3 years. At times that seems like an eternity...other times it was just yesterday. We sit here tonight watching "Wipeout". As we sit and laugh we remember how Kassidy would watch this show and laugh so hard! It's a good memory. Still makes me a little misty eyed...even the good memories hurt sometimes. We know that it is a part of life now to have "one of those days" or "a moment" when something triggers the memories and the hurt seeps in. I get those alot on the way to work in the mornings when I'm riding by myself and a song will come on the radio that Kass liked or reminds me of Kass and the tears start. Nothing like going to work with red eyes! But, not always do they make me cry, sometimes I just smile because I know Kassidy is sending me a message. Sometimes that is more comforting...the pink sunrise, the songs, and then there are the random memories when you wonder "what made me think of that?".......it's Kass just saying Hi!
So, what have we been doing lately? Well, earlier this year we were invited to speak at a church in Roanoke about Kassidy. Kassidy's cancer doctor, Mandy Meck had gotten married and her husband is a pastor at this church. She wanted us to come and speak about suffering. Courtney had her last cheer competition with the Rockers that weekend in Va Beach so Danny went and talked. Mandy said he did a very good job, there wasnt a dry eye in the church. Our feelings are that Kassidy did not really suffer. God doesnt give you more than you can take.
Courtney finished the season with a competition cheer team from Blacksburg, the Rockers All Stars. She enjoys it and she can still keep her tumbling skills from gymnastics. She has practiced with them this summer and they have tryouts in Aug for this coming year. Also, she tried out for the JV cheering squad at her high school for football season and she made the squad. Her back is doing better but still hurts every now and then.
This summer for vacation we went back to Hershey Park, PA. We had been there before with Kassidy. As we walked around the park we remembered things that she did, the rides she liked,etc. It was nice and made us smile to know she had fun there. Tara Wheeler, Miss VA 2008, called us to tell us she would be in Hershey as well singing the national anthem at the Hockey Championship game. We met her on Tues and had lunch outside Hershey Park. It was great to see her again and to see that she still wears her Kassidy bracelet. We love you Tara!!
We just want to say "Thank You" to everyone that still goes to Kassidyspage. And for all the comments on the guest book. It still amazes us that people from all over the world is reading her story. We still find it hard to believe how many lives she has touched and how many people tell us what an inspiration her story is and how it has helped them deal with their own problems. She has given them hope and faith to keep moving forward and take one day at a time. To make the best of every moment. Please continue to check back as we will continue to update. And please still keep us in your prayers. God Bless you all!
November 13, 2009 update
Hello Everyone! Sorry it's been a while since we updated
but life has been very busy. Things have changed alot in
the last few months. Courtney had been having alot of back
pain and after visits to the Dr, CT scans and orthopedic
visits we were told she has bilat L5 ( last vertebrae in her
spine) stress fractures. The orthopedic Spine Specialist
told us that her back would never completly heal so the
gymnastics competing is over. She went from 20 hrs
gymnastics practice a week to having to sit on the couch and
do nothing! This was a big transition for her, and for us
as well. But the good news is that it happened at a good
time. She started High School this year, made 8th grade
cheerleading, and was on the 8th grade Homecoming court.
This was the start of a new chapter for her life. Now her
back is feeling some better and we are going to start some
exercises to strengthen her muscles and hopefully she wont
have any more trouble. We spent alot of time going to
Football games and volleyball games. This has been fun and
has helped Courtney feel like part of the school. Now she
has made 8th grade cheerleading for basketball and the games
start next week, also Danny is going to referee again for
the VHSL basketball and those games are starting, so we will
be back on the run again!! But we love it!!
Last weekend we went to the mock meet at gymnastics so we
could see all of our friends from the gym. One of Kass's
friends that is a freshman at JMU showed us the tattoo she
had done on the inside of her foot and ankle. It said
Kassidy with a ribbon and 7-16-07. Of course I cried, but
cant believe someone would want to do this in memory of
Kass. I am honored that Kassidy touched her life so that
she wanted to do that. You can see a picture of the tattoo
on my facebook page (Tammy Austin Foster). It is an awesome
Before Kassidy got sick, there was a building at the end of
our road that was a storage building. We had heard that the
guy that owned it wanted to make it a store. Kass was so
excited and said she was going to ride the lawn mower to the
store everyday and get a chocolate bar. We would laugh
because she LOVED chocolate. We have been waiting a while
but that place is finally a store and it just opened this
week. SO.......this weekend, Me, Danny and Courtney will be
getting on the lawn mower and riding to that store to get
that chocolate bar!! Just for Kass!! We will savor every
bite in honor of Kass.
I promise that I will update again soon but for now remember
to hug your kids, kiss you loved ones and tell them you love
them. We never know what the future holds so make the most
of every moment!
