We all bleed the same color. This statement means something more to me than ever before. Like many Americans, I love my Alma mater. And in Oklahoma, people either bleed crimson or orange. Even though we like different schools, we are all the same. We bleed the same blood!

It reminded me of one of our favorite books to read to the boys, “Around the World We Go!” by Margaret Wise Brown. 

It has different languages and beautiful illustrations.  It teaches that we all smile in the same language, and the more we work together the better off we will be. Accepting and embracing our differences is an integral part of learning how to be a respectful human being. I can’t resist an opportunity to teach my boys life lessons. It is one of my favorite things about being a mommy. If we do not teach, tell, explain, and experience things with our kids, then how will they know the ways of the world?

If there is one thing you need to know about us Okies, it is that we stick together no matter what color flag we wave. We take pride in helping one another. Literally, when the winds come sweeping down the plains and tornadoes take lives, we unite and rebuild. Just like communities that need help rebuilding, there are children in need of blood to help rebuild their broken bodies.

I was recently approached to team up with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, and this was an opportunity I jumped at! We can save lives if we choose to donate our most precious resource, our blood. We know it is important, but do you give blood? I honestly have only donated twice in my life, and I need to set an example for my boys and donate more.

ONLY 38% of Oklahomans can donate blood

and

ONLY 10% of those people actually donate.

Plus

blood donated by Oklahomans stays in Oklahoma!

OBI horz

Sadly a few months ago a boy in our school community was diagnosed with cancer. On February 11th, Jake was diagnosed with a type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma called Burkitts Lymphoma, stage 4. It is the most aggressive form of cancer but has an encouraging survival rate of 75-90% after 5 years remission. His mother was my son’s teacher last year, and they have 4 children. Her other son is in the same class with my son. His mom started this blog to keep everyone infomed of what is going on with Jake and his cancer treatments. Here is one of her recent posts:

img_0276“Jake is on day 6 of this round of chemo. He is becoming increasingly tired and tummy sick, but the effects of the chemotherapy are remaining manageable.

His immune system is continuing to fall away, expecting to be at a zero tomorrow. Then, we will pray for continued quiet and boring days. Days full of bedside word searches, movie marathons, and take-out requests.

Jake’s chemo plan intends for his immune system to remain depleted for the next 15 days, a time we will all be holding our breath. The risks are endless during that time…but so is the hope.”

Please click the link below to read more about their journey…

Jake’s Play Book

Reading the email from the head of school about Jake’s diagnosis caused a flood of tears from parents. One of the best parts of being part of a small tight knit school is that we all know each other, and we are like family. The entire school has banded together to pray, help, and lift this family up. The philosophy and educational approach they teach at Riverfield School is called Reggio Emilia. Reggio Emilia’s tradition of community support for families with young children expands as the collective responsibility. Parents are a vital component to this philosophy. Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators, and advocates for their children.

Riverfield Country Day School

Reggio Emilia Approach

Jake has had several blood transfusions. In order for him to get the blood he needs to help him beat this cancer, we must donate blood. The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) heavily relies on volunteers  in Oklahoma to help those in need. OBI provides every drop of blood for patients in 90% of hospitals in Oklahoma. Seeing the struggle, pain, and stress this family has endured while keeping positive and smiling should be a compelling enough reason to donate. If you need another reason, there are many benefits for donors. For example, a health screening that includes cholesterol and blood pressure checks is required. Donors are also eligible for incentives such as FREE zoo passes and various giveaways.

Hey, Parents, did you hear that?! FREE STUFF! We need to get people to understand the importance of donating blood to those in need in our community. We can set an example for our children. None of us know the path we will take. That is up to GOD. But if we find ourselves or our children in need of blood, you know you would go to the ends of the Earth to get it for them.

I need to back up what I am preaching, so I went to donate. You can click the link below to find a community donor center. If you would, please tell them you read this, and that “Just Happy Mommy” encouraged you to donate. Many affected would appreciate it.

Oklahoma Blood Institute

Give Blood. Save Lives. YouTube Video

If you feel touched by the Flowers family and Jake’s story the family has a account set up if you would like to donate to help them with their medical expenses. Any form of positive energy is welcomed to help them on this tough road to beat his cancer.
Together as a stong community we can help those in need, through blood donations to OBI, dontations to the Flowers family or prayers of healing. 
Go in your child’s room and watch them sleep. Look at their sweet, innocent face as they breathe in and out and their minds dance off to dream land. Stop and cherish this moment. We only have one life and remember we all bleed the same color.
XOXO
Just Happy Mommy
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