Riley was born in June of 2000.
She is such an Inspiration.
She has been battling cancer for 3 years now.
This was written on her CarePage on Friday.
Update for RileyPhilpot
Posted Sep 11, 2009 11:08pm
Riley has been doing well. The soreness in her chest is getting less and she is doing a little more every day. She went back to school on Tuesday and she has enjoyed being back. It is nice to be going back to a “routine” for all the kids. Kelly and I have been trying to get back into our routine as well, but our minds have been a little slower to recover. It is hard right now when people ask, “How is Riley?” The answer we have learned to say is “Good.” Good is still the truth, but the thoughts and questions that our mind creates now is amazing. Please don’t take the previous comment wrong, we love being asked and sharing Riley’s story with others, we just aren’t used to being where we are so the answers to simple questions don’t flow as easy-I guess we are still processing all our thoughts. This was her fastest cure yet – diagnosis and surgery for cure within just one week! A lot to get your mind wrapped around in a short time. Technically we are exactly where we expected to be right now, Riley free of cancer. We just didn’t expect the pothole we hit last week-requiring surgery for her to become free of cancer!
We have enjoyed Riley’s request for cards. When she got home from the hospital, I asked her how many cards she hoped to get with her request. She said “twenty-five.” Riley doesn’t realize what impact her story has on others. We must remember, she has lived this life for over 3 years and is doing what she must in her special way. Riley doesn’t yet understand how “easy” she makes it seem nor how many people have come to find her faith and perseverance encouraging. The cards have been a physical representation of the prayers, which so many are saying on her behalf. We have all enjoyed seeing the mailbox fill with cards each day. Your time and effort has meant a lot. The house is filled with your well wishes for Riley and our family. Today she was disappointed when she got home since no cards were in the mailbox. Little did she realize the mailman left the bundle on the front porch as they would not fit in the mailbox. Her face lit up with excitement when she saw over 100 cards today alone! Soon we will post a picture of Riley and the cards and perhaps share some of the stories too. Thanks!!!
Looking back, we are amazed by the journey we have been on. We never imagined the struggles or the blessings we would encounter, nor did we imagine how long we would actively be battling this disease. We started only desiring her cure without complication. This is still our desire, yet we have reaped the benefits of much more in the past 3 years. We have changed so much and our faith has grown enormously. When I started this carepage, I only wanted it as a tool to tell people how Riley was doing. Somehow it has turned into so much more. We know being in our position is difficult, but you have allowed us to share our lives with you – Thanks! As hard as it is for us to express how we feel, we know it is hard for many of you to be following Riley’s journey. Thank you for your continued support and for all your help in nourishing our faith with messages of encouragement.
Early this week, I couldn’t settle my mind. Something seemed stuck in my brain and I couldn’t come to grips with it. I even went on a run, which is not an activity I have chosen to participate in for years! The following day I still couldn’t clear my mind and so I sat down to write. Within 15-20 minutes, the following passage was written entirely. I don’t know what it is actually – prose, poetry or some other definition since creative writing is not a hobby or pastime of mine. All I know, is it came quickly and clearly without much revision (although it may need some). This is such unusual expression for me, I hesitated sharing it, but I feel moved to include it today with this update.
THE RACEA big race and anyone can enter. I eagerly sign up at the urging of my coach. I begin training and learning more about running. Seems easy, everyone is stretching or jogging. This won’t be bad.Out for a training run, the sweat is pouring off. My coach yells “Go!” What? The Race has begun. I wasn’t ready. Where do I go? I want to stop already. “Keep going” the coach encourages me. Others are running nearby. I catch up feeling more confident that I can do this. My coach is on the side to give me water. He runs alongside and then up ahead. “Keep going” he says again. Easy for him to say I mumble, he isn’t breaking a sweat. My legs are burning and my feet are sore. I pass a man sitting on the side of the road. He is resting. I want to quit too. Coach says no, your race isn’t done. How much longer? I can’t keep doing this. “Keep going, your race isn’t done” he calls out again.The road is quiet. I am either way behind or way ahead. Did I miss a turn? I look back and see someone running up fast. I pick up my pace. I don’t want to be passed now. But I can’t outrun her. The child skips past me. Skips! She hasn’t been running long I say. A child can run so much easier I guess. But I see her more closely as she passes. She is carrying bags that drag on the ground. The bags are almost bigger than her, yet she skips. She is going faster now and calls to encourage a lady on the side of the road to get back up and run. I pick up my pace again, but my legs feel like rubber. My chest hurts and the stitch in my side is getting worse. I lose her around the bend.A long straight away and I don’t see her, but coach is running near me again. How much longer I ask? How long is the race? How can that child beat me? I am stronger and bigger.“She listens to me” coach says. “I told her to travel the path I set for her and that I would see her at the end. She was made to run.”I see her again in the distance. Oh no, she tripped. No she didn’t, I see more clearly. She jumped. With the bags in hand, she jumped. But why?I get to that spot in the road. Hurdles! I try to jump the first and barely clear it. The second is higher and I have to slow to climb over the obstacle. The child has made it out of my sight again.I see coach on the side. But she was making it look easy. And she was carrying those bags. How? Why? I plead with him.“She listens to me” coach said again. “Calm your breathing, relax your arms and run.” He pats me on the back and jogs ahead.I am feeling more tired, heavier. I am now carrying a bag and it is heavy. What a sick idea of a race. I am feeling disgusted. I want to throw up. I want to drop the bag but I can’t. “Keep going” I hear coach call. Was he talking to me?I see him yet again and sprint up next to him. Mad. I want out of this race. This wasn’t what I signed up for. I want to go home. Carry your own bag I yell.“I made this path for you” coach says. “This is your race. You are on your way home. Keep going.” He hands the bag back to me. “I have already run the race,” he says. “I already carried all the bags. Keep going and I will see you at the end, and we will enjoy the gifts you carry in the bag. You will have your prize when the race is done.”So I hoist the bag over my shoulder and skip. “Come on” I yell to another man sitting on the side of the road. “Let’s go.” Listening to Him and following the child.
After reading this story to Riley, she understood immediately who the coach was. She also said, “Some run a little, and some run a lot, and some don’t even run at all. And some of us just really love to run. I really love to run.” – Isn’t it obvious? She was made to run.
Even though there have been many times along this path when we wanted to sit on the side and rest, we are reminded that we have to continue to run - for that is what we all were made to do.
Continuing to run and learning to be thankful for the bags we carry, Kirk & Kelly