We thank for continuing to check this website. God Bless
July 15, 2009 Dear Kassidy
It doesn't seem possible that you have been in heaven for two years now. Not a day goes by that we do not think of you....we miss you so much! In the mornings as I drive to work I tell you "good morning" because you have helped God paint the sky a beautiful pink for all of us to enjoy! Everytime I see anything with "sassy" on it, we remember that sassy attitude! I miss your beautiful smile but most of all I miss hearing your sweet little voice!!
Life has changed since you have been gone. We don't take anything for granted any more. Things that seemed important before, we realized weren't all that important. When we get the chance to do something or go somewhere...we do...for we may not get the chance again. You never know where life is going to take you next so we take advantage of every moment we can.
Courtney has grown up so much! Can you believe that she will be in High School next year?? She will definately need you to watch out for her then. She is scared to go to High School...it will be the first thing that she has had to do without you telling her what it would be like. Court always had you to do things first and assure her it would be OK. I know you will be with her helping her along the way and helping her make the right decisions. I hope you can help her have good friends and choose her friends wisely. She continues to do gymnastics. She is a Level 8. Tomorrow the gym is celebrating your life and your Heavenly birthday with all the kids wearing pink and they are going to have a little get together with PINK cupcakes! I know everyone there still thinks about you and misses you too! At FlipFest camp this year Courtney got to meet Nastia Luikin, 2008 Olympic champion. She said that Nastia was very nice. Even previous Olympians have come to remember you at the second annual Kassidys Rock Star Invitational meet. Tarin Humphreys was the guest this year!! The meet has gotten so big that we had to hold the meet at Christiansburg Middle school. You would be so proud at how much this meet has grown in just two years. John M and John R (former Olympians) gave a scholarship to FlipFest to the gymnast that had the highest Bar score for the whole meet, since this was your favorite event! The girls did a Karaoke routine and their shirts said KassidysKrew on them! Still kept you part of the group!! I think that you will be a part of their hearts and lives forever!
There is still alot of people that remember you...Miss VA 2008 has one of your Kassidy bracelets. During the pageant, she mentioned that Courtney had told her your story and she will never forget it!! She is raising money for pediatric cancer and in Sept. she is planning to shave her head!! I know alot of the kids at school and at gymnastics still wear their bracelets. And me, Dad and Courtney wear ours everyday!! We never go anywhere without them.
As we sit and write this (and cry) we go back to day one when our lives changed forever. You were so strong and inspirational through your whole fight! We look at you and admire your strength and faith! We will forever have a special place in our hearts and you will never be forgotten!
We love you and we miss you!!
Mom,Dad and Courtney
We will forever....."walk in the foot steps of a champion... in our sport and in our hearts". You will forever be
OUR CHAMPION !!
May 10, 2009 Feelings
Happy Mothers Day to everyone!! I hope that everyone has enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and spent time with their mothers and loved ones. We had a cookout and spent time with Tammy's mother,father,sister,brother-in-law and their two kids. We had a good time but bitter sweet as well. We took pictures of the three girls outside in the grass...where we used to take pictures of the four of them! And thinking today of Danny's mom that passed away in 2001. I know that her and Kassidy sent the beautiful sunshine for us to enjoy the day!
Last weekend we helped at the SameFight golf tournament in Floyd. We enjoy giving back to this organization for all that they did for us during Kassidys fight. And we will continue to help raise money to help the next child in Floyd county that has cancer...because we know that there will be another. This disease will continue to take our children when we least expect it! The number of children with cancer is unbelievable. But we will continue on to help others that may have to go through this horrific journey.
School is almost out and we will continue to busy this summer. Courtney will be going to gymnastics everyday M-F from 8a-12p. She will get out of school then have one week before she leaves to go to gymnastics camp in Crossville,TN. Then the nex weekend some of the team will be going to a Regional camp. So she will be busy right after school lets out. She is learning new skills in gymnastics right now and is very excited! The girls enjoy learning new things and then they will have all summer to perfect them before starting to compete again in the fall. And then she will be going to High School. It doesn't seem possible that our little girl is growing up!!
Just recently I read on a caring bridge site from a lady that had lost her child.....she said that it's something that you never get over...it's something you learn to live with. We are approaching the two year anniversary for Kassidy going to Heaven. We have still struggled through the year and still shed tears frequently. No one can understand unless you have been in our shoes. The overwhelming grief that sneaks up on you and hits you so hard. People look at us and tells us how strong we are....that makes me want to laugh sometimes because inside we are falling apart!! It is impossible to measure the pain we experience or fully understand the difficulty of what we are walking through. Understanding the loss can only come through the heart that has suffered the same.
We continue to pray for all those families that are still fighting and a special prayer for the friend Kassidy had in the hospital, Skylar, that is still fighting this monster!
Again, Happy Mother's Day to everyone! God Bless you all!!
March 10, 2009 Still remembering Kassidy
This update will be in two parts. One from Tammy and part from Danny.
I'm sorry it has been so long since we updated. We have been very busy with Courtney's gymnastics competitions. We are almost finished for the season. She has a competition this weekend and then State finals in two weeks. I hope everyone got a chance to see the news cast on the Kassidy's Rock Star meet that was held at Christiansburg Middle School. This was a great event and all went well. Kassidy would be so proud of our gym and how much support the gymnastics community has given to us. The reporter that did the story, Lauren Sisler, was a gymnast as well. When Kassidy first started gymnastics at Roanoke Academy, Lauren was her "big sister" there. So it was kinda cool that she could now do the story about the meet dedicated to Kassidy. Va Techniques gave out several "Kassidy" awards and even gave out a scholarship to a week of gymnastics camp that our gym attends at FlipFest in Crossville,TN. The meet was a great success!!
Also, Miss Virginia, Tara Wheeler is partnering with St. Baldricks Foundation to raise money for Pediatric cancer. She is an advocate for the Childrens Miracle Network and has worked with many children with Cancer. She met Courtney when she came to Check Elementary. Courtney gave her one of the bracelets with "Kassidy- Our Champion" on it. And told her the story of Kassidy. Go to WSLS.com and go to the article that says "Miss Virginia goes Bald for a cure". She mentions meeting Courtney and that she wears Kassidys bracelet in her memory. Please go to the St. Baldricks website and read all that they are doing to raise money! This is a wonderful gesture from someone that we have never met and that Courtney must have made an impression on for her to remember Kassidy.
I cant believe that so many people are still being touched by Kassidys life. We feel th iis is the reason that we have went through this struggle and that God chose Kassidy. He knew others would be touched and hopefully turn to Him more. Although we are pleased and excited about all the things done in Kassidys memory I cant say that everything has been wonderful, just fine,etc. because I think this year has been more of a struggle to be "normal". It seems that this has been harder and we struggle more to cope with the pain of her loss. We can remember her more and some days that memory can bring a smile. And other days that same memory can bring such sadness. The struggle is that you never know when an object, place,etc. will trigger that overwhelming sadness of loss. Not every day is sad, but not a day goes by that we dont think of her. I Miss You Kass!!
God Bless everyone that still thinks of and prays for our family ---Tammy
My heart is still aching like it was July 2007 but not every day. Some days I go back to that exact day, hour and minute when Kass lost her fight here on Earth. I feel like Kassidy wants and needs me to now carry a smile and not show pain because though she was in pain, she really never showed it to the extreme that I think she could have. As the days without her still are challenging, I will try my hardest to honor her bravery with a smile. Alot of people still ask our family how we are doing. There are really no words, and dont be surprised if we say "fine " or "OK" because for so long I watched Kassidy mask her pain and we learn from the pro how to do that.
When things are going good in life and we dont have a care in the world, we all too often forget about God. But at the first hint of trouble, we are on our knees asking God for help. God uses time like this to bring us closer to Him and to fulfill his purpose for our lives. Our purpose is to know God and make Him known. Tammy and I hope that God has used this trial in our life to help us know Him better and to make himself known to others. We have to rememeber that Gods promise never returns empty. His words stand true forever.
I will be forever touched by Kassidys life! I dont want to ever forget the wisdom she received from Jesus, because of her simple child-like faith, she has taught me how I should live the Christian life. I remember when she was first diagnosed, she kept her eyes on the cross....I mean literally kept her eyes on the cross. We have a cross at home that is about a foot tall and it sat on our TV. But when Kassidy was at home she would have us bring it closer to her where she could see it better.
She told Tammy one day that she thought cancer was just for old people. Tammy told her that cancer didn't care about age. She said "that's OK mom, I'm still smiling". If you ever have cancer you have to have faith and talk to Jesus. And talk to him she did! In her suffering, Jesus held her close and revealed to her secrets of Gods Kingdom. Many people talk to me about how they prayed for my family and are still praying for us. I still wonder why Kass was chosen. She knows why, when she got to Heaven and saw her rewards, she found out. I have no answer to why she suffered on Earth but I know that Jesus held her every step of the way, carrying Kassidy and our family all the way through the valley of suffering.
Children with cancer are like candles. The danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from no where. And yet, as they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those who watch their light. Kassidys light will shine forever! --Danny
December 21, 2008 Merry Christmas!
God saw that she was getting tired, and a cure was not to be, so He put his arms around her and whispered, "come to me".
With tearful eyes we watched her suffer and saw her fade away. Although we loved her dearly, we could not make her stay.
