Proceeds to benefit accelerate brain cancer cure


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our First WNBA Game, The Washington Mystics!

Please check back later today for details of our wonderful night with the Mystics! I am back sorry for the delay as we lost power due to a huge storm. Our experience at the Mystics game was very memorable. We have never been to a WNBA game and Justin was being honored as a Hometown Hero at halftime. I was so honored to receive a phone call from Nicole of Mystics about 5 weeks ago. She said the Mystics wanted to feature Justin as the Hometown Hero. I was very excited to tell Justin and the family. Of course everyone was excited especially Justin. This game was a very nice ending to an incredibly stressful week as we had another MRI for Justin to determine the status of his brain tumor. No one can really understand the stress and anxiety that parents feel and of course how Justin feels in the week leading upto the MRI and then waiting for the results. It is extremely taxing during this time because it just exacerbates our always walking on eggshells with his brain tumor. Justin did not sleep the night before the MRI as he was a wreck understandably so. The day of this MRI he was unusually nervous and he did not sleep that night also anticipating the results as he told me he does not want his tumor to grow and he was very scared. As I have told him many times before that we have the best doctors and treatment lined up to help you. Well we received GREAT NEWS on Thursday that there was no significant change in Justin's tumor...What a relief. Now we can enjoy the Mystic's game. The game on Saturday was a treat as my father and his companion were able to join us. We picked them up at 4pm and went to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Chinatown called Tony Chengs. We dined on our favorite dishes and I took Justin early from dinner as he was getting anxious because he wanted to shoot some practice hoops. We arrived at the Verizon Center at 6:10pm and hung in the gift shop until the rest of my family from dinner arrived and Chris Grundner from NBTS and Wes Johnson from Rosenberg Media. WE were all greeted by Mystic's staff and they treated us so nice, like VIP'S. Justin wanted me to ask if he could shoot some practice hoops and the Mystics obliged and he went to the Practice gym within the Verizon Center. This gym was awesome and he shot hoops with Alana Beard the star from the Mystics. She has an injured ankle and out for the season but she so graciously agreed to be the star to shoot with Justin. Alana was so sweet and nice to Justin. They shot together at the gym for about 10 minutes. The game was very exciting and then the big moment came when Justin and I were summoned to the court for an interview just before he would take center stage. It blows me away how poised Justin is when he does interviews. He wants so badly to raise awareness and find a cure and this is his passion but he also puts alot of pressure on himself. They announced why Justin was here tonight to the crowd and asked the crowd to text justin to 85944 to raise money to benefit NBTS, very COOL. Alana sank her first shot and Justin took 2 tries to sink his shot. Justin was then presented an award which was a glass trophy, it was beautiful. When we got back to our seats there were very nice people who congratulated Justin. One lady lost her husband to a brain tumor 5 years ago. It just goes to show you that this terrible disease effects so many people. The game was very exciting as the Mystics came back in the 4th quarter to cut the lead to 2 points but in the end the Indiana Fever won 78-73. We want to thank everyone from the Washington Mystics and the WNBA who made this a very special night for Justin and our family. This event again helped us raise awareness and hopefully get us one step closer to a cure. We are at 16,150 shots.

Back Down To Earth After Meeting President Obama

The dust has settled from our Presidential visit and we all have come down to earth. Justin and his brothers have been shooting hoops every day to get closer to the BIG GOAL 63,000 and they made 952 shots since our visit. It seems that the meeting with President Obama made Justin even more determined to find a cure for brain tumors, which is hard to believe it is possible to increase his determination. We still cannot believe how down to earth President Obama is. GREAT NEWS, the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) has arranged to have texting as a means of donating to Justin's Quest in the amount of $10.00 per text. Visit the Website to view. All donations as before benefit NBTS which is the leading non-profit organization in brain tumor patient services and research. Please text justin to 85944 then you will get a reply text within 2 minutes. Text yes and your $10 donation will be made to NBTS. Please spread the word to family and friends because without funding there can be no research to find a cure. Again, thanks to everyone for your support of Justin and his Quest.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

President Obama Makes Justin's Dream Come True

Wow!!! I am so speechless that I cannot believe what just happened to our family. About 6 weeks ago I received a phone call on my cell with a very strange caller ID number. It was the call I was expecting, someone from the White House called to invite our family to meet President Obama. I was in shock even though I knew the call may be coming. I have to give an incredible thanks to Jay Rosenberg , Officer Edgado Cobian of the Montgomery County Police Department who was responsible for making the Police event happen at BCC High School and his associates and NBTS for making my son's dream come true. Ever since we started Justin's Quest, Justin's biggest goal was to shoot with President Obama. We thought this may happen but not this soon. Well here is the scoop. July 6, 2010 history was made for our family, Justin's Quest and the National Brain Tumor Society. I received the call from an assistant to the President who was so nice and instrumental in making this day happen. I told the kids and just our parents about the big day as we did not want to spoil any chances of our meeting happening especially since our visit could change at any time given the President's schedule and national and world events. I was trying to keep everyone's emotions in check before the big day, especially Justin's. Last night I took the family out to dinner to go over our game plan today. I was told by the assistant that we would have at the most a 5 minute meet and greet with the President in the Oval office. We discussed at dinner how to greet the President and what the kids should expect. Audrey and I said that today would be one of the most memorable and important days in all of our lives, meeting the most important man in the WORLD( President Obama). We tried putting the kids to bed early last night for everyone to be well rested for the big day. Of course who could not sleep, you guessed it, Justin. He came into our room at around 11:15pm saying he could not sleep. Audrey and I tucked him back in bed and told him how proud we are of him and that we love him very much. We knew he was nervous as this meeting was so huge for his quest to raise awareness and find a cure for brain tumors. Finally everyone got to sleep, not to mention everyone else was also nervous for the big day. The kids got up around 9:30 am and I was at work and Audrey had all the kids outfits picked out. I of course wore a suit, Audrey a pants outfit, Justin had his Justin's Quest Jersey with Blue slacks and the other kids had their Justin's Quest Polo shirts with Khaki pants. I came home early from work so we could leave by 2:30 pm for our 5 pm visit. We arrived in DC around 3:30 pm and parked at a garage near the White House. We were a bit early and stopped at a corner market for a drink. It was 100 degrees and we were all sweating so bad on our walk to the West Gate security checkpoint. We arrived at security and were cleared to enter the White House. We all received visitor passes that we wore around our necks. Justin at this point was extremely nervous. Can you imagine what is going through a 13 year olds mind who is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, who is about to have his dream come true and meet the most important man in the world and that meeting he knows will make such a huge difference in his quest. I was feeling anxious for him. We were escorted to the West Wing waiting area at around 4:10 pm, and thankfully because we all needed the air conditioning. A Marine Honor Guard opened the door for us to the white House. At that moment, I was truly blown away at what was about to happen. If you told me before March 2009 that my son would be diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and that we would start Justin's Quest to raise awareness and find a cure for brain tumors AND that we would meet the President of the United States to help our cause, I would have told anyone that they were crazy. We sat in the waiting area and everyone was as quiet as a church mouse. Finally, I broke the ice and tried to have a conversation with the Secret Service uniformed officer about why we are here. The officer was very interested in Justin's Quest and began to question the kids nicely and that helped to relax them. But Justin was obviously nervous because we knew he really wanted to make an impression on the President to convince him to shoot hoops. The pressure he put on himself was immense, but we told him do not worry. A White House Staffer came out to greet us and she was very nice. She spent the waiting time with us until and during our visit with the President. An assistant to the President came out again to tell us what was going to happen, He said" that you will line up and shake the President's hand and get a picture in the Oval office and he will spend a few seconds with Justin". At that point I was really hoping for more but I was just truly honored to be here. Then, another Whit House staffer came to us to apologize that the President is running late and we said please do not worry we are so excited to be here. At 5:22 pm came the big moment, 3 White House staffers led us back to the Oval office. The hallways were very busy as there was a large meeting in the cabinet room that just let out. We arrived just outside the Oval office door and we were greeted by 3 to 4 secret service men and chatted with staffers. Then another shocker happens, Vice President Biden comes up to us and says nicely " what are you all doing here" and I said to Justin, please tell Mr. Vice President why we are here and Justin said" I have a brain tumor and I started Justin's Quest to help find a cure and shoot 63,000 baskets for everyone who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in one year. Mr. Biden listened intently and said to Justin "that I had 2 cranialotomies which is different than a brain tumor but similar and that you will be OK" His words of encouragement really meant so much. As we were still talking to the Vice President the door to the Oval office opens and President Obama joyfully asked what is going on out here. He greets the boys first and asked their names and he joked that there is a common theme here with all "J" names. He invited us in and asked how many shots we have made so far and Justin said 15,000, The President had us pose for a picture in the Oval office and then he said" I know that shooting does not fit in my schedule but we are gonna do it anyway". The President then took of his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and we were led outside of the Oval office to the Presidential basketball court by secret service to shoot hoops. Our jaws all hit the floor. As were walking down to the court we conversed with the President and I thanked him and told him that we were so honored and humbled that he took the time out of his incredibly busy schedule to meet us and take an interest in Justin's plight and he said he was honored to meet Justin. The President was incredibly nice and personable. He truly was an awesome man who seemed like a regular guy that happened to be the most important man in the world. We arrived at the court and he said that he and each kid had to make a basket. Justin went first and he was nervous, it took him 3 tries to make a free throw. Jacob made a basket in 2 tries, Jordan 3 tries and Joey 6 tries. But guess what, the folklore about the President being a great ball player was true, he sank his first shot. The President came up to Justin after everyone made their shots and gave him a fist bump, VERY COOL. Those 5 shots took us to 15,005 shots made. The White House photographer took pictures of all the kids and the President shooting hoops. We gave the President and his family each a Justin's Quest Jersey and wristbands. The President signed a basketball and Brian presented Justin with a goody bag that included a frisbee signed by the President, a Presidential YOYO, A medal, and Presidential M&M's candy. All I can say is that we are all blown away and want to thank all those who were involved in making this monumental day happen. Hopefully this will put Justin's Quest and NBTS to a new level of awareness that will raise money and help find a cure for brain tumors. President Obama we are truly indebted to you for our visit and thank you very much as you left a wonderful lasting impression on our family and especially Justin!!!!!