Monday, May 6, 2013

Thank you Kadyn's Krew!

This past Saturday we had a Kadyn's Krew walk in Fayetteville. This is my thank you: 

Kadyns Krew,

When people ask me how I know Kadyn and Katie I always pause because I don’t know how to adequately express our relationship. No, we are not relatives, but they are my family. Growing up I always considered my babysitters my big sisters. They were my role models, and I was blessed with an unbelievable group of babysitters who became like family. I was so excited when they stayed in Springfield and began having families themselves. It was perfect timing because I could babysit for their babies!

On April 17, 2009 Katie had her twins, Koy and Kadyn. I was beyond excited. I was able to visit them in the hospital and got to cuddle them and love on them. Everything was perfect and I just imagined the relationship I would be able to have with them, much like the relationship I have with Katie. When we heard that Kadyn had Cystic Fibrosis it was like a punch in the stomach. I didn’t exactly know what CF was, so I googled it. Bad idea. Sitting there at my computer looking up information about Cystic Fibrosis was the most helpless I have ever felt my whole life. I vowed that I would never feel that way again. I would do something to put an end to this horrible disease.

I was so excited when I was able to participate in our first walk! Kadyn’s Krew was so much bigger than I expected and we were able to raise money for the CFF. Seeing how many people loved Kadyn was overwhelming. There are so many good people, with big hearts. After the walk was really when I started babysitting for Koy and Kadyn. I would go over once a week and we would play. It was a highlight of my high school.

When I went over there it was hard to remember that Kadyn was sick. She didn’t look sick. She didn’t act sick. One day, Katie asked me to give Kadyn her vest treatment. This was the first time I remember realizing exactly what CF meant. The first time I gave Kadyn her treatment was one I will never forget. I did not know what the vest did and Kadyn was younger and didn’t like her treatment very much. Needless to say, it was rough on both of us. As time went on we got the hang of it, and Kadyn graciously decided to give me a break and never gave me any trouble during her treatments.

Sometimes when Kadyn wasn’t feeling well and she had to do her treatment she would say, “Claire, will you hold me?” These are the times when I felt the least helpless. When I could hold her, take some of her pain/stress away. Little did Kadyn know that she was helping me, she was holding me.

Throughout the next four years I would continue to go over to their house cherishing my time with Koy and Kadyn. We would play, laugh, sing and dance. These two taught me so much. I continued to look forward to the walks and Kadyn’s Krew just kept getting bigger. They raised more money for Kadyn, and each walk my heart was so happy.

When it was time for me to go to college, I was dreading saying goodbye to all of the kids I babysit for. But I especially dreaded saying goodbye to Kadyn. I was bummed because I thought she and Koy would forget me. I didn’t want to stop going over and playing with them!

Shortly after I got to college Kadyn had to go to the hospital. It was the trip where she was rushed into emergency surgery after she started showing signs of infection. I felt isolated in Arkansas, I had made some friends, but I didn’t have the prayer warriors that I had in Springfield…or so I thought. I went out on a limb and texted some of the girls I had met asking them to pray. Not only did they drop everything and pray for Kadyn, but they tweeted, facebooked and forwarded the message on to others. They kept checking on Kadyn, they had become attached to this little girl that they didn’t know.

Before I knew it, first semester was over and we had come back for second semester. I came home one weekend and had seen on instagram that Kadyn was back in the hospital. My heart hurt for my sweet girl, but I assumed it would be like the other times and she would be out in no time. Then on Sunday, January 27 I got a text message that said, “Kadyn is being moved to the ICU. Please pray for her.” My heart broke. I immediately sent out my text again, and those girls (and boys) came through ten-fold. I also went out on a limb and emailed my whole Kappa email group (440 girls). I began to get texts and messages from Kappas that I hadn’t met telling me that they were praying for Kadyn. Kadyn was put on so many prayer chains and there were so many people praying for her.

Then I received an email from the CFF that said there was a Fayetteville Great Strides walk. I thought how cool would that be if we had a Kadyn’s Krew team. I thought it would maybe be me, my roommates and a couple of friends.

Fast forward to Saturday, May 4. It was 31o and rainy/snowy. We had around 60 people register (which is awesome!!!!) but I didn’t expect anyone to come. After all it was May and 30 degrees outside. Then the first people showed up, and then more came, and then more, and then more. These people had never met Kadyn, but had come to walk for her. My heart was overwhelmed. It still is. Kadyn’s Krew raised $3500 for our girl this year. Throughout the walk people said they couldn’t wait to meet Kadyn and couldn’t wait to walk next year. The Kadyn’s Krew walk was the highlight of my freshman year. I had hoped I would make friends, but never imagined the amazing people who I would meet.

From my roommates, Lizzie, Lane, and Anna, to the 211 girls, to Murielle, and Emily, to Evan (who made a huge donation), to all of the Kappas who prayed for Kadyn: thank you. Your support has meant the world to me this year, and thank you is just not enough. To Karis and Elle: thank you. This walk would not have gone on without you. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you two this year!

Thank you all for loving Kadyn and for coming together to bring a cure to this horrible disease.

Cystic Fibrosis may be a strong opponent, but it is no match for Kadyn’s Krew.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm With Miller

In 3 days it will be 365 days since you became an angel. The most beautiful angel heaven has ever seen! I know I have learned so much from you in these 365 days. It's been hard. It's been painful. But I know it's His plan. I'm so proud of you Miller. You continue to live on in the hearts of those who love you! Like miss Kate said you have called home this year. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten a message from you and how I love it so much. For those of you who don't know Miller's story you might need a Kleenex. It is a story of love. of faith. and of hope. Miller McNeil Woodruff was born on March 28, 2011 to Patrick and Meredith Woodruff. The first two weeks of Miller's life was perfect as they were adjusting to a new family of four with Miller and his older brother Cole. Towards the end of April Miller went to the doctor because his parents were concerned with Millers lack of movement or his "floppiness". It was then that they heard the news that no parents should ever hear. There baby boy was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1. Miller would most likely not live to see his first birthday. Miller fought for 87 days before earning his angel wings on June 23, 2011. But Miller's story didn't end there. Miller's parents created the Miller McNeil Woodruff foundation in memory of Miller to raise money and awareness for SMA. Miller there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. I know you are with me everyday and I'm so thankful for you. I love you sweet boy! Please join me in praying for the woodruff family this Saturday. Miller and his family are doing amazing things and I am so proud to be with miller. If you would like to learn more about Miller you can go the foundation website at: Or visit their family blog at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SMA didn't take her smile away.

yesterday little avery took her last breath and wen to be with Jesus.

have i said before how much i hate sma?! because i hate it. a lot.

but avery's work is not done. like miller, her parents have committed to keeping her name and legacy alive. i promise i will not stop fighting until we find a cure for sma. miller and avery have put a face to this horrific, horrific disease. 

you have touched thousands of hearts and you did that without saying a word.
we will never ever forget you or your lessons.
call home avery, please send your parents signs.
let them know that you are with them everyday.
we love you avery! 

i had just sent in a letter to the Ellen Show to get avery on her show. 

sma is so mean.

please keep avery and her parents in your thoughts and prayers. let's not forget avery and miller and the lessons they taught us.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dancin' Away with My Heart

have y'all heard the song Dancin' Away With My Heart by Lady A??

it is the best. song. ever. it so relates to my life right now! i think we all will have that one person that will always be 18, and beautiful, and dancin' away with our hearts.

you guys.... there's only 29 days until my graduation! can you believe it?! for some reason the 20's seem so much closer than anything else.

holy. moly.

i chose my dorm room today... maple hill south 221 hollaaaa! (did i really just say holla?!....oh gosh)

anyways sorry for the lack of posts lately... school is kind of kicking my booty! 

hope you have a wonderful week :)! 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Avery's Bucket List

this is avery. 

avery is 5 months old but she is on a mission. avery wants to complete her bucket list. 
it is a long list.

avery and her mama and dad.

she needs your help. 

avery doesn't have long to complete her bucket list. she has SMA. she, like miller mcneil (here's his blog), will not be able to live a long life. however, also like miller, avery's parents are making sure that avery's life is full.

sma is the number one genetic killer in children under the age of two. 

We need to find a cure for sma.

avery's bucket list has items that she can complete herself, and items that she needs help.

if you can help her please go to her blog at

you go sweet girl! you are on a mission and i am so glad that i am here to witness it. you, little lady are going to change the world.i am so inspired by you and your family. keep on going! 


Monday, April 9, 2012


oopsies....sorry for the lack of posts lately!

two words. senior exhibtion.
it's our last assignment before we graduate..which is in 39 days (hence the title;)) 

i present my project on may 1. so until then posts will probably be scarce...but after that I'M FREE!!

just a quick catch up:

i had a wonderful easter with my family in east prairie..there is something about east prairie. while i'm there i feel like i can just relax and enjoy family. east prairie is my happy place.

miller's bday was AMAZING! he had a bday party in fayetteville which raised over $2,000.00!!!!!! can you believe it? i am so proud of my sweet miller boy! 

it's almost koy and kadyn's 3rd birthday! kadyn is my little angel who has cystic fibrosis. she is such a little diva/fighter/princess/sassyface/cutest girl ever. i am so lucky to know her! (i'll introduce her soon)

i think that's about it! sorry for the lack of pictures/interesting stories. i'll be back to normal soon;)

have a great week!!! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

happy birthday precious angel


today is your first birthday. 
if you were here you'd have a cake, and be loved on by your mommy and daddy.
if you never had sma you might be walking.
if you were here you'd open presents, and giggle, and know that you're loved.
but if you were here, i might not know you.

one year ago today you entered this world bright-eyed and beautiful.
when you took your first breath i didn't realize that my life was about to change because of one little angel.

i miss you more and more everyday.

but i also love you more and more everyday.

i will love you always and forever.

i could not be more proud of you, your mama, your dad, and cole crews.
when someone asks me about you, i have this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness.

i'm grateful that you changed my life, that you are in my heart for good:)! 
i'm so thankful that i can tell your story. that i'm a part of your story. 

i wish you were here more than anything. 
but i can only imagine what kind of party you are having with the angels.

enjoy your first birthday, little man.
keep calling home, keep sending signs. let us know you're still with us.

i love you, miller mcneil. 
all the way to heaven and back again.