A golden heart stopped beating, hard-working hands to rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.
Merry Christmas Kassidy! We love and miss you!!
We just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! We know that Kassidy will be having a wonderful birthday celebration in Heaven with Jesus!!
November 5, 2008 Brave Little Soul
THE BRAVE LITTLE SOUL
Not too long ago in Heaven, there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. She especially enjoyed the love she saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however, the little soul was sad, for this day she saw suffering in the world. She approached God and sadly asked 'Why do bad things happen, why is there suffering in the world?'
God paused for a moment and replied, 'Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see unlocks the love in people's hearts.' The little soul was confused. 'What do you mean?' she asked. God replied, 'Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences, and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone.'
The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued. 'The suffering soul unlocks the love in people's hearts much like the sun and rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this - it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer to unlock this love - to create this miracle - for the good of all humanity.'
Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain herself. With her wings, fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, 'I am brave, let me go. I would like to go into this world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people's hearts! I want to create that miracle!'
God smiled and said, 'You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave, you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this, so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. These souls will help you create your miracle, however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and they will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you. Elizabeth Jane.'
God and the brave little soul shared a smile, and then embraced. In parting, God said, 'Do not forget Elizabeth that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought and, I will bring you home.'
Thus at that moment, the brave little soul was born into the world and through her suffering and God's strength, she unlocked the goodness and love in people's hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those who were always too busy, found time. Many began new spiritual journeys - some regained lost faith - many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant families reunited and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives were changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle happened. And God was pleased.
This is our prayer that through Kassidy and our suffering that others can learn faith and trust in God. Glory be to God that Kassidy is in Heaven and free from suffering and pain. She is walking on streets of Gold,no more sadness, no more tears....only love.
October 4, 2008 living life
What a beautiful Fall day it was today. I went to the Floyd County Craft show today and it was a beautiful day to be out and visit with everyone. I talked with Desirae while there and even bought several of her jewelry pieces. One was a pair of angel earrings and I also bought 2 cancer bracelets. They were bracelets with beads the different colors associated with the various types of cancer. She is donating part of the money she receives from them to charity. It was great talking to her. We talked about ways to help out locally for those children with cancer and even just the kids that had to be hospitalized. We talked about all the "crafts" that Chance and Kassidy had received while they were sick and never had the opportunity to use. We would love to get these donated to the pediatric/onocology at Roanoke Memorial. That way other kids can enjoy them! I think this is a wonderful idea!
Courtney also had a basketball game today. Along with gymnastics she is playing Rec ball and me and Danny are even coaching her team. We may not be the best team but the girls are improving and learning alot of fundamentals...most of all they are having FUN! Courtney even scored a 3 pointer today! Amazing!
In the next few months Courtney will start her gymnastics competitions. She will be competeing at a Level 8 this year. The first meet we have is at Paragon gymnastics. This is the meet that gives out the Kassidy Foster Vault award to the Level 7 with the highest vault score. We are looking forward to going back to this meet and seeing all the coaches/parents there again. They are some of the nicest people in ou gymnastics family. Then we are going to West Va, Tenn, Atlantic City,NJ and Clemson University, SC. We are traveling more this year and look forward to some exciting meets. Our gym is also doing the "Kassidys Rock Star Invitational" meet again this year. We are glad that we still have things that are being done in her memory. It helps us that people still remember her.......
It's still hard for us and we have come to accept the fact that this is our life and we will always have a certain sadness with us always. But along with the sadness we have the happy memories as well and we have to keep going....Kassidy would want it that way! She lived life to the fullest and even through her treatments she lived life on the edge never knowing when her last day would come. She had no guarantee for tomorrow and neither do we. The fact is, we have no idea what lies ahead for us. So we should just live life to the fullest everyday!Live the Kassidy way!
Living without Kassidy is sad, even though she is gone ... she will always live. And she continues to live in the hearts and minds of thousands of people. She just went to Heaven earlier than we did and we know she will be there when we get there. And until that day comes we will continue to try to keep as much faith as Kassidy had and live a life that is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord so that we will be assured that we see her again!
August 29, 2008 Time heals
Sorry it has been so long since we updated. We have been trying to stay busy, we have to....we miss Kassidy so much! We thought the grief would be easier now, but it seems to be harder to cope. We went through the shock of her losing her battle and it was hard to believe what had happened. Now the shock has worn off and we KNOW that it is real. We had milestones to get to before, like her first birthday without her, the first Christmas, and the first anniversary of her heavenly birthday. Now we have reached the year mark and we dont have any milestones to reach. Now the pain of her being gone is even more real. We can fo places that we have been with Kassidy and have those happy memories come back. It's sad but we can smile also. We thought going to new places would be better but we learned the hard way that it's not. We went to Cedar Point in Ohio for a weekend trip. We were standing in line and there were two girls behind us about 15-16 years old. They had long blonde hair and were playing with each others hair putting it up in ponytails. They were sisters...even now it makes me cry because we just looked at each other and I know we were all thinking that that's what Kassidy and Courtney would be doing if Kass were here. So, even the new things hurt. Just the smallest things make us remember Kassidy, like the smell of chocolate, songs on the radio, watching her favorite TV shows, the kids going back to school, every day that we walk into gymnastics...it never ends. We know time heals and it becomes easier but it will never be the same.
