Happy Birthday, Harrison

Steve McKinionUncategorized3 Comments

Happy birthday to the world’s newest teenager! I’ve thought about what I would say today for some time. Upbeat? Somber? Melancholy? Angry? Relieved? Any of those emotions would be fitting. But as the day got closer one word continued to come to mind: Blessed. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.” That word “Blessed” could … Read More

“I Can’t Do This Any More”

Steve McKinionUncategorized11 Comments

Tuesday was Harrison’s monthly trip to UNC for chemo infusion. These trips are relatively routine for us. They are just a part of life now. But they aren’t routine for Harrison. He’s sick of going. And tired. And hurting. Physically and emotionally. At this appointment, Harrison’s oncologist, Dr. Brent Weston, gave us a quick update of where we stand. It … Read More

A Great New Book

Steve McKinionUncategorized1 Comment

I have a soft spot for kids. I’ve never understood child abuse. When kids hurt, I hurt. Part of my love of coaching is the chance to help kids who might not get a chance. I hate seeing coaches mistreat players, either directly or simply by neglecting them. Too often I’ve seen coaches who just don’t know what they are doing … Read More

This Can’t Be Happening

Steve McKinionUncategorized2 Comments

Nearly every week Ginger and I are contacted by a new childhood cancer family. Sometimes a friend introduces us, other times they land on this blog or Harrison’s Facebook page, and sometimes they’ve seen something on twitter. But every time I think the same thing, “Another family facing weeks and months of fear, hurt, and sorrow.” Each time I am … Read More

Chair Number Nine

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

On Harrison’s very first visit to the pediatric oncology clinic at UNC he chose to sit in chair number nine. I don’t recall why he picked that particular seat. Perhaps it was the only one available. Maybe it had a good view of the nurses station (he just ADORES the nurses). Harrison speculated last week that it was because he … Read More

Another First Day of School

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Yesterday Harrison, Lachlan, and Blakely started another school year. They join tens of thousands of kids embarking on another year of learning, playing, etc. On the surface, there is nothing exceptionally special about the first day of school, other than moms snapping shots of kids and posting them to Facebook. But for Harrison, and the tens of thousands of other kids … Read More

When Life Gives You Lemons, Try Soccer

Steve McKinionUncategorized2 Comments

Last Saturday Harrison, Ginger, and I spent about two hours practicing soccer. Harrison tried soccer once, when he was four. Lachlan played once at five or six. Blakely never played.    So why soccer? Because Harrison refuses to let cancer win. Let me explain. At his last hospital visit Harrison got some really bad news: no football. He was devastated. He had … Read More

Loud Summers

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Harrison pretends he is ready for school to be over, but the truth is he LOVES school. Not the school work, mind you, but the teachers and friends he has there. Lachlan and Blakely were always happy to play alone as younger children. Not Harrison. He has to be with people. Preferably, his friends. I wonder sometimes if his connection … Read More

Mother’s Day with Childhood Cancer

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Yesterday my wife celebrated her eighteenth Mother’s Day as a mom. And her third as the mom of a kid with cancer. Which means her say was a mix of extreme joy and sadness. Ginger loves being a mom. There is nothing she would rather do than bless her children. My kids mean the world to me, but they mean … Read More

Distracted by Life

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Harrison and two of his good friends are playing wiffle ball in the front yard while I write in the den. And I am happy to be distracted by their playing, because the distractions are the sounds of life. Laughter is often missing in the world of childhood cancer. The cancer journey can be a lonely one. Thankful that Harrison … Read More