Monday October 29th, What A Monday!!

Wow! We had the best time today at the Memphis Grizzlies Tip-Off Luncheon at the FedEx Forum. When we were asked to be the patient family that gets to talk about St. Jude, we were more than a little excited. When we found out there would be between 500 and 1000 people in attendance, we were a little nervous, especially Mommy since all three kids would be there! The girls were great and Ingram stole the show...imagine that!

Right when we walked in the door to the Forum, there were already a ton of business people there waiting in line to check-in. We definitely looked out of place, but that didn't stop the kids from walking around and talking to the cheerleaders and then The Grizz came up to us and scooped up Ingram and started playing with him and the girls. Ingram wasn't scared at all and instead wrapped his arms around The Grizz and didn't want to let go! Next up Mr. Shadyac came in and Ingram was all smiles seeing him and the "Emily's" (ALSAC's Director of Marketing and Chief of Staff, both named Emily) and then the girls started talking "business" and didn't stop until we left.

Let me first say that our girls have been in several "business" situations since all they started fundraising, but today they took their behavior to a level I hadn't seen before. They were having conversations with the folks from St. Jude that hosted us and also having conversations with random people that were there...including the Grizzlies Management and the Grizzlies players. As a parent, you want your children to be on their best behavior always, but when they're at an event that's 99.9% adults, you really want them to behave. They amaze me every day in the "new" things that all three of them have had to deal with and the way they handle themselves.

The first official introduction of the 2012-2013 Memphis Grizzlies was very exciting! The players were all sitting behind the stage and our table was right where the stairs were for them to get up on the stage. None of us could believe how big all these dudes were; they looked like giants compared to us, especially compared to the kids!! As they guys walked up onto the stage, each one gave Ingram, Lindsey, and Madison a "five" or a "duke" and we got the biggest kick out of watching how even Ingram's responses changed from shy to all out dancing as they were coming by.

The food was great and it definitely wasn't "kid" food and none of them complained! They did try everything and then politely asked for the snacks that they knew were in my purse. All three of them also took the liberty of walking around and getting their basketballs signed by the players and management while we were eating so they wouldn't disrupt any of the program. Towards the end of lunch, the speaking started and then Mr. Shadyac got up and talked about St. Jude and then started talking about Madison and Lindsey's fundraising and everyone was applauding for them. They were just grinning and then Mr. Shadyac started talking about Ingram and Ingram decided that he needed to give Daddy a kiss before he went up on the stage.  Apparently Ingram told daddy that he wanted to go on stage with him and Daddy said okay.  So he followed him up the steps and Craig moved a barstool-type seat next to where he was talking.  Mr. Shadyac helped Ingram up onto the chair - he is always great with all of the St. Jude patients.  You can tell that he truly cares about the children and has an equal disdain for childhoow cancer as we do!

Ingram was perfect sitting next to Daddy while he was at the podium and I think Craig's words made more of an impact with Ingram sitting right there than if he had just sat with us. Even though we've told the story a thousand times in different situations, we get very emotional each time and today was no different. The thing that gets us sometimes is that we haven't done anything for people to be thanking us.  It's everyone else from our doctors and nurses who have been taking care of Ingram, to the hospital administration who puts everything in to place, to the ALSAC people who help us to not pay for anything, to the volunteers who spend their time at St. Jude, to people who give financial contributions of any size that are the people who we should be thanking! Craig was able to share briefly about the medical side of our story, but also spoke about the emotional side of things and how St. Jude is a place of hope for everyone.

After it was over, we were packing up all our stuff to leave and player after player came over to Ingram and wanted to meet him. They were asking him if they could take a picture with him and it was just amazing! For as big as all the guys were, they were picking Ingram up so carefully and tenderly and it was so sweet. At one point Ingram put his palm against their palms to compare the size and the girls were astounded by the difference. These guys seem tough on the basketball court, but when they were holding Ingram and talking to him and playing with him, they were as gentle as they could be but also not afraid to lean down and grab him.

Watch Out, The Grizz, These Kids Just May Take Your Show!

Our Girls!
There's No Telling What They're Going To Accomplish In The Future!
We Love You Two!!!

Craig And Ingram On The Jumbotron! 
This Picture Was "Tweeted" By One Of The Grizzlie Players After The Event!

Ingram Having A Ball With Hamed Haddadi And Zach Randolph!
Talk About Gentle Giants!!

Grizzlies First Round Draft Pick Tony Wroten, ALSAC CEO Rick Shadyac holding Ingram,
and Grizzlies Assistant Coach David Joerger

Ingram Is Sporting Z-Bo's Headband!  Zach Randolph was so gracious to our family
and has even donated money to Team Ingram last week at the soccer field!

I'm Pretty Sure My Kids Are Going To Remember This Day For A Long Time!
Thank You Memphis Grizzlies!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. Way to go, Craig and Ingram!