Unless you have lost a child yourself, you cannot understand real grief. You can lose a parent and it's hard. But God does not program us to lose a child. God knows what it is like to lose a son. He is al loving and caring but he grieved when Jesus died on the cross for us. When a spouse dies, the other person is called a widow. What do you call a parent when they lose a child?? There is no word in the English language that describes that....because children should not die first.
....Courtney has started back to school. She is in the 7th grade. I can't believe how much she has grown and what a young lady she is becoming. It's hard to believe that she will be in High School next year. Where does the time go? She is still doing gymnastics and will compete this year as a Level 8 gymnast. I know she is healing with time as well. She talks more about Kassidy with the other girls at gymnastics. This summer when she went to camp she met a little girl from Northern Va who had Alapecia (she did not have any hair). She was bald and looked like Kassidy did after she lost her hair. Courtney took right to her and one night went to her cabin and talked with her and her team mates. When she got back she said that she had told them about Kassidy. This was a first for Courtney and we feel like this was a huge step to her healing. She talks alot about Kassidy and her memories of things they did together. She is reading a book that was given to us "90 Minutes in Heaven". She reads a little bit at a time but she takes it everywhere with her..even to school. At night sometimes she will read to me in bed. What a great book and it gives Courtney some peace and is healing for her and for me!
We finally have the memorial garden just like we want it. We have put landscaping lights in it and at night it is absolutely beautiful. I hope any one that can will come back and take a look. Our final piece for the garden we have to order. We are getting a bench with Kassidys name made into the back of it. Then it will be perfect for a beautiful angel!
In closing, we will continue to update her website. We thank everyone for continuing to check in. We hope that her website will be inspirational to those that visit. Remember to hug your kids tighter, tell everyone you love them. We all need to realize that our children do not belong to us, they are gifts from God that he expects us to take care of for him while they are here on Earth. Life cannot be taken for granted. Each day is a gift to be used as preparation for what comes next.....Eternity
God Bless Everyone!
June 23, 2008 Reflections
One year.....we can't believe that's it's been almost a year since Kassidy was healed and went to live with Jesus. Many moments were filled with worry, anger, frustration and grief. You don't know absolute helplessness until you have seen your innocent child withering away in a hospital bed....knowing that nothing, no person, no technology, no amount of money or power can keep her alive. No matter what the future held, we made the most of each day we had with her. We made many memories laughing, goofing off and just being near the amazing child that we would come to call our hero and "our champion".
We believe that while this illness could have destroyed a family, and many families are broken after losing a child, it also had the potential to strengthen a family. Our family is emotionally closer. We no longer take things for granted. We see the value in living every day to the fullest.
Now learning to live after the loss of a child, we feel we have learned a tremendous amount about life. You can learn more about what's really important in life in a few short months on a pediatric cancer ward than most people will learn in a lifetime. Don't sweat the small stuff. Parents get upset for some of the smallest and silliest things. Their child gets a stain on their good shirt--SO...it's just a shirt. At least they were able to eat, drink, play or whatever it was that created the stain. Kids are kids...let them be kids...play, have fun, slow down and really interact with your kids. Laundry and house cleaning can usually wait a few hours while you spend some quality time with your children. There are so many things that we used to think were such a big deal, but now seem so small in the big picture of life. Most important is to hug your kids a little tighter, hug your spouse,parent,nieces,nephews,cousins,etc. Tell them you love them. You never know what might happen that you wont get that chance again.
Our family experience with childhood cancer has made us survivors. We have lived through it and learned from it. It has strengthened us in who we are individually and as a family. As we reflect on this life changing experience it seems like only yesterday though it has been almost a year. We've met many people along the way that will remain in our lives forever. Because of those strangers, friends, and our family we have survived. And for that support we will forever be grateful.
Your laughter and your smiling face
That twinkle in your eye
Your sassy little attitude
And the clothes you loved to buy!
The jewelry and all the bling
The make-up and gymnastics
You were growing up so fast
We always called you "plastic".
Computer,cell phone and AIM
Never anywhere without them
Talking with friends, having fun
and being silly at the gym.
Beautiful on the inside and out
God called you to live in Heaven
You changed the world with the heart you had
And forever we will keep BELIEVING!!
