I first met Jo Ann Thrailkill, Executive Director of the Pablove Foundation, a year ago when I got involved with the Pedaling for Pablove event. The Pablove Foundation is named for Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, the son of Jo Ann Thrailkill and her husband, Jeff Castelaz. Pablo was only six years old when he lost his valiant yearlong battle with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer.
I am ashamed to say that I couldn’t quit staring. I kept looking at this woman who was engaging with families, laughing with healthy children and hugging and offering a kind word to families with sick children. I didn’t understand how she could be functioning, let alone smiling and chatting. I consider myself a pretty tough cookie. But if something happened to one of my boys, I am fairly certain I would be a puddle on the floor.
As parents, we try to diminish the pain of our children. The frequent bumps and bruises, the occasional slight by a friend, the overly harsh word that escapes our mouth after a long day. I would happily bare the brunt of these emotional and physical scars if it meant one less moment of sadness for my boys.
But what if a hug, a kiss and a kind word would never heal what was going on inside their little bodies? What if one of my boys was fighting for his life? What wouldn’t I do to make it all better?
This is why I started fundraising for the Pablove Foundation. I am not a brilliant scientist and I can’t cure this awful disease. I don’t have millions of dollars to devote to research. But I can work with my children to do this little thing. I can shamelessly ask family, friends and everyone we meet to contribute their time, their money or whatever they have to give to this incredibly worthwhile cause.
A year later, I am still amazed by JoAnn’s strength and compassion. But I am starting to understand that you never stop being a parent. Even if you aren’t fighting for your child, you are fighting for someone’s child. And this is why we ask all of you to consider getting involved with this year’s Pedaling for Pablove event on Saturday, September 28th and help us in “fighting childhood cancer with love!”
Saturday, September 28th from 9am-1pm at Holy Name of Jesus School (6325 Cromwell Place at the corner of Calhoun Street).
Kids riding groups: 4 and under, 5-8 and 9-12 years old
Event includes family-friendly activities, entertainment, a silent auction and delicious New Orleans food and drink!
Register in advance and collect pledges for their riding or you can register the morning of the event
The Pablove Foundation funds pediatric cancer research and advances in treatment, educates and empowers cancer families, and improves the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs.
For more information and to register visit pablove.org/kidsride.