David Cary's Posts (14)

Our donor letter

With transplant #1 we knew something about our donor family within hours, but #2 was different. All we learned was there was a connection to Puerto Rico. And it stayed that way for three years until the letter arrived, days before the third anniversary of Trenton’s transplant. 

His name is Alberto and we're sharing his mother’s letter. To read it, Click here

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She said YES!

“Trenton asked, “Is this the waiting room,” which gave me pause for a fraction of a second before realizing, “Oh yeah, you don’t know where the waiting rooms are; you know where the operating rooms are.”

The past three years have been joyfully uneventful when it comes to Trenton and hospitals…except once, when Trent went to visit a cute young lady whose dad was in surgery.

This is Jessica. Click here

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The Journey to the Beginning

I used to dance to Journey, and REO Speedwagon…and the Bee Gees, but thankfully none of it was captured on video, so no epic fails (like my hair).


How can you “dance” on a journey that includes heart transplants and cancer on the way to graduating college? It can be done.  Read about Trenton’s educational journey which has led him to graduating college this weekend.  Click here

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How to help

“Let me know how I can help.” Ever say that and not receive a specific answer?  Want to REALLY know how you can help a friend? In this month's blog I will share some practical ideas around how to help a friend when his or her child is hospitalized.  Click here to learn more.


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Valerie's Guardian Angel

“…when I think of Children’s, when I think of the hand we grab when we’re on the ledge, the face of Children’s, the“mother” of Children’s is you.”


So many at Children’s Health in Dallas cared for us over two decades, but the one person without whom Valerie (and thus, Trenton and I) could not survive is the woman I call “Valerie’s guardian angel.” This is my family’s love letter to her. Read it here.

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Attitude from the heart

Trenton seems to think Valerie worries about him too much, and every so often something happens to remind Val to keep worrying. This time, it was in the spring of 2014, seven months after Trent’s staph infection when we learned his body was rejecting his transplanted heart. While Val’s worry kicked into a silent high gear, Trenton’s “whatever” cruised at a steady pace as he informed the cardiologist that the transplant needed to be in June or July, because he was busy.

What causes Trent to be so nonchalant during challenging times? How can YOU remain calm and focused during a trauma?  Click here to learn how.

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I'm too late, but still thankful

“Some see the glass as half full. Others see it as half empty. I see the glass as being twice as big as it needs to be.” – Stephen Wright

My mother passed away in August, which is a great time for regret – missed opportunities and things not done or said. In fact, it’s one of the few times my daughter has cried. I share regrets with you in my latest blog, but you can still learn to be still thankful and live like you were dying (and check out the updated site).  The latest blog can be found here: http://www.stillthankful.com/blog/2016/10/15/im-too-late-but-still-thankful

Still Thankful

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Ellah's Day of Kindness

Elyssa (Ellah) was one of the gang with which Trent could relate, thanks to Camp Moss, which is a summer camp for kids with heart disease.

Edie is Elyssa’s mother. Nearly two years ago, Edie spoke to Elyssa in a Facebook post:

"I’ve come to the realization that nothing, not even the passing of time, is going to make me miss you less…When you first passed away, Dad talked often about how ‘lucky’ we were…Nurses like Sabra and Haley, who have taken care of you and loved you too, came to tell you goodbye.”

September 26th is a special day for the Jacobs family, but it can become special for many many others and you can play a part. Read how at Still Thankful


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From my daughter:  

“Most nights, I would wait for my dad to come home after work and visiting the hospital, so that we could have at least one meal together. Since Mom was with Trenton at the hospital, and Austin was in college, I spent much of the time by myself…When I tell people those stories, they feel badly for me, and take pity on me. Yet, when I tell them not to feel pity, that I'm used to it, and was born into it, they don't seem to understand.”  
Prior to leaving for college last month, Allie agreed to share her thoughts on being the sibling of a transplant/cancer kid.  This is her first time to discuss it publicly, and I felt it was an ideal way to begin sharing guest blogs on Still Thankful.
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Being a sibling - Allison

Still Thankful

Trenton’s cancer was Allie’s first experience with our family health challenges and she was thirteen years old in eighth grade at the time.  I wondered what she thought, and one night, not long into the journey, I found out.  We were riding in the car, just the two of us…

“’Is Trenton going to die?’ she asked calmly but directly.  A quick prayer for help shot through my brain as a moment of nonresponse filled the car…”
Val and I lost our third and youngest child to the adult world as she left for college a few days ago, so this is a tribute to daddy’s baby girl.  Please leave a comment for Allie (the link on the site is below the title), and share this blog with other dads and daughters.
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Learn to hate

We are not born with hate.  It is learned and reinforced over time in a variety of ways.

Hate is always conquered by an outpouring of love. Love can overcome even the most hateful events. I've experienced love's transformative power many times: from Trenton's two heart transplants, to the recent shooting in Dallas,  Love wins because hate cannot survive in love's presence.
It is difficult addressing such a big issue in one blog, but I give it a try here:

Still Thankful

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I Know How You Feel - Empathy

Friends and family were the first to teach Valerie and me the comfort of empathy. Their love was often shown through service,whether someone was delivering food, caring for Austin or sitting in ICU with Trenton so Valerie and I could rest, but there was a more subtle expression of empathy I also appreciated. Read about it, and why empathy is important, in my latest post here: http://stillthankful.com

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Trenton's Story

So many threads run together to weave the story of Trenton’s trials, and of course, those of our family, that there are many times in telling one story that I often get sidetracked into a tangent for another. To keep my own thoughts on track, I often find myself writing, “…but that’s a story for another day.”


In a broader sense, Trent’s experience is itself a story for another day. Another heartbeat, another moment, another day to live his life. His life is a story for another day. Another day at school, another day with his friends, another day to reach a goal, or another day to just kickback and do a whole lot of nothing.

A story for another day to be still thankful.


Read my latest post at stillthankful.com.

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