This photo of Maci and the