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Valor, Wisdom, Presence and Brotherhood

Brothers in Arms

I don't attend church services very often for reasons that are too complicated and quite frankly irrelevant for this post.  Having said that, I attended a service yesterday at a local church called Stone Creek.  It was nice to do so with Beth and the kids for Father's Day.  Pastor Steven Gibbs does a great job but honestly I often go for the music. Yesterday though, Pastor Gibbs got me pretty good.  He started his sermon and mentioned three words and went on to discuss them in the context of David from the bible.  Not sure why, but as soon as he said the word "Valor" I became even more attentive.  I just don't hear that word often.  I hear courage a lot but not Valor.  I hear courage in the context of Jack a lot. I hear brave often too.  Not Valor. Valor, when I do hear it, is usually referring to a military veteran or a soldier.

Jack's Journey

Jack's Journey
This has been a busy week for the Burke family. On Monday we premiered this film about Jack's Journey battling Neurofibromatosis (NF) at our 3rd annual Atlanta CureNFwithJack Golf Classic. The golf tournament was well attended (we even had a waiting list), was great fun (Jack got to shoot a real canon to start the day) and we raised money and awareness about Neurofibromatosis. Today was difficult. We drove to Children's Healthcare and Jack had an MRI to see if the chemo is working. Tomorrow Jack has week 12 of 52 chemo treatments.

I got caught...

Welcome to CureNFwithJack golf

My last update was just a week or so ago.  I have received a lot of feedback about the update and noted that many people had said I didn't focus on too much about Jack's course of treatment, etc.  Instead I focused on a lot of the GOOD that has transpired from people responding to Jack and his challenge.  The news articles, the money raised in his name ($400,000 in 2013-2014), the upcoming "Front Row" trip and of course the 3rd Annual CureNFwithJack Golf Classic on May 5th.  

But I got caught.  I got caught and almost lost sight on what the hell we are doing here.  What the hell HE is doing here.  He is fighting for his life.  I don't think I have forgotten that fact one single day in 7 years but man does NF have a way of reminding you what a life sucking MONSTER it can be to a family.

Cupids, Sigma Chi's, and Front Row

Jack and Luke at Cupid's

It has been almost 2 months since my last update and for that I apologize.  It means this one may be very long.  It also means that I found it hard to write that last few times I began an update. I am not sure why honestly.  These last 6-8 weeks have given us more to update you on than any other block of time in recent memory.  I just didn't have it in me before today.  So, in no particular order of importance but more likely chronologically, here goes.  

9 years and 9 million lessons

all grown up

As I write this Jack is going to sleep with anticipation of celebrating his 9th birthday tomorrow.  Like most soon-to-be 9 year-olds he is pretty excited.  Unlike most he had an appointment for chemo today.  I don't want to make this update too much about that however.  Just know that today his counts were too low and he could not receive chemo.  Essentially I am learning as I go here but the chemo makes him susceptible to illness.  Giving him chemo this week would exacerbate that so he gets this week "off".  Stay tuned!  Let's get to the good stuff which despite the situation we find ourselves in is pretty overwhelmingly cool.  Let's start: