To the editor:
Thank you to the people of Fort Dodge. On behalf of Kelli, Claire, and the rest of my little family, I would like to say thank you to the many that we have come to call friends in this truly unique town. If you will indulge me, I would like to take a few lines in our paper to explain the origin of our gratitude.
We have been happy with our decision to call Fort Dodge home from the beginning. But specifically, roughly two weeks ago, Kelli and I received the kind of call that every parent fears, our daughter had been diagnosed with leukemia. As we began to try to figure out how to handle this new problem, the calls, texts, emails, Facebook posts - you get the idea - began. As much as we/Claire felt alone, the community of Fort Dodge refused to let us face it alone.
As word spread, the amazing people of Fort Dodge began to consider how they could help. Prayers, meals, offers to help with kids poured like a waterfall of support on our family. We had assumed that the culmination of that support had occurred at an amazing prayer circle at our church on Sunday Aug. 10. We were wrong.
As we left town the morning of Aug. 11 to start Claire's treatment in Des Moines, a group of supporters sent us on our way. At 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, parents, teachers, moms, dads, grade schoolers and high school students from St. Ed, Fort Dodge Senior/Middle school, First Presbyterian, and many others came together on 22nd Avenue North to form a rally to send us/her on our way with love/cheers/banners of encouragement. As the driver that morning, all I can say is thank you.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for taking the time to remind a 15-year-old young lady, she is not alone as she fights her battle. Thank you for accepting me and my family as one of your own. Thank you for not getting in front of our vehicle because I balled like a daddy, I could have run you over. And, thank you for reminding us why we are proud to call ourselves Dodgers.