Keep Believing...Kassidy did!!
May 13, 2008 Kassidy remembered at CES
The 7th grade class at Check Elementary School dedicated this years Yearbook to Kassidy. We went to the yearbook assembly and they presented the first yearbook to Danny, Tammy and Courtney. On the back cover is a picture of the pink balloons at the release they had at the school. The other picture is of Kassidy's classmates sitting in the grass in the shape of a ribbon. This was beautiful! Then you turn 2 pages into the yearbook to a two page layout of PINK!! One side is pictures with Kassidy Forever In Our Hearts written in a big heart. Also on this page Courtney wrote a note that said "Kassidy Foster is my sister. She was the greatest sister in the world. I am sure she was a very good friend. I know she is with me and my family too. She is with you guys too! Kassidy will stay in my heart forever and ever. I Love You Kassidy!" On the opposite page is the dedication page written by Kayla Underwood...the friend that spoke at Kassidy's memorial service and funeral. I know this is kinda long but I wanted to put down what she wrote. We had a chance to preview this before the yearbooks were printed. We didn't change anything because I know this came straight from the heart and that's what matters. So here is the dedication:
What does it take to be a champion? Will, determination, talent, drive, kindness? It is rare to find all these qualities in one person. Our community was blessed to be in the presence of a true champion: Kassidy Jordan Foster.
Kassidy was a 12 year old girl, an active gymnast, honor student, loving daughter, and kind friend. Kassidy aspired to be a great friend, to be understanding and trustworthy, to be kind and not argue, Kassidy wanted to be the bigger person in everything she did. Little did Kassidy know, or any of us know, what was in store for her.
In January 2007, while training in gymnastics, she fell and hurt her knee. Kassidy had been sick over the past few months and gymnastics injuries were nothing new, but her knee would not heal. Kassidy's parents, Danny and Tammy, and her sister Courtney took her to the doctor at the end of March.
They finally found out that she had osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Kassidy and her family were scared, but optimistic, their strength came from Kassidy, and she knew whatever happened she was going to be happy. She had thousands of people all over the world supporting her. Check Elementary and the whole county of Floyd supported Kassidy and two little boys with brain cancer named Chance and Joshua, through fundraisers and the website www.samefight.org. We had t-shirts, bracelets, held bake sales, walks and more. While we were supporting them they were strong and fought, keeping Floyd strong and bringing the community together.
For four months Kassidy fought, she braved a leg amputation and chemotherapy, a fight only a true champion can win. At the beginning of July she went to California on a "Make-A-Wish" trip to shop at a four story mall. She told her daddy it was the best day of her life. On the flight back home Kassidy started to have difficulty breathing. The day she returned home they put her in the hospital. The doctors said she had only a short time, Kassidy's lung had collapsed and the other one was beginning to deflate. She fought, with her family by her side, until her last breath. On July 16, 2007 at 8:35 she passed away. Kassidy kept fighting until the time was right.
Everyone has a purpose and I think Kassidy's was to show people how strong you can really be. To take a look at what you have and be thankful for it. Kassidy was my best friend, a hero and a CHAMPION! Kassidy will never be forgotten and we will always miss her!
At the end of the assembly they did a slide show and in it was some pictures in memory of Kassidy. I'm glad that Kassidy had such an impact on these kids! It was amazing to see the kids with KJ written on their faces and they were wearing their shirts made to support her during her fight! I only hope that they remember the strength and courage that she had and hold on to that when they go through lifes struggles.
Please continue to check in as we will be updating some things coming up.....like Danny will be speaking at the 7th grade recognition service on the 23rd. We continue to do things in her memory and still read the well wishes and guestbook and want to thank everyone for keeping us in their thoughts and prayers. Please continue to do so as we are coming up on the year anniversary of Kassidy going to heaven. What a celebration she will be having on her first birthday in Heaven!!
April 13, 2008 Looking Back
It's been several updates since I have posted. Tammy has done the past several updates so I ask her if I could post something this time. I have sat down in front of this computer many times during the past several weeks with the intentions of posting something, but I really had a hard time.
I still find it hard to believe that all of that happened. It is amazing the way Kassidy's fight is still on peoples hearts. So many things have happened since July 16th 2007. There have been blood drives in Kassidy's honor and memory. A scholorship from Fredricksburg Va Paragon Gymnastics has been established to remember Kassidy. John Macready and John Rothlisberger... 2 former Olympians have started the Kassidy Foster memorial scholorship at Flipfest (a 9 week camp). We also learned during one of Courtney's meets in Knoxville TN (Flip fest) that a gym from North Carolina started a "penny's for Kassidy fundraiser" and they raised enough money to have 2 scholorships at Flip fest in Kassidy's memory. www.flipfest.com (search Kassidy Foster Memorial scholorship). Kassidy and Courtney's home gym in Christiansburg Va (www.vatechniques.com) held the Kassidys Rock Star Invitational and the State of Va board called the VAUSGA, they regulate all of the gymnatics teams in Va, chose Kassidy to receive the Spirit Award. She was the Va Gymnastics "Athlete of the year in 2007". Her coach said it took all of 5 seconds for the board to pass that vote to honor Kassidy.
