Friday, June 18, 2010

Des Moines Blaze Football - Assistant Coach of the Day

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - Des Moines Blaze vs. Capitol City Crush

A little background on how this fundraiser came about -- During Oliver's radiation, a friend of mine had gotten a meal plan for us since we were driving an hour and a half back and forth every day for six weeks. Nikki, a stranger to me, heard about Oliver and wanted to bring us a meal. She stopped by and shared with us that she had lost her son in 2007 to a brain tumor, medulloblastoma, which is in a different part of the brain. He sadly passed away two days after she had found out about the disease. We sat and talked and cried together. A while had passed and she had contacted me about a friend of hers wanting to do a football fundraiser for Ollie. He and his wife saw this as an opportunity to start raising awareness for pediatric cancer as well as SIDS awareness. What a WONDERFUL couple! They invited us as well as Nikki and some other teammates and friends to a spaghetti dinner in their home. They even had gotten each of my kids gifts and all of us Des Moines Blaze t-shirts to wear to the event. Their generosity and love truly showed in the way they treat others. We felt so welcome... like we were old friends! I'm so grateful for all of the support from perfect strangers, for support and love that was shown to Oliver during the game from all of the players! It was a WONDERFUL day and I will forever be a Des Moines Blaze fan!

Oliver -- I was going to make him a Blaze eye patch, but wow... it was a difficult one to try and create! One of the players made the towel to wear during the game and gave it to Oliver. I think this is one of my favorite pictures of him during the fundraiser!

Most of the following photos were taken by someone that takes photos for the team. I wish I could take credit for them... they are awesome! I'm so glad we have these photos because for some reason most of mine didn't get saved to my computer!

Ollie playing catch with Matt before the game.

Ollie - we didn't even think to have him wear regular shoes! It was hard to run in his crocs!

The entire team gathered for a photo with Ollie before the game! The game truck behind them was full of several flat screens and game systems! Ollie played some Madden football on the Wii before the game started!

The items for the silent auction. I had a photo of Amanda, Matt and Ollie after the game, but that was one of the photos that didn't get saved. Bummer. Amanda is wearing a white Ollie's All-Stars shirt and was about 7 months pregnant! Thanks for EVERYTHING you and Matt planned for us!

Oliver and Matt in the locker room before the game. Don't worry... Ed took this picture!

Oliver leading the team out onto the field!!

This was from my point of view as he led the team out. I think they had to tell him to stop running... "Run, Forrest, Run!"

Oliver warming up with the team. You can tell by the look on his face that he was just loving it!

I love these next pictures of the team in the last minutes before the game.

The coin toss.

And the game begins...

Oliver, Chad, Me, Mom and Bry on the sidelines.

One of the coaches carrying Ollie off the field on his shoulders during half-time.

Chad, Oliver, Bry and one of the coaches.

My mom took this one of Ollie, Chad and me up in the box. Ollie got to announce some plays and work the videocamera. Unfortunately all of my pictures and video of him announcing were deleted. UGH!

After the game.

Oliver and Matt walking off the field after the game.

Nikki, Jaydn's mom, and Oliver

I thought it was only fitting to have a picture of Nikki's cute little boy, Jaydn, who I'm sure was there in spirit!

Again... THANK YOU to EVERYONE who made this day possible for Oliver and our family!!! We truly appreciated it!

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