Tumor in the Femur

Because it's fun to say and we need to say fun things.


Irene Veldstra

One of Atticus' biggest goals was to make it to 8th grade graduation and his care team made sure it happened! 

His surgery was May 22, his surgeon cleared him for chemo June 1, his graduation was June 7, and the Randall team scheduled him for his chemo at 9am on June 9! We are so grateful for our team and the research that shows how important life events are to sick kids and making sure they are still able to take part in them. 

At school, 8th grade graduation is in the evening, and the 7th graders set it up, serve the food, decorate. It's always a lovely evening with remembering and honoring the eighth graders. Then, on the last day of school, there is the Rose Ceremony, the first graders honor the eighth graders by giving them a rose. 

Here are the photos from the graduation on the evening of June 7. 

Photo by Wendy

Photo by Wendy

Rose Ceremony on last day of school, as told and photographed by Krista: 

It was such a treat to see Atticus at graduation! I was really overcome with emotion. I wish him so much good health and strength. And you too, mama. I can’t imagine the extent of the strength your life requires. I wish you all of it.

I wanted to tell you a couple things I saw between Atticus and his 1st grade buddies, particularly little blonde Julian. The two buddies approached Atticus when both first grade classes were invited to join 8th graders after the 8th grade group photo. I asked them if the boys wanted a photo with their buddy and they said they did. They leaned in for the photo and I took a picture. Then Julian looks at Atticus and gives the thumbs-up sign. Atticus looked over at him and put his thumb up too. I thought it was such a sign of support, optimism, and hope between those boys. So positive and I just about melted.

Then as I was standing there, Julian looked at Atticus a long time and says, “It must be hard.” Atticus quietly looked at him and Julian says, “It must be hard to be sick.” Atticus nodded and smiled. I think he might have appreciated Julian’s honesty and empathy. It was such a sweet moment.

A bit later, I saw another amazing thing. Maybe you saw it too. I watched Julian run, full-speed, into Atticus’ arms for a big bear hug. I have thought of that hug many times in the past 24 hours. It was a big, long, uninhibited, tight squeeze. I was so very touched by that loving enthusiasm directed at your son.

I felt like the ceremony was for everyone, of course, but it was especially for Atticus. No question, he was the star that day. I’m not certain he knew it, but I know it to be true.
Emily McDowell Studio

Emily McDowell Studio