Be whatever you want to be its Halloween!! and Go eat candy, just because YOU CAN!
Trying to keep the blog up, I know its been a while. Would love to inspire a few people to be organ donors or some young Cystic Fibrosis fighters to never give up!
I did a half-marathon!! 13.1 miles! Kind of crazy since I was on the ventilator the same day only 2 years ago! I picked the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon because its close. For training I ran 5 miles once a week on trail and tried to run a couple other short runs on the treadmill or a longer run on pavement until I worked up to 10 miles.
A few months before I ended up needing another surgery to remove some stitches in my chest that were put in during my transplant and causing trouble. Which landed me on the couch for over a week, but I got back back to 6 miles in no time.
As nervous as I was I knew I would have fun because I had an awesome running buddy so I went into it feeling just... VERY NERVOUS pretty much! Haha.
We ran/walked pretty fast. I was nervous for the 4 hour cut-off but suspected I would come in around 3:30. To my surprise we finished at 2:48:40 UNDER a 13:00 minute mile! Can you say THANK YOU ORGAN DONOR!! I CAN! <3 I just can't believe I am able to do these crazy amazing things, but honestly sometimes I just want to cry. Its so unbelievable. Unbelievable.
Yep! It was my second lungiversary, September 16th. The second anniversary of me receiving my beautiful new lungs. But also the second anniversary to my donor families loss. Keeping them in my thoughts always.
This year we did something a little special, and a little crazy! But it turned out awesome
There's this paint rock right off the I5 freeway near my house. People paint it all the time for anniversaries, birthdays, teams winning, and proposals. Naturally I thought, LETS PAINT IT!! So we did...
Yes! I wore a mask, but yes I also ran down the side freeway with a bunch of painting equipment and got picked up by our rescue vehicle, (THANK YOU AND PROPS TO THE RESCUE VEHICLE WHO WAS CALLED AND CAME AT A MOMENTS NOTICE) on the side of the freeway, in the dark, and had 9 people in a small car. We kept it under control
Awesome friends I have! Love them!
Here is the result:
Forever and Ever.
I just lost my little brother. Forever. He's my only brother, my only sibling for that matter. It''s so unreal knowing he is never coming home. It is just completely unbelievable that he is GONE. I don't even know what to think in this moment. All I know is that, I know, hes gone away from us for now, but his memories will always remain close to my heart forever.
This boy was a rare one, one with an enormous and caring heart. He had the unbelievable ability of making friends everywhere he went, as well as the power to make everyone who met him smile. He had a great soul and I know he is looking out for us right now, or at least we can hope. I now can only remember all the great memories and experiences we shared throughout childhood and growing up, his laugh, and most of all his ability to make us all laugh at any given moment will be truly missed forever. All the petty nonsense that may have been thought of one day, disappeared with the time.
There are not many words to express the loss of my brother, maybe none at all, but when I think about it, and start trying to go back through his life hoping to pick up the pieces and find everything that he left us with. The memories, thoughts and other things along the way. I sit here knowing he would want us to be happy down here, right now, while hes up there looking down on us. While he is breathing free and no longer needing to worry about anything, including some dumb oxygen tank, pancreatic enzymes, or Cystic Fibrosis at all, which he had chosen to eliminate from his vocabulary at a young age.
I know for a fact he is up there hoping we don't stay sad for too long.
We have to remember he is happy now. Free. Healthy. We have to remember the times he was the most happy and the times he made us happy along the way. The days throughout his life that he will just never let us forget, those are the memories. Although all this might seem impossible for some of us at this moment in time. And clearly it is going to be like this for a while. Someday, sometime, we will all be together once again, but this time, this is what was meant to be. We don't know why, but there is no more suffering. I love you Josh, more than you would ever know, because what sister doesn't tell their brother they stink all the time, isn't it all in code? Thanks for stealing my toys, letting me tattle on you for just about everything I thought you did wrong, having all those crazy ideas we had to try, being my sidekick just about my entire life, especially when we were both in the hospital for IV's at the same time and keeping my friends and I on our toes with your flat out awesome craziness. The world will never be the same without you, and our family will always be missing a few slices in out little family pizza. Think of all the people who never got to know Josh. Now that is a sad thing to think about. For most of us (friends and family) he shared his life and memories with us! How lucky are we?
