 30, 2011

A Plate Of Spaghetti

I serve food under a bridge to a bunch of homeless people.

Might not be your idea of a perfect Sunday, but it's mine.

Unfortunately, one of my homeless friends, Robert, passed away this week. He was beaten with a rock just feet away from where we serve food. He hung in there for a few days, but it was just too much for him to come back from. There was a memorial service for him today under the bridge... a beautiful prayer and an amazing rendition of 'Amazing Grace'.

I don't know who did it. I don't know why it happened or any of the circumstances surrounding that night. But I'm not dumb. I know that it is highly likely that, on Sunday, I will hand a plate of food to the person who is responsible for Robert's death. I have most likely handed many plates to whomever did this over the past two and a half years. I will most likely continue to smile, call them 'honey' or 'darlin', and ask them if they would like some spaghetti.


Because God told me to serve His children. He didn't tell me to serve all of them except for this one or that one. He didn't tell me to serve them only if they've never committed a crime. He didn't tell me to ask them for their rap sheet before I hand them a plate of food. He told me to serve His children, and He told me to serve them in the place & capacity that I do. I trust Him to take care of the rest.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3 Day Info

It's almost that time, kids! The Boston 3 Day is upon us! This time next week, I'll be frolicking in Boston, getting ready to walk 60 miles!

Okay, who am I kidding? I ain't walkin' 60 miles. It's been a hell of a year, and I simply have not been able to train the way I wish I could have. But I'm still going to walk as far as I can, I will still sleep in a tent, shower in the back of a semi-trailer, and eat food under a big white tent. I will drink watered down Gatorade, eat PB&J on graham crackers, and use port-a-potties. And I will love every second of it, right down to the blisters on my little toes.

Last year, I didn't know anyone in Boston. This year, I am blessed to have several wonderful friends in the area. You don't know how emotional it is to cross that finish line. I can only imagine how it feels to cross it and have people waiting there for you. I would LOVE to see my Boston Family at the finish line this year! Listed below are all the official cheering stations and the finish line/closing ceremony information. If you decide to be at a cheer station, PLEASE let me know so I can try to drag my feet to it instead of hopping on a sweep van!

Also, thanks to the craziness I call my life, I missed the deadline for having mail sent to camp at The 3 Day. I can say without a doubt that the notes of encouragement I got last year kept me going... and the pictures of Danny Wood included in some of them didn't hurt either. This year, I'll be going the email route. So if you'd like to send me a note to keep me going on The 3 Day, please send it to (I won't be checking this account until I get to camp at the end of Day One).

Friday, July 22
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
St. Paul's Church
502 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482

12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
DCR Boat Launch
Crescent Street (between Brown & Ash Streets)
Waltham, MA 02453

Saturday, July 23
7:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Robins Farm Park
51 Eastern Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476

9:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
YMCA - Greater Boston Area: North Suburban Family Branch‎
138 Lexington Street
Woburn, MA 01801

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Parker Field Playground
81 Worthen Road
Lexington, MA 02420

Sunday, July 24
7:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Shaw's Supermarket
699 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

8:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139

9:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Boston Public Garden
Intersection of Commonwealth & Arlington Street (between the statue of George Washington and Swan Boats)
Boston, MA 02127

Sunday, July 24
4:30 p.m.

University of Massachusetts
100 William T. Morrissey Boulevard 
Dorchester, MA 02125

Monday, June 27, 2011

How God Does Kidneys

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares The Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future."

That picture is of my best friend, Bobbette, and her kidney donor, Courtney. It was taken a couple days after we all realized just how firmly in God's hands we were being held.

You see, Courtney lives in my hometown of Slidell, LA. She moved there not to long ago. It's not a big town, nothing really notable about it. She lives less than a mile from my grandparents. Last summer, her sister, Leanne, moved there and began working at First United Methodist Church. I spent the first 18 years of my life being raised in that church.

I randomly sat down a few chairs away from a man in the waiting room on the morning of Bobbette's surgery. He has a bag from the Komen 3 Day in Dallas under his chair. It belonged to his fiancee', who was donating a kidney that day. It was Phillip, Courtney's fiancee'. Courtney is a 3 Day Walker.

Courtney got the blog I wrote last December with the info on getting tested to be Bobbette's donor from Leanne, her sister. Leanne began following me on Twitter last summer because we are both Komen 3 Day Walkers. I walk on Team Betty as part of Remember Betty. We walk in memory of Betty Wood, mother of Danny Wood from the New Kids On The Block. There are dedication plaques on the doors of the hospital rooms at Vanderbilt. Bobbette's room was dedicated to a lady named Betty.

When the New Kids On The Block reunited, Bobbette was the one who got me to go to the concert. It was at one of the shows we went to that I heard Danny speak about Team Betty and decided to get involved.

Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids On The Block retweeted the blog from last December hours after it was written. Vanderbilt was overwhelmed with calls from fans wanting to be tested to be living donors. The number of people receiving organ transplants just from those calls is in the double digits. It does not include bone marrow, plasma or blood donors, nor the people who have chosen to donate after their death.

If God has a plan that puts together kidneys, small hometowns, reunited boy bands and breast cancer walks in to one package, I promise you He has a plan for your life.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Benefit for Bobbette

On June 18, we will be holding the 'Benefit for Bobbette Miller' in her hometown of Lobelville, TN. The proceeds from this benefit will go towards covering her surgical and post-surgical medical expenses. The average kidney transplant, including hospital stay, is approximately $40,000 - $50,000. However, because of Bobbette's pre-existing medical conditions, her surgery is expected to run upwards of $100,000. It could potentially reach $200,000, depending on the length of time she's required to stay in the hospital. This total does not include the medications she is currently on or the ones that will be added after her transplant. Insurance will cover approximately 80% of the surgical costs. The amount covered for the medications varies depending on which one we're talking about. The remainder of the costs will fall to us.

Yes. Us. Not her... US. Some may think I'm stepping out of line for speaking for all her friends and family, but I feel quite comfortable saying that none of us will leave her to carry this burden by herself. We take care of our own.

Benefit For Bobbette
June 18 -- 2pm til 7:30pm
Main St. in Lobelville, TN
Musical performances by Lost Creek, Coley McCabe, CJ Garton and more.
Silent auction featuring items from Michael McDonald, Darryl Worley, Keith Anderson, Gander Mountain, PF Chang's, and many more.
Food will be available for purchase, as well as a cake walk.

If you would like to donate items or gift cards for the benefit, please send them to the address below no later than June 17:

Benefit for Bobbette Miller
c/o Abbie Vicknair
124 S. 17th St.
Nashville, TN 37206

For those of you who cannot be there but would like to donate, you may donate via the Paypal button below OR a fund has been set up at a local bank:

First Bank
The Benefit of Bobbette Miller fund
Linden, TN
931-589-2161 - ask for Naomi


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Three Thousand Dollars, Two Lumps, One Port

I hit my $3000 fundraising goal for the Boston 3 Day last night. And while that would normally be a great moment and one that I would celebrate by dancing around my living room in my pjs (come on, you know you do it), it wasn't. Why?

One of my closest friends is heading to the doctor this afternoon. She found a lump the other day while working out. She's not quite 30. And while we don't know what this lump is yet, the fact is that she's anxious and we're all holding our collective breath.

Another friend found a lump this morning.

My stepmother has a port and is receiving chemo.

I can't look at any of them and say that $3000 is enough and still be able to sleep at night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Makes You Stay

My dad & stepmom just got new carpeting in the entire house, plus new living room & bedroom furniture. That probably doesn't sound like such a huge deal. But let's consider that they've been married for 15+ years. Most of the decorating in that house was done by my dad's second wife or my mom. It's not that he particularly enjoyed the decor that was in the house. He just didn't see the point in changing things, because he wasn't sure that my stepmom was going to stick around.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, the downstairs portion of the house (the garage area) was almost completely flooded. The majority of the things that got ruined belonged to my stepmom. As they were putting stuff in a dumpster, she turned to my dad and said, "Do you believe me now when I say I'm staying?"
I was asked to take on a pretty big project earlier this year. It was a chance a lot of people I know would have jumped at. I didn't walk in to it blindly. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, and it continues to be. And I love it. I love the late nights, the spreadsheets, the emails. What I didn't anticipate was being called the names that I have been or the threats that have been directed towards me. It would be so easy for me to wash my hands and say, "I'm done. Someone else needs to take over. It's not worth it." But it is... it IS worth it. And there are these amazing, once in a lifetime moments that have come from being part of this that I wouldn't trade for the world. So I stay.
What makes you stay? What makes you look at everything around you, everything that points to the fact that you should walk away, and still decide to stay? How do you know when it's worth it, despite what others say? When your heart is tired, what makes you hang in there?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Only $2,300

I met my $2300 fundraising minimum today for The 3 Day!

