Our Sweet Angel

Our Sweet Angel

Saturday, May 20, 2017

TEAM CARMEN V - "We Will Never Stop"

Aloha to our amazing friends and family,

Carmen's 10th birthday was on April 1st.  Our beautiful, tough little princess, is part of our life everyday - guiding us and reminding us the importance to live life to its fullest.

This also marks the 5th year since we lost our baby girl to Leukemia and the beginning of the Team Carmen journey.

Last year we scaled things back and had a small team for the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon, Disney 1/2 Marathon and the Waikaloa Lavaman. 

Team Carmen has raised a total of $121,000 for Leukemia Research, thanks to your support.  

TEAM CARMEN V is BACK!!!!    This year we set our sights on the Portland Marathon - October 8, 2017.

We have been reminded once again that Leukemia is far from being cured and hope you will continue to join us in this fight.

Last year, Darren Miller lost his mother Nancy in the spring of 2016 to Leukemia after complications related to MDS. 

Also, Heather's dear friend Kelly and her family lost their wonderful father Dan from complications related to MDS as well. He had been hiking on an annual trip with friends through Death Valley weeks before he passed.  He wanted to live his life to the fullest while he was here!

This year....our dear, dear friend Victoria Page and long time supporter of our family and Team Carmen is faced with the reality of this disease.   Victoria's 4 year old grandson Henry has been diagnosed with ALL Leukemia and Henry's parents Shelby and Chuck have started their fight to cure Henry.  They are such a beautiful and strong family and we know Henry will do wonderfully on treatment.

There has been amazing progress made over the years with LLS research.   LLS is now a disease that Henry can and will beat.  All of this medical progress has been made possible through research and development of Leukemia Lymphoma Society's efforts like Team in Training.   

Even though there have been great strides made, there are still 15 children per day in the USA diagnosed with Leukemia.  5,413 children per year, representing 26% of all childhood cancer diagnoses.    That is way too many.   We will never stop till LLS is cured and parents never have to hear those words again; "your child has Leukemia".

Although we cherish the memories of loved one's who have lost their fight....this year.....Team Carmen V is going to honor Henry.


There are more ways for you to help Team Carmen this year.    Of course....your financial support is welcome and truly appreciated.    We are also inviting any and all of our friends and family to join us in Portland, October 8th, as part of Team Carmen.   Dust off those running shoes and get out there!!!! Run, Walk, Crawl.  

Please....if you have any questions about this, send me an email at; chriswhite4@gmail.com


Use this link to contribute to Team Carmen: http://pages.teamintraining.org/gba/portland17/TeamCarmen


Join Team Carmen!
2.      Enter home zip code
3.      Select Event: Portland Marathon
4.      Pick Race Distance: Full Marathon or Half Marathon
5.      Select Fundraising Commitment Level:
a.      $1,200 – No Hotel Needed
b.      $2,000 – Includes Two Nights Hotel
c.      $2,400 – Includes Three Nights Hotel
6.      Choose Your Training Location
7.      How will you participate? JOIN A TEAM!
a.      Search for: TEAM CARMEN and Select
8.      Sign In or Create LLS Account
9.      Payment: Utilize Fee Registration Promo Code: TNTFREECA

*** Also...keep in mind...you can still join Team Carmen with TNT for another sanctioned athletic event.   It does not have to be the Portland Marathon.  Last year, we had Team Carmen spread across three different events.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Carmen IS!

 Beautiful Carmen on her 4th birthday - April 1, 2011

As I was kissing Jake goodnight this evening I told him Auntie Kristal (who arrived today with Uncle Erich) is my sister.  He responded very matter of fact, "Carmen is MY sister!"

Jake gets it, Trevor intuitively understands it.

Carmen IS...not was.

People will often ask me what her name...was.  I make sure they know her name IS Carmen.

Carmen IS our daughter.
She IS the first born of our three inspiring children.
Carmen IS a big sister.  She paved the way for Trevor and Jake and turned Chris and I into parents!
She IS a neice, cousin and granddaughter.

Our family talks about Carmen every single day.  We love each other and Carmen more than ever before. 

Trevor and Jake know Carmen is with them guiding and watching out for them all the time.

When we were enjoying watching the hummingbird babies we all thought of Carmen and how she was right here with us enjoying as well.

Trevor and I were playing baseball while Jake napped yesterday and a bird flew really close to us.  We both very matter of fact said, "hi Carmen!"

This is because Carmen IS....not was.

I see her everyday all around me.  There are so many beautiful reminders of our sweet fairy girl.

For all of those reminders, I am so grateful.

Happy 9th Birthday sweet Carmen Leolani!  Our LOVE for you has never been so great.  We can never begin to express how grateful we are for the incredible gifts you have given us in this life.  We will toast to you, eat a princess cake and play with pink balloons!

Carmen and Neva Bo July 2011

Carmen April 2011

Carmen and Trevor November 2011

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Carmen

Hi Carmen,

I wrote the post yesterday about the things Mommy and Daddy are doing for LLS.   Team Carmen is still doing its best to contribute in some way to honor you.   I know that where you are all of this probably seems a little silly but I hope we are making you proud.   After I finished the post I felt a little empty and needed to say more to you.

I can't believe Christmas and your Mommy's Birthday is tomorrow.  This will be our 4th Christmas season without you.    Nothing about that seems right.   I stare at your stocking and your ornaments on the tree.   I remember like it was yesterday how much you loved decorating the Christmas tree - especially the pink ornaments that your Mommy gave you.  The way you used to take all the ornaments off the little tree and put them all back on again - over and over.

A few weeks ago we spent two days at Disneyland.   This was the same time of the year that we came in 2012 and 2013.  That first year was so tough because, Disneyland was going to be your Make A Wish trip - your wish....."To Dance with a Princess at Christmas in the Snow".   Mommy and I found it so difficult to be there without you because we knew how much you would have loved meeting the Princesses and seeing it snow - "Disney style".   You are all around us but we would give anything to see the look of wonder on your face and sparkle in  your eye.    

As you know, Mommy gave me an amazing gift a few weeks ago.   A beautiful painting by our dear friend Lisa Hummell of Carmen's Cove at Hualalai.  I love how you, Trevor, Jake and Roxy are in the painting.   It melts my heart to look at the painting but I am not sad.  I am so thankful that my mind is full of great memories of you at the beach - running, laughing and dancing across the sand  Spending hours in the ocean as if you were a mermaid.   I know I can play these memories at any time.

Obviously, the gift that your Mommy and I want more than anything is to have YOU in our arms but that's not going to happen.  We are left with our memories and the feeling of you around us always. And...that's okay.

Merry Christmas Our Sweet Baby Angel

We love you Carmen.

Mommy and Daddy

Carmen's Cove
by Lisa Hummell

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Go Team Carmen

It is hard to believe that Team Carmen is back for fourth year!!!

When we moved to California in May, Heather and I were concerned that it would be difficult to keep Team Carmen together.   Fortunately, the people at LLS have been wonderful and allowed us to build the team, including multiple events.

2016 will be a little different.  We have a small and mighty team of 8, participating in 3 different events;

  • Chris and Heather White - San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon
  • Darren Miller - San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon
  • Carri McClure - Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon
  • Diego Angarita - Lava Man Waikaloa
  • Andrew Hawkins - Lava Man Waikaloa
  • Julia White - San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon
  • Stephanie Eppig - Lava Man Waikaloa

Your support will be greatly appreciated.  Click the link to the right if you can support in anyway.

We have also found that being in California has opened up a lot of other amazing ways we can help support LLS.

I have been invited to join the Board of Directors for the Orange County Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with my first task to help the Gala Committee organize their annual fund raising event, which raises over $500K each year to support much needed research.

LLS has a unique program called "Quest for Cures" which allows a person who has personally raised $50,000 or a team who has raised $100,000 to direct their funds to a specific research project.  This was always a goal of Heather and mine, to see if Team Carmen could raise $100K in a year so that we could support research that was reducing the toxicity levels of children's chemotherapy drugs.

This new gala event that I am involved with is called - "Men and Women of the Year", where 10 people each raise $50,000 and then direct the funds to the specific doctor and research project that they are passionate about.   I absolutely LOVE this, as so often we are not sure where our fundraising efforts go.

As always, it remains a constant struggle for Heather and I, to be involved with LLS and Team in Training.  On one hand, we know that we must do what we can to support the elimination of Blood Cancers but on the other hand each and every day we are close to the disease continues to be difficult.

As a quick update.   We are loving our time in California.  We miss Hawaii and our friends there everyday but we are happy with our move.  Trevor is excelling at school and loving exploring all the options he has in sports and other interests.  Jake is thriving and his speech is improving everyday. We found amazing health care for Jake at the LA Children's Hospital is world renown for its work in Craniofacial.

Below are a few pictures of some recent moments;

Jake having some fun with food!!! 

Trevor's big night out to see the Lion King

Trevor on the ice, wearing my jersey from when I was 7 year old. 

Trevor's first Ducks game.

A recent holiday visit to Disney's California Adventure Park


A rare picture of Heather in front of the camera with the boys at the Nutcraker!!!!

Batman.   Jake has been wearing this cape since October 7th.   Everyday!!!!

Auntie Julia's visit.   

Heather, Julia and Scott racing sleds!!!!

A recent family photo in San Diego!!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Life means all that it ever meant...

I wish it was this easy.   The writing below by Henry Scott Holland is helpful on this day but will never, ever take the place of just wanting to give you one more hug and hold you tight.

We love you so much Carmen Leolani,

Mommy, Daddy, Trevor and Jake

Death is nothing at all.  It does not count.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  Nothing has happened.  Everything remains exactly as it was.  I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.  Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.  Call me by my name.   Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.  Put no difference into your tone.  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolute and unbroken continuity.  What is the death but a negligible time?  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.  All is well.

Henry Scott Holland, 1847-1918

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hello again....

Aloha everyone,

What a crazy few months.   I noticed our last post was back in February for the Team Carmen golf tournament on Saturday March 7th.  It is hard to even fathom how much has changed since March.

Coincidentally,  Saturday March 7th, was also the day I left to begin work at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, in Dana Point, California.   At that time, our intent was for me to travel back and forth from California to Hawaii while Trevor finished 1st grade.   He was doing so well at Parker and Jake was adjusting tremendously.   We felt that it would not be great to interrupt all this progress with a move.

The Lavaman 2016, took place this year on March 29th.  We had another strong showing from Team Carmen, with Carri, Darren and myself traveling from California to compete with the team.   As a team we raised over $25,000 for LLS and brought our three year Team Carmen total to $112,000.

It did not take Heather and I long to realize that being apart was really tough.  We made the decision to bump our family move to California up from early June to early May.

I was able to find us a nice home in a really great area of Laguna Niguel.  Close to everything, including work and the beach.

It has been terrific being so close to Carri, Darren and Jenny now.  We have had some fun family times, beach days and nice dinners.

It did not take us long to become Annual Pass Holders at Disneyland, which is only a 30 minute drive from our house.  Long Beach Aquarium, Science and Discovery Center and the Ocean Institute have all been big hits.

Heather was amazing in getting Trevor into some incredible camps to keep him busy all summer. Mad Science, Pirates Camp, Ocean Institute, Golf Camp, field trips to the San Diego Zoo were all on the agenda for Trevor.

Part of the tough decision in leaving Hawaii was to seek out improved health care options for little Jake.  We loved Parker School, but we also wanted to see if there were other options for education.   We are happy to report that we have been rewarded in making this tough decision.

Orange County and LA is full of great health care an education options.   We are so fortunate that Jake was accepted into the Los Angeles Children's Hospital world recognized Craniofacial program lead by Dr Magee, who has traveled the world with "Operation Smile".   He has even spoke at the Shanghai Hospital where Jake had his lip and cleft repairs done and may even know some of the Doctors who saw Jake.  It was so reassuring to hear from Dr. Magee that Jake's surgery was done extremely well and that there are no issues we need to worry about, in the near future.  #1 for Jake the next year is speech, speech, SPEECH!

We were also extremely lucky to literally of won the lottery in having Trevor accepted into a terrific Charter School called Community Roots Academy.   It has a unique way of teaching called "project based learning" that seems to work perfectly with how Trevor thinks and learns.  It has been so wonderful for Trevor to be accepted for who he is and have teachers who help him to soar to even greater heights.  We have seen such a positive change in him since he began this new school.

Jake is going to an amazing little preschool two days a week, called Community Seedlings (affiliated with Trevor's school).   Heather also has Jake busy with his Speech Therapy, Music Together and other fun activities!

Trevor is back into Soccer and doing really well.   He has also been doing great with ice skating and hockey.  He has only been on skates for a few month but is doing great!

I have got myself back into playing hockey as well.  It has been hit and miss trying to find a team but it should all work out soon.

Heather has found a Tap Dancing class, which is so cool!!!!

We have been fortunate to have a lot of out of town visitors since we arrived in May.   Wendy, Jack & Elle, Kelly, Jed and kids, Ally, Laurent and kids, Auntie Debbie, Jenn and Nick and Grandma & Grandpa White

Our family had some sad news this summer when Roxy become suddenly sick and passed over. Unfortunately, Roxy had been living with a few tumors on her liver but she showed no signs of any pain or discomfort right up until her last day with us.

We have a few important days coming up for our family.

Jake will be celebrating his third birthday on October 8th.

October 9th is Carmen's third angel day.

We are looking forward to celebrating these incredible days as a family.

I hope our next post will be a lot sooner!!

We love all of you.

Team White

Below....is a collection of images, in no particular order;

Family photo shoot before we left Hawaii

Brisebois family visit.  Day at Disneyland

Friends for Life

Uncle Darren and Auntie Carri

Elle and Jack - Aloha

Kelly, Jed and Family

Great friends!!!!

First baseball game.   Los Angeles Angels

More of the game with Dana Campbell

Incredible night with Dave Matthews

Trevor going to golf camp is a lot cooler than me back in a suit.   

Heather's recent visit to Portland

Grandma Sandy

Uncle Lance

Mountain top hike in Palm Springs.  

8,500 feet above Palm Springs.

Jake doing his hearing test

Trevor all geared up.   In Daddy's jersey from when he was 7 years old.  Thanks Mom for saving.

So many memories rushing back

Family pass holders!!!!

Jenn, Nick, Carri & Darren at the Long Beach Aquarium

Trevor and Nick

Carmen and Roxy together

Roxy girl

Jake is ready!!!!!

Trevor, Alex, Sebastian and Jake

Salt Creek Beach Day

No.......Thank You Jake!!!!!

An amazing visit with Auntie Debbie

A great visit.   A tough good-bye.  So great to be so close now.

Programming the Rover.  Thanks Auntie Debbie

Trevor on the Blue Sharks

Crazy Hair Day at Community Roots Academy

"The Bucket Bath".....big on fun....big on water saving. 

Bat Boy!!!!!  Amazing costume by Grandma White

I'm.....BAT MAN!!!!!