Here goes the days to come, while everything we see reminds us of you, only to hope we will meet again someday.
I know it will be hard to remember not to text you or mom when I see something you HAVE TO HAVE, but maybe I can just think it and you will know that I'm thinking about you. I would like everyone to know that Josh was so strong at the end, even while his Cystic Fibrosis lungs had other plans to debilitate him more and more everyday, he still let that smile and laugh show through the oxygen chord and exhaustion. He cherished his final days with his close family and friends, as well as sidekick Popeye. Josh passed away very peacefully at the Whatcom Hospice House after staying with us there for just under a week. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity for him, as well as my family, to be able to stay there. To relax in a clean and stress-free environment where some of the greatest and most caring nurses I have ever met in the world (and I know my nurses) took amazing care to make sure he was always comfortable and had what he needed. It was unbelievably comforting knowing all we needed to worry about was spending time with Josh, and they took care of the rest.
If you do consider making a contribution in Josh's name we would love it if you would donate to either the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and/or the Whatcom Hospice Foundation. (links to online donation at the bottom) Cystic Fibrosis if going to continue taking lives of young people like my brother until it is stopped and I don't want anyone to have to go through what my family is going through right now. For his Obituary, please see below:
January 5, 1991 - April 16, 2012
Josh passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on April 16, 2012 after a courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Josh was born on January 5, 1991 in Bellingham to Mike and Lora Olinger.
He loved riding his Harley, carving, welding, playing his guitar, motocross, and mainly just being awesome. He had a smile that would light up the room and was known by many for having an enormous heart.
He is survived by his parents Mike and Lora, his sister Christina, Aunt Jyll, cousin and best friend C.J., cousin Makenzie, grandparents Illa and Richard Ennis, Popeye, Fuego, and countless friends and family.
We will celebrate Josh's life at Hannegan Speedway on Saturday, April 21st starting at 4 pm.
I would like to thank everyone for the prayers from the past up until today, while Josh was in the hospital throughout the past year, lately, and especially this week. We would not be able to cope without all of your wonderful support, stopping by the house, sending a text, or just thinking about us. Thank you so much. Words cannot convey our gratitude.
Much love to everyone. Please please please hug your loved ones. Even the dogs. <3 ~ Nina
This is no April Fool's Joke.
Currently more than 110,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants to save their lives. Thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight. Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor today and provide hope to those who wait.
Since it is April Fools day. Here's a couple of my favorite jokes from the internet. But don't forget to sign up to be an organ donor! In case of the unfortunate event of your passing, you will be able to give life to sometimes over 7 people. People who will die on the transplant list otherwise. People who are alive because they are fighters, and they have hope that their organ will come soon. What an honor to give such a selfless gift in a time of such tragedy, and live on through another (or many others) who will be truly grateful everyday and continuously thank you and your family for giving them life. These 100,000+ people will not make it without these organs, and only encouraging others to be an organ donor can make a difference. So ignore the myths and talk to your family today. Be a hero.
"Dont take your organs to heaven...heaven knows we need them here!" Really.. what are you going to do with them?
Some April Fools:
Google Street Roo - Exploring the Outback one Bounce at a time.
The YouTube Collection: The Magic of YouTube in Your Hands
Earlier today I read that today is National Doctors Day. That means A LOT to me. My doctors, throughout the years, have done everything they possibly could to help me fight my disease, Cystic Fibrosis. They have also done a lot to further CF research and nothing means more to me than finding a cure for CF someday. For all my friends with CF out there, and all the families who have a loved one or know someone who has CF. Our doctors are working hard to make sure that happens.
I have been blessed, from practically birth, by having the greatest doctors I could have ever imagined. I mean it's obvious I did not imagine having Cystic Fibrosis, but having such amazing doctors who can make everything about a life threatening disease a little bit easier makes a huge difference in the lives of the individuals fighting the disease. Like me. That's what happens, a doctor is so encouraging, and working so hard on your behalf to make sure you live as long as possible, as long as you follow your prescribed regimen, what more could you ask for as a patient?
My doctors were always like my family, I always told them about all my adventures, I always took their advice and asked questions for improving my healthcare, and most of all I always trusted them. The day I moved to the adult center I lost all of those doctors, the ones I knew my whole life, the ones who kept me around longer than they had ever expected and what statistics show. I was going into completely new hands in the worse health I had ever known.