Kassidy started her tough journey to heaven on March 29th and through it all my family stayed the course and kept our focus on GOD and you are right it was very hard to do that at times. A major crisis hit my family last year, losing a son or a daughter at such a young age is the pinnacle of all crisis..... nothing else compares. I lost my mother to cancer in 2001 and thru it all the enemy would throw all kinds of bad news and he would use it to to push us away from GOD. Kassidy knew she was not going to win the battle on earth but the comfort that GOD gave her was true. She faced knowing she was going to die head on and never lost her sight on Jesus. He showed her a glimpse of heaven and she was not scared to die. The same spirit that comforted Kassidy and us is the same spirit that comforted Jesus Christ on the cross. The enemy kept hitting us but he did not prevail.... GOD in us did and that is how we keep going. I recently met a new friend and he had lost his father and we were talking and he gave me a very powerful word that no one else had. He told me that he believed that GOD will use certain people to carry out his work in the form of angels. He said since Kassidy faced death the way she did and won that she will go to people who are facing the same thing she went thru. She will comfort them in her way and tell them I have done this GOD will take care of you.
It is amazing the way GOD is using children to draw the unbelievers to him. I saw on TV where over 80,000 people where saved in Russia because of a teenage girl. GOD used my daughter the same way and for that I know I will get to see her again. Tammy told me she had a dream. She dreamed that Courtney ,Tammy and myself were at an amusement park and I told Courtney to go back to the park and get me something. Tammy said she got scared Courtney would get lost so we started looking for her. Tammy dreamed she was looking for Courtney and was very upset and Kassidy came out of the crowd and hugged her, she said she could feel Kassidy squeezing her and then she woke up. Tammy said that is Kassidy's way of telling her she is ok.
We are doing ok. I can honestly tell you that GOD's grace and comfort to us is real and so is he. Kassidy knew more about GOD than some people do in a lifetime. She was my daughter and I feel she died before her time. I always wonder what she would be like now she would be 13, but GOD'S time is always right. We have an "On Time GOD". Keep GOD the center of your life.... and remember you are one step away from your miracle and be ready to take that step. The love of GOD is like the ocean....you can see the beginning but not the end.
I ask you to come back to this site and read our updates from last year. Take care. Thanks for your prayer and support you have given us and "Keep Believing.....Kassidy did."
Danny, Tammy, Courtney and" Our Champion Kassidy"
March 6, 2008 Updates
Hello to everyone! I know it has been several months since we updated but so much has been going on. We are keeping busy with Courtney's gymnastics meets and various functions in Kassidy's memory. First we would like to tell everyone about the blood drive that was held in Rocky Mount in Kassidy's honor and memory. We had 54 donors that day...16 of those were first time donors!! That was wonderful!! We are still planning to do another blood drive this spring/summer in Christiansburg as well and hope to get an even better response to that one. We also had a meet at our gymnastics facility called "Kassidy's Rock Star Invitational". They gave special awards to each level gymnast that had the highest event score. For the Level 7 Courtney won the award which was a plaque and it was called the Kassidy Foster Rock Star Award. This was special to Courtney. Courtney also had her highest overall score of the year at this meet...that was a fitting tribute to Kassidy!! Check out the news article about the meet at http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/149508. We have also traveled recently to Atlanta,GA and Columbus,OH for meets there as well. So we have been very busy and on the go lately. At the Kassidy meet the parents presented us with a picture that was drawn by an artist. It touched us that the parents would do this and it is a very special picture to us. It is 16X20 and is a drawing of Jesus hugging Kassidy. You can even see the nail marks in Jesus' hand. They both are looking towards you and there is a look on Kassidy's face that makes you think that she is saying " I miss you all but I wouldn't be anywhere else". It's a look of contentment and peacefulness. We will try to get a copy to put on this site. Also please check out www.kassidyspage.com to see the video of Kassidy doing her gymnastics routines. We will try to update again soon and add some pictures. Continue to pray for all those that continue their fight.
