Ever feel really scared about something and just wish you could time-warp past the hard part, not focused on that pit in your stomach, the fear? Here’s a way to live with and re-frame the yuck.

An easy dose of gratitude by way of Maureen O’Brien Donovan. One of the fabulous responses from last week’s lifeyum letter came from Mo, as she’s affectionately called by friends and family.  She’s a one-woman powerhouse of love and brains and miracles.

Mo and her family have endured a whole lot of pain and loss, and the diagnosis her son received at the ripe old age of six months might have sent many of us into a tailspin of depression. Five years later, in kindergarten, the first brain tumor diagnosis. Hear it from Maureen, describing one of the ways she and now eight-year old Gabe re-think anxiety before frequent visits to the hospital.

The last thing Gabe and I did that was the best idea from one of our peeps: the “grateful game.” On our way to any hospital visit or doctor’s appointment we play the grateful game, where we both have to say what we are grateful for at that exact moment. What normally happens is that we get through the revolving doors at Albany Medical Center not thinking about the procedure, but instead candy or a good parking spot or a nice t-shirt or a cupcake.

Eight-year old Gabe Donovan

Love the idea of a theme song…I looked at your email as Gabe and I were leaving CNMC in DC – we are here for three days to cover some matters with his optic nerve…I asked him over dinner in the hotel about 30 minutes ago what would be our theme song, we need a theme song…without hesitation his response: “Katy Perry, Part of Me—This is the part of me that you’ll never ever, ever take away from me!” AWESOME response…Thanks for the idea!
Thank you, Gabe. I’ve got a new theme song, buddy.

This song is for you, Gabe and Maureen.

Want to help kids like Gabe and their families let go of their fear and worries longer than the gratitude game? Learn more about a special place called Double H Ranch, co-founded by Charles R. Wood and Paul Newman, that provides specialized programs and year-round support for children like Gabe and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. And then tell your friends! The SeriousFun Children’s Network spans the globe with a thriving community of 29 camps and programs that have served children from over 50 countries and throughout five continents.

Learn more by clicking here ♥

Maureen and Gabe were feted at the 29th Annual Dancing in the Woods to benefit the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center Friday, December 7, 2012.

Gabe is courageously fighting a rare condition that requires complex treatment. His team of specialists at Albany Med works hard to keep his everyday life as “normal” as possible. They schedule clinic visits around life events and school activities, arrange card games during chemo with other kids going through the same thing, and plan playful activities with therapists who explain to Gabe what is happening.

Learn how you can support all these heroes, visitors and practitioners here ♥

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Daniel, the kiddos, and I are so grateful you’ve graced our lives, Gabe and Maureen.

Blair flying in her fairy costume; a birthday present from Gabe (who knows exactly what little girls like)