*does a happy dance*

Time to raise the goal and get back to work.

What? You thought I was done at $2300? Nope.

Fundraising is a HUGE part of The 3 Day. There is a $2300 fundraising requirement. If by one month after the walk you have not raised that money, it comes out of your own, personal pocket. That's right, YOU are responsible for it! But the truth is, the majority of walkers raise their $2300 before their walk happens.

"Well, what if I want to raise $2300 and then stop?"

That is completely your choice. BUT... if that is what you're deciding to do, allow me to introduce you to a few people:

First up, is George. If you've been part of the Boston 3 Day, even just once, then you know George. He carries a stick with him... a very large stick. And whenever he arrives at a pit stop or lunch or camp, he yells out, "HONEY! I'M HOME!" And we all yell back at him in greeting. I had heard about George the first day I was in camp, and finally met him on Day 2 at lunch. His smile and laugh are contagious. He lost his wife in 2009 to cancer. Both of his daughters have passed away. And yet, he smiles and laughs and walks and passes out hugs.

Then there's Dusty. Trust me, you can NOT miss Dusty. He's the tall, bald headed dude... walking around in a pink bra. Yep. A pink bra. And it sparkles, or has tassels, or lights up, or something. But you can't miss him, and you don't want to. He will crack you up, motivate you to walk another mile, or run in to the street to retrieve your run-away water bottle (thank you, Dusty!). He's been on Oprah, has pictures of himself and Tim Gunn holding a pink bra, and shows up at nearly every breast cancer fundraiser in his area. I could tell his story, but he's much better at telling it himself: Why Dusty Walks

Finally, there is Betty. Unfortunately, you can't actually meet Betty because she passed away 11 years ago from breast cancer. I wear her name on my shirt and carry her picture around my neck when I walk. I was never able to meet Betty, either. But I have met her wonderful family, including her son, Danny, who has made it his mission in life to help end this disease. He's very blessed to have a celebrity platform to stand on from which to do it, but even if he didn't, I have no doubt that he would fight just as hard. I'm blessed to work with him on a website dedicated to her and the fight against breast cancer:

I can't imagine sitting down and explaining to any of these three people that I'm only planning on doing the minimum amount of fundraising. I have no doubt that, with a smile on their faces, they would all say that was great, because $2300 is a lot of money. But for me, it's not ENOUGH money. It will only be ENOUGH when there is a cure for breast cancer. Until then, I'll celebrate meeting my minimum for a few minutes, and then I'll raise the bar.

Friday, April 8, 2011

June 23

Bobbette will be receiving her new kidney on June 23. Thank you to everyone who has gotten tested, spread the word, prayed, or even thought about her during this time. On behalf of Bobbette, her family and friends, we love you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dropping The Ball... or The Kidney

I don't really know how to begin this blog, but this seems like the most appropriate way. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in particular their Organ Transplant Program, completely and totally dropped the ball with Bobbette's kidney transplant.

Since January, we have been told that the first person on the list of potential donors was going through the final stage of testing. While this testing is extensive, including a psychiatric evaluation, blood work, etc., it seemed to be taking a bit too long. The donors who had made themselves known to us continued to check in with Vanderbilt every so often. They were told the same thing each time, "We're testing the first person. Don't call us, we'll call you."

With Bobbette sitting at five percent kidney function, we became increasingly worried about the lack of progress. They have been doing all they can to keep her off of dialysis. The veins in her arms are shot after years and years of blood work and procedures. The alternative to using the veins in her arms for dialysis would be to put in an abdominal port. They are hesitant to do that because of her previous liver transplant, and because that would essentially create an open wound in an immuno-compromised patient. (Her body doesn't fight infection due to the anti-rejection medications she has to take.)

Bobbette received a phone call earlier this week to tell her that she was being activated on the waiting list for a kidney. This wait is approximately three to five years long. After asking why, she was placed on the phone with Margot, her transplant coordinator. Margot informed her that she was afraid some of the donors had "slipped through the cracks," and that we needed to have the ones we knew of contact Vanderbilt. Thanks once again to the power of Twitter, several of the donors contacted Vanderbilt. What happened next was nothing less than shocking to me.

One donor was specifically told to stop calling; that Vanderbilt had this under control and they were testing the first person. Even after explaining that they had been instructed to call, the donor was still treated in a disrespectful manner. After several phone calls to Vanderbilt, the next donor on the list was finally contacted. We're hoping that the final round of testing for them will begin soon.

It took calling out Vanderbilt publicly on Twitter to get a response. Their media department requested an email with information. After sending that, I was assured that things had been sent to the head of the Patient Advocacy program at Vanderbilt. Thanks to some wonderful friends, we were also given the information that allowed us to begin the process of lodging a formal complaint with UNOS, which handles all transplants. And thanks to a mother who is high up in the medical world, we are looking in to our options with Joint Commission.

Personally, I have lost a lot of faith in Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Yes, they are supposedly doing what they can now to rectify the problems that have occurred, but that's only been at the non-stop urging of family and friends who knew enough to ask questions and not accept half assed answers. What about the people who don't have someone to do that for them? How many times has this happened before? And how many times will it happen again? A link in the chain is broken, and it needs to be fixed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Just" Breast Cancer

I'm sensing a theme in my blogging pattern lately. Someone says something that rubs me the wrong way, and I then blog my way to proving them wrong. This week is no different. This week's statement is courtesy of someone I asked for a donation:

"Well, if it's JUST for breast cancer, then I'm going to have to say no."

Just? JUST?!

I'm going to skip over the statistics that we've all heard about the number of people who die every year from breast cancer. I'm going to skip over the number of people who have survived breast cancer thanks to early detection and treatment. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my friend, Allison.

That's Allison and I at the Race For A Cure in Nashville this past October. That was also one week before she had a 4 pound tumor taken off of her uterus. Here's her story:

In March of 2010, Allison learned that she had a very large fibroid tumor attached to her uterus. She had a great team of doctors that quickly ruled out the tumor being cancerous. She was placed on Lupron Depot shots for 6 months in hopes of shrinking the tumor before the doctors could even consider doing surgery to remove it. They weren't sure that they would be able to remove only the tumor even after these shots. A hysterectomy at age 26 is what Allison was potentially facing. On top of this, she had to have a catheter inserted because of the position of the tumor.

After an MRI in July 2010, it was determined that the shots had been successful in keeping the tumor from growing, but they had failed to shrink it at all. Allison was sent to a fertility specialist as a last ditch effort to find a miracle to shrink the tumor. The specialist decided to keep her on the shots, but also put her on drug called Femara.

Femara is commonly used in post-menopausal breast cancer patients in place of Tamoxifen.

After being on Femara for a few weeks, Allison started feeling better. Her organs that had been compromised by the tumor were functioning better. She was even able to have the catheter removed. On October 15, she underwent surgery to remove what had become a 4 pound tumor, and that was AFTER it had shrunk from the medication. The surgeon was able to remove only the tumor, keeping Allison from needing a hysterectomy at such a young age.

Medications like Femara don't just miraculously appear on the market. They have to be researched, developed, and tested. The money to fund that research, development and testing doesn't appear out of thin air either.

Before you say no to a donation that "just" goes to breast cancer, think about Allison. Because someone said yes, she is able to continue with a normal life and, hopefully one day, she'll give me a niece or nephew. I like the way Aunt Abbie sounds.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taking Things Personally

My dad called me last week. He calls me every time there's "some sort of weather", as he would put it. Having just pulled in the driveway from being at the gym, all I wanted was to get inside and get a shower. When he said my stepmother had some news, I could tell from his tone of voice that she hadn't won the lottery.

"They found something on my last mammogram. The biopsy results came back. I have DCIS."

My stepmother has breast cancer.

The words 'early' and 'non-invasive' were mentioned, and while I know that those are both good terms considering what we're talking about, I can't escape the fact that my stepmother, one of my best, closest friends for the past 16 years, has breast cancer.

For the most part, both she & I have received a tremendous outpouring of love & support. Prayers, good vibes, thoughts, offers to talk and listen have tumbled in. And yet, the one comment that continually sticks out to me is one from someone I've never met who said, "Well now your fight against breast cancer is personal."

Really? Just now? It wasn't personal before? Because I wasn't aware of that fact.

Maybe I've been remiss in sharing my story, so please allow me to give you the Reader's Digest version:

A little over 3 years ago, I watched my friend & coworker, Patty, start to turn in to someone I no longer recognized. She began coming in to work later and later, made glaring mistakes on reports, and would get easily confused. After calling her husband one day when we found her sleeping in her office, Patty's doctors discovered that the breast cancer they had thought she had been clear of for 5 years had metastasized to her brain. She began suffering seizures, went through test after test after test, and even had brain surgery to remove the mass. In the end, none of it worked. She passed away the week before Christmas that year, leaving behind 3 children and a husband. She was 47.

My godmother, Aunt Joan, has beat breast cancer twice. The last time was about a year and a half ago. She had two types in the same breast. After undergoing a mastectomy, her options for radiation were limited. She was very close to having already received the maximum amount allowed for a lifetime. Through much research, and refusing to take no for an answer, she is now cancer free. But she's not the same woman she used to be. She gets very tired very easily. She doesn't enjoy traveling like she used to. I won't go so far as to say that she's given up, but she's certainly giving in. Some days, I think I'm more bothered by that than if she would have passed away.

My fight against breast cancer has been personal from Day One.

But let's say that I didn't know anyone with breast cancer. Let's say that I was fortunate enough to not have lost someone to breast cancer. Would that make my efforts any less important or any less personal that someone else? Would that mean that I was participating in this for reasons with less meaning than others?

Don't allow someone else to tell you that your fight isn't personal. If you have the passion to fight breast cancer and the drive to participate in something like The 3 Day, I'm proud to stand next to you, no matter what your reasons are.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If I Can Do It...

I was on the phone with my dad last night, telling him about being picked to be a Komen 3 Day Ambassador. And while he thought it was great & he's very proud of me, he asked me a very good question: What will you say when asked about The 3 Day?

The biggest point I came up with was this: If I can do it, you can do it.

When I was trying to decide whether or not to register for my first 3 Day in January of 2010, I had what I would come to learn were a lot of misconceptions about the type of person who walks The 3 Day. I mean, it's 60 miles. That's intense! And thus, it takes an intense person... a person who competes in triathalons, runs marathons, and all other kinds of -thons. It's full of people who live on health bars that taste like cardboard... skinny, super healthy, I can count your six pack abs kind of people. I felt like passing out at 3 miles, and then again when I reached 7. 10 miles? 18 in one day?! Forget it. That's not something I can do.

I was very wrong.

Not long after we left opening ceremonies, walkers were detouring in to Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. I saw one lady pull a bag of Cheetos out of her backpack. We chowed down on candy in the sweep vans (I highly recommend Nerds!) Some walkers made it to the first pit stop and then hopped in a sweep van to lunch. Apple pie and brownies were served at camp! My 2x tshirt wearing self was in very good company in the crowd of 1800+ walkers.

I've made a conscious effort since I signed up for last year's 3 Day to be healthier. I joined a gym, I eat healthier, I drink water instead of soda. But I will still tear up some fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes, red velvet cake... you get the picture. You're not gonna see me on a beach in a bikini playing volleyball. I'll be sitting on a lounge chair, drinking a pina colada.

None of that makes me any less intense than the type of person I originally thought walked The 3 Day. I'm just intense in a different way. I am no less passionate about my goal of walking 60 miles and raising as much money as possible for Komen because I'm not an uber-athlete.

I know that as a first-timer, it all seems like a very daunting mountain to climb. $2300 is a lot of money to raise. 60 miles is a long way to walk. I'll let you in on a secret: I never believed I could do it. It wasn't until that last penny was in my 3 Day account that I believed I could raise the money. It wasn't until I set foot in to camp at the end of Day 1 after walking every single step that I believed I could do it. I crossed the finish line with the help of some vans & buses, and that's okay.

If you have the passion to help, to be part of the cause and the cure, that's all you need. Yes, you will get overwhelmed. Yes, you will wonder if you've lost your mind... and so will other people. But if that voice is inside you telling you that you need to do this, listen to it. Sign up for The 3 Day. You can walk next to me and we'll compare the different methods there are to fry chicken.

For more information on The 3 Day, please visit: The3Day.Org

And if you're one of my Blockhead/New Kid family members, I highly encourage you to join or donate to Team Betty in one of the cities listed below:
San Diego

If you don't see a 3 Day near you listed, form your own Team Betty!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I locked my keys in my car over the weekend. I was parked in front of the shed where we store all our food for homeless outreach. All of the food for that week that had just been picked up? You guessed it. Still inside my car. My keys were in plain sight on the front seat. My friend, John, looked inside with me, then at me. He headed for the antenna to unscrew it while I headed to the other shed to grab screwdrivers. We were a good five minutes in to prying the top of the car door open enough to slide the now bent antenna in to hit the unlock button before John's wife, Ruthie, even noticed anything was going on.

"What do you mean you locked your keys in your car?!" Ruthie's eyes went wide.

"Exactly what I said. They're on the front seat." We popped the screwdrivers out of the driver's side door and moved to try the passenger side.

"But you're so calm about it. I never would have known you l0cked your keys in your car." Ruthie moved to block the sun for us so we could see.

"Doesn't do any good to get excited over it. Nothing I can do except try to get the car unlocked." And with that, the antenna hit the unlock button, letting me in to my car so I could unload all the boxes of food.

Too often, we react in a way that's not going to help the situation. We panic, cry, scream, jump up and down, when all we really need to do is stay calm for five minutes, do a little work, and things are back to normal.

Choose carefully how and what you react to.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Update on Bobbette

Before I get in to the update on Bobbette's health and our search to find her a new kidney, I'd like to let you read some words from Bobbette herself. She posted this on her Caring Bridge page last night and has asked me to copy it to this blog.

"Hey all, it's Bobbette here. Just a little note to let you all know what is going on right now. I go back to the doctor tomorrow to see the Nephrologist, but as of right now I am still holding my own. My kidneys are functioning at 6 percent right now, still no yellow in my fingertips or eyes. Really about the only thing that is bothering me right now is still the swelling and I am tired a lot. Things are going well though, still working and feeling well for the most part. With all of that being said we do have great news; I have been informed that they have found 3 positive matches (Abbie's note: After this posting we were notified of 3 additional matches). God is the greatest and He does work in mysterious ways.

I would like to thank everyone for the prayers, thoughts, and well wishes. This all has been a little overwhelming to me but please know that it touches my heart way beyond anything that I could have ever imagined. My family and friends are the best. I would like to say I love you to my Blockhead family. You all are amazing and I pray I get to meet so many more of you soon. To my sister Annette, I know I drive you crazy but thank you so much for everything you have sacrificed over the years and for everything you continue to do for me. I do love you. My best friend Abbie aka my chicken:-) I don't know what I would do without you, my partner in crime. Whether its been two weeks or two months since we have seen each other--- you are the greatest friend ever. Donnie Wahlberg - I could never have imagined the love and support you have shown for me, or for any of your fans. You let us know that you do care and we do matter, even if its hard for us to see sometimes. I absolutely adore you and will never forget our meeting in June of last year. Simply saying thank you for all you have done just doesn't seem like enough. God Bless you and your family.

I am gonna go for now, will let you all know more tomorrow when I get out of the doctor. Love and God Bless

Anyway you look at this, miracles have happened. Most people struggle to find one kidney to match. As of right now, Bobbette has 6 kidney matches. None of the matches are family members or close friends. They are all strangers with hearts of a size I cannot even begin to imagine. More on that in a moment.

The next step is unfortunately not transplant. There is one more series of tests to be run. It will start with the person who is the best possible match for Bobbette. It is an extensive battery of tests, which includes blood work, a psychiatric evaluation, and a tube match. If the donors tubes do not match well enough with Bobbette's, they will need to move on to test the next person on the list. If the tests run as smoothly as we're praying they will, Bobbette could very likely receive her kidney transplant no later than the end of February.

Because some of the potential donors have asked to remain anonymous to people outside of our very small inner circle, we will not be revealing any of their names. A few of them have made it public that they are matches, and that's fine. However, Bobbette and her family and friends will not be revealing names. Should the person who ends up donating their kidney wish to make their identity public, we will do so at that time.

Another major thing has happened in the midst of all of this. On Christmas morning, Bobbette's boyfriend, Matt, proposed to her... and she said yes!

Neither Bobbette nor any of us close to her could have ever imagined an outpouring of love and support like the one we have received. We are beyond blessed to be in this situation. I know that may sound weird, considering that we're fighting for Bobbette's life, but if you can't find beauty in the struggle and the hard times, you'll never truly appreciate when things are going good. But I'm hoping that this grace does not end with doing something for Bobbette. There are so many people out there who need organ transplants. If you did not match for Bobbette, maybe you will match for someone else. If you don't have the opportunity to be a living donor, please consider sharing the gift of life and donating your organs when your life is done.

Thank you doesn't seem to be a big enough phrase. I love all of you who have read these words, but even that doesn't begin to cover the gratitude in my heart. And to one Mr. Donnie Wahlberg, it is with an amazed and grateful heart that I wish God to bless you, as well as your 4 NKOTB brothers. I'm sure when the 5 of you reunited, you never imagined you'd be saving lives, but you have. I'll be bringing Bobbette to see you on June 21 at the Nashville show. You bring the hugs, I'll bring the Kleenex, Bobbette will bring the kidney.