Danny,Tammy,Courtney and "Our Champion" Kassidy
January 9, 2008 Kassidy remembered
We just wanted to let everyone know about the upcoming events we have planned in Kassidy's memory. On Jan 29th, at Faith Fellowship Church in Rocky Mount we are holding a blood drive. It will be from 12p-6p. You can call the church to sign up 334-3477. We are trying to raise awareness about how much blood a cancer patient actually needs during treatments. And to increase the donations in the state of Virginia (which is the lowest state in blood donation). If you are able to, please think about coming out and giving. Also on Feb 3, Virginia Techniques Gymnastics is holding the Kassidy RockStar Invtational meet. There will be more information on this coming soon and I will update as soon as times become available.
We managed to get through the holidays, and we are doing OK. We held the balloon release for Kassidy's 13th birthday in December. We had a good turn out and everyone came back to the house for refreshments. The tombstone is a beautiful tribute to Kassidy. With friends and family we gathered and remembered the happy times with Kassidy. This was a good day for everyone. Then Christmas came.....we did OK. We remembered Kassidy in the gifts that we gave...lots of Angel gifts this year! We want everyone to remember that she is with us all the time...right in our hearts! We kept our chins up through the new year and are looking forward to 2008. We will never forget Kassidy...she is always with us...even though we are doing better I guess we will always have those moments that cause an emotional break down and shed the tears. I don't think that will ever go away! But we have many happy memories also and not a day goes by that I don't think of something she said or did and it makes me smile. So right now it's still a little bit of an emotional roller coaster and I'm sure it will be that way for awhile longer.
Here is the lyrics to one of my favorite songs right now. Because God is the almighty one and we have to keep praising his name so that one day we will be reunited with Kassidy.
God Bless You All...We Love You
Another rainy day I can't recall having sunshine on my face All I feel is pain All I wanna do is walk out of this place But when I am stuck and I can't move When I don't know what I should do When I wonder if I'll ever make it through
I gotta keep singing I gotta keep praising Your name Your the one that's keeping my heart beating I gotta keep singing I gotta keep praising Your name That's the only way that I'll find healing
Can I climb up in Your lap I don't wanna leave Jesus sing over me I gotta keep singing
Can I climb up in Your lap I don't wanna leave Jesus sing over me I gotta keep singing
Oh You're everything I need And I gotta keep singing
December 19, 2007 Merry Christmas from the Foster's
Just a quick entry to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season from the Foster's.
Danny, Tammy, Courtney and 'Our Champion Kassidy'
Merry Christmas Kassidy! We love and miss you! Mom, Dad and Courtney
Hello everyone. We have decided to start our updates on The Foster Family Journal , we will contunue to update maybe not day to day like the past. We ...as well as you (our prayer warriors) will need to continue to lean on our GOD for help and direction, so we will update you guys so you will know how to pray for us.
Kassidys funeral was great. We were able to see again how Kassidys fight touched people and changed there lives.There were about 20 people that accepted Christ in their life at the funeral. When we met with our Pastor to discuss the arrangments , we talked about this. You probably remember from a previous update I posted .When we was in the hospital with Kassidy ,She and I talked about Jesus, she told me she knew she was going to go to heaven but she wanted to make sure herself,so we all held hands and we said the sinners prayer as a family. So I knew she would be ok having the same thing done at her funeral. After the funeral Pastor told me, he thought it was around 50 people that publicly raised their hand and said the sinners prayer.... GOD IS GOOD!!!!!
SO NOW WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE..........
Today is Monday, we are in Crossville Tennenessee at Gymnastics camp with Courtney. .....John Macready and John Roethlisberger are two former olymnpians that have about 8 weeks of camp for young gymnast from all over the US. Kassidy and Courtney have been coming to this camp for the pasy 4 years. Courtney still wanted to come to camp for her scheduled week ,but she wanted Tammy and I to attend also, so here we are .The staff her is wonderful , John is in New York commentating on the Pam Am games so he is allowing us to use his cabin. There are about 250 plus gymnast here so that will help keep Courtney busy for a while. Tammy and I will just hang out and enjoy the day run a few errands for the staff. I told Tammy this morning it is funny being here with no responsibablity at all but we know that will change soon. So at the end of the week will keep up with our normal family trip after camp and go to Pigeon Forge and go to Dollywood... this is something we also have done for the past 4 year, Courtney got one of her friends from gymnastics to go with her. Then we will return home.
Boy how fast does your life change ,2 weeks ago(Monday), we were on our way to California with Kassidy, 1 week ago to this day(Monday) we were crying because she lost her fight on this earth, and today(Monday) I am telling you guys what we are doing without Kassidy in our lives..... life does go on. Please continue to pray for our family and remember your life can change in an instant also. Get your heart right with God, dont wait......... Kassidy did not want to wait. and now she is living with her Lord and Savior.
THANK YOU for attending the services...thank you for the cards and flowers. and a big THANK YOU for the ladies of Havens Chapel in Check for the meals afterward the grave side service.We love you guys .......we will update soon