Bert’s Big Adventure

Anna Bozman Thompson and Kimberly Bishop at the CURE Childhood Cancer Quiet Hero Luncheon

Meet my friend, Anna. She is full of light, always smiling and one of the kindest people you will ever meet. Never in a million years did either of us think we would be “Cancer Mom’s” and I never imagined I would meet such a precious friend and bond over something of such horror and significance at the same time. I am honored to know her and her son, and am so thankful that Q-100 chose such a deserving child to take on their annual trip to Disney World for Bert Weiss’ nonprofit organization, Bert’s Big Adventure.

I remember making my commute every morning, listening to the Bert Show and hearing their segments about Bert’s Big Adventure. They were expressing their heartfelt sentiments on how rewarding, yet devastating it is to take these precious children who are terminally and chronically ill to Disney. They have the remarkable opportunity to spend a week with these strong families getting to know them and their struggles, but having a blast all at the same time.Lake Bozman getting a surprise at their house by Q 100, Bert Weiss and Bert's Big AdventureMy sister in Christ, dear friend, and the mother of a seven year old boy, Lake, who is currently battling Leukemia has been a constant in my life since the night she introduced herself. It is a night that I will never forget.

I was laying on the cot in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit wondering if my baby was going to live. My dearest friend had just created a Facebook page to update friends and family of Knox’s condition. I remember laying on the cot looking at comments from old friends that served as comfort during my grief. I was so inundated with messages, that it’s still a wonder to me that I even received hers. However, God knew how badly I needed her.

She would become my angel that would hold my hand, understanding the pain I was feeling, and she was my lifeline to knowing that I was not alone in the world of Pediatric Cancer. God sent her to me and she will even tell you as much. She too, was lying in bed one night, scrolling through her Facebook newsfeed and saw a mutual friend “like” the Prayers for Knox Bishop page. She has always shared that the Holy Spirit called her to send me a personal inbox message that night and it was the first time she had ever reached out to another cancer mom.

I am so thankful that she listened to the Holy Ghost tugging at her heart, for her feeling that ‘love nudge’ and for putting it into action. Had she not, we would not have the most beautiful Godly friendship that two women could possibly share.

At such a young age, her son Lake has already been through more than he or anyone deserves: two transplants, radiation, blood transfusions, long term stays in the hospital and more chemo than you could ever imagine. After a second relapse this summer Anna has now been told that there are no more treatment options to cure his cancer. Lake Bozman in the AFLAC Cancer Center at CHOA Egleston

I will never forget the phone call I got this summer from Anna, sharing with me the horrific details of being in the exam room with her first born, who was finally able to celebrate with a birthday party that next day, giving me the horrific details of finding out that Lake had relapsed for the second time. I was in such shock that I was talking to my friend about having to make the choice of what environment to let her son live or die in.

Yes, this mother of three is faced with a cruel and unimaginable choice: to take Lake to Memphis and live out the remainder of his life at St. Jude, where he will be hooked up to machines, confined to a hospital bed and getting pumped full of harsh chemotherapy with a less than zero percent chance that it will even work. This is the type of treatment that will leave you run down and full of other underlying conditions. Or she could make the choice to let him live life to the fullest freely, laughing, playing sports and being a child that isn’t “sick.”

Lake Bozman at the Atlanta Braves game - photo taken by Atlanta Event Photography

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Event Photography

Let’s face it, this is the unthinkable and a choice like this weighs heavily on anybody, much less a mother. Even through this terrible circumstance that she has been faced with, she has handled herself with grace and stature. Her faith holds her up on days that she doesn’t think she can stand and her love for her child makes her heart shine.

There is nothing she wouldn’t do for Lake, however the choice to have him live the remainder of his life in such an environment is one she has chosen not to do. She is determined to not let cancer keep them from living and enjoying life abundantly, without constant worry of what the future holds. She is trusting in God’s plan for their lives and focusing on how Lake intends to “live forever with God,” as he so eloquently told his mama.

In February, Lake and his family will go on Burt’s Big Adventure with Bert and his crew, and I am excited to follow their journey and share it with you. There is no family more deserving and no child that hasn’t fought a more difficult battle. No mom that hasn’t sacrificed so much for herself and her family, all the while letting her immeasurable faith shine bright proving God’s love and promise is always upon us even through the raging storms.

Lake Bozman opens up gifts from the Bert's Big Adventure family dressed up in Disney characters

Lake surrounded by Disney characters, receiving his Disney Magic Band.

So, join me as we celebrate this special time for Lake and his family and watch as Bert’s Big Adventure gives them the red carpet royalty treatment on his first trip to Disney World! We love you, Lake, and can’t wait to see more from your trip!

Kimberly Bishop Crockpot Empire Signature

 

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