Now I have some new doctors. They saved my life, you know, life savin' somethin' somthin' no big deal, hahaha, but really, they trusted in me and gave me new lungs. They trusted me to care for them, and they have been there every step of the way. I have the most wonderful, amazing and inspiring surgeon and transplant team, who are probably the greatest at what they do of anyone on the face of this earth, which they are no doubt, and I know they are looking out for me. How much more could I ask for? I know that all they want is to keep me healthy and living it up! There is nothing better than knowing you can trust your doctors to take care of you the best they can, and give you the best advice no matter the situation. There are no words to express my gratitude for my doctors over the years, but I hope that they all know how much I appreciate them and how grateful I am to have them in my life.
So THANK YOU DOCTORS (especially mine, past and present) for helping the world live it up, despite the illness and disease thats among us.
I am not sure exactly how to go about thanking someone for saving your life.... but... maybe I will figure it out someday.
No more summer flowers, at least for a few months anyway! Bring on the snow!
Needing an update on Josh? This one's a little crazy, but just read it.
My brother finally had a bit of an awesome-ness thing going on lately. He was given a tracheotomy, so he can use the vent through a hole in his neck instead of having that annoying tube in his mouth, because I can relate to that tube thing, IT'S NOT COOL. We are hoping that this will help, or do something, anything? K, Keep reading..
Oh hello, yes it gets better, with the trach in, his mouth is free, and his face, and his head, and his angry at the tube stuck in his face attitude, and since that all sounds like so much fun, you would have to imagine that with all that being gone, how he must feel. I mean I know how he feels, but, just think about it. The perfect comment today, happily said, was by the respiratory therapist who walked in and stated "He looks like a human being with that [vent] thing out!" lol. It helps 190% that he can wear his glasses and mostly that he currently isn't puffed up like the Michelin man. (Although being the stick figure he has always been it wasn't a bad look.
So today he starts off by smiling when he sees you come in, as well as turns his head to figure out who it is entering his room. Then he proceeds to try and talk, but he makes no noise (since the vent is still in, so that doesn't change the talking thing till' the whole vent is gone) So he is trying to talk and we are trying to figure out what he is talking about, which is really hard mind you, and he has the same frustrated face as he did before all this happened, so it's definitely Josh, thats for sure. (at least I know now that he didn't get switched while moving between hospitals, or I'm just hoping that he remembers that I am the greatest sister on earth) Later, he thought he could write, and he took the pen and went to town… and there on the paper, after his "feeling accomplished" face was on, when he handed my mom the clip-board back, were a few scribbles, and maybe a circle, but it turns out he writes exactly like his sister did when she was on the ventilator, it must run in family. I for one have never written that horribly in my life
So I had a little fun with this update since he was having a good time today and was happy with the visitors he had. Also he was doing incredibly better since the trach was placed paired with the medications being tapered all combined almost turned him into, well him. Even though I sucked at being a lip reading translator I tried my best, but just so you all know, he actually looks just like Josh, so you should go visit him before he comes all the way back to his all normal Josh-like self and stuff. Because then he will be making fun of us all and being rude and stuff. Lol, just kidding.
My Mom and him are down there alone now plotting things I think, so I was trying to think of things that might make him happy, and right now I cant think of anything except for like Fuego (which we have yet to sneak into the hospital) homemade get well/rock on posters and things like that, anything that shows some love for his room. It's ICU so they have some restrictions, but I saw a room with balloons so who knows.
KEEP THOSE GOOD VIBES COMING
If you want to comment your phone number I will let you know more about visiting and such. (it will not show on my blog, theres also the email button on the top right side)
I may have almost lost hope, but its still hangin in there. Those prayers, thoughts, etc, they are getting it done!
Did you make your wish?
...Or is it the beginning of the Mayan apocalypse? Either way! It's 11:11 on November 11th 2011 and I'M STILL ALIVE. (With my new lungs if you have forgotten) Obviously you are much alive as well, so WoooHoo! It's only gonna happen once more for a billion years!! (I might have made that up who knows..) Which will be tonight at 11:11 PM. So Happy Veterans day because it is that day, all the soldiers have been making sure we have a free country to live in and stuff, and don't forget to make a wish, because you just never know!
And here is my contribution to the obsession: