I don’t even know where to begin and if I’m going to remember to thank everyone I should, so I’ll start with, “THANK YOU ALL OF CROOKSTON!”
Our son, Jackson Seibel, has been undergoing cancer treatment for Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin Lymphoma of Intrathoracic Lymph Nodes since Wednesday, September 5, 2018, and I’m proud to announce that he got to ring the bell signifying he’s done with treatment on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at Roger Maris Cancer Center. He’s even starting college over again on Monday!
It’s been a long journey with 27 tests and procedures done the very first day, well over 100 more since then with many more to come over the next months and years, well over 100 appointments, almost a dozen hospital stays with chemotherapy treatment at three days each, dozens of medications and chemo drugs, 14 days straight of radiation, a few minor surgeries, close to 100 trips to Fargo and back with more to come, rearranging our schedules so we could try to keep our jobs and get Jackson’s sister, Violet, to school, days of emotions and tears, and days of joy and thankfulness.
The best part of our journey is thanks to the generosity, support, and help of so many wonderful people in the Crookston area and beyond!
Once the news broke in early September and our family had to be gone from work, our jobs stepped in to cover our shifts, handle our everyday duties, and offer a support that let us continue to concentrate on Jackson. And then they went above and beyond to fundraise for our family during what would become a grueling handful of months.
A special thank you to the Crookston Daily Times for being my rock and for all you’ve done for our family. Mike Christopherson (and family) for not failing to amaze me with your overwhelming support on multiple levels, Janelle Berhow (and family) for setting up the GoFundMe page that made us breathe easier when all the medical bills starting piling on the table, for swooping in to take Violet on overnights, to school, out for fun, and lots of extra hugs; and to Don Forney, Calvin Anderson, Lynn Oakes, Carl Melbye, Pam Johnson, and Nolan Beilstein for the ads, the benefit coverage, Access Eats fundraiser, buying #JacksonStrong bracelets, and so many kind words. I couldn’t imagine what we would have done without each and every one of you!
Thanks to the Crookston Area Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau, Chamber board, and CVB board for your support, for lifting us up with your thoughtful words and generosity, and for being the hub for people wanting to purchase bracelets. Thank you to Terri Heggie and Kristi Thorfinnson for having my back at work and at home! Speaking of the Chamber board, a word of thanks to KROX Radio and Chris Fee for helping get the word out about Jackson’s fundraisers and for offering your support as well!
Many thanks to Melanie Lessard, Crookston High School, the CHS Leo Club, CHS and Warroad volleyball players and coaches, Crookston Fire Department and Jackson’s beloved Crookston Reds baseball team for stepping up to throw one of the greatest, fastest fundraisers I’ve ever seen! We were all floored by how much support there was at the Baked Potato Bar Benefit at volleyball’s Cancer Awareness Night on October 2. To all the people in the community that came to the benefit and game, bought tickets for the drawings, raffles, and to those that donated the Mankato / UND hockey tickets and autographed hockey stick back to our family, and to Melanie and Linda Morgan who just graciously handed over a bucket full of money that let us pay more towards Jackson’s bills, and gas and food on our many trips. Once a Pirate, always a Pirate!
A huge shout-out to one of my beloved friends Nell DeBoer (and James) for, once again, going above and beyond for our family. Nell finished off the successful Crookston’s Marketplace season, sold hundreds of #JacksonStrong bracelets, took over Ox Cart Days duties so our family could concentrate on Jackson, has offered minutes, hours, days, and months of support, and has always been there for us on all aspects of life. Even with trips to Barbie Land! You are simply the best, Nell.
To the West Polk County American Cancer Society committee and Bremer Bank folks (yes you, Tom Skjei), your generosity took things to another level. Donating your time and proceeds from your events for our family has meant the world to us and we will never forget to pay it forward to the many others that are so deserving. Not only that, but someone alerted the National Lymphoma Society who graciously sent a donation in the mail and followed up with a call of support to Jackson.
Also, thanks to the Crookston Fire Department, Crookston Firefighters Association, and Firefighters Auxiliary for being by Garett’s side, offering our family support, the generous donations and for hosting a Bake Sale in honor of Jackson. We will never forget that. We are happy to be a part of the fire family!
Another thank you goes out to our church, Trinity Lutheran in Crookston, for being right by our sides at the hospital and to all the staff and congregation that have offered your support. We appreciate you!
The Crookston Rotary Club is another group of people that deserve many thanks for their support, well wishes, and for all the times they stepped up in Jess’ absence. This service club is one of the reasons this town is awesome! The University of Minnesota Crookston Alumni Association and board members need a shout-out, too, for the continued support they offer our family!
To all the people and businesses (Wonderful Life Foods, you rock!) in Crookston and beyond that have offered words of support, donated at the benefits/fundraisers, purchased and continue to wear the bracelets (thank you Rasmussen/Schultz/Cordts family!), and to those that have dropped off cards at our work or mailed them to our house, we honestly could not have made it without you even if we don’t know you or have never met. You are what makes this community great and we are so glad we have chosen Crookston as our home.
And last, but certainly not least, our parents, our family, our friends, Jackson’s amazing Sanford Pediatric Oncology doctors (Dr. Nathan Kobrinsky, Dr. Melanie Chihak, and Dr. Samuel Anim), Jackson’s staff support with Chelsey Strand and all the nurses who have been there since Day 1, thank you. To those who will be there until the end to offer support, go to appointments with us, go to the benefits, hold our hands, wipe our tears, get us out of the house, cook us food, watch Violet, and just be there: THANK YOU. My sister stepped in to start the bracelet fundraiser and has helped us extend the support for Jackson all across the country! We are so thankful for all of you, we love you, and we can’t say it enough.
If I have forgotten anyone, know that we are very thankful for your support and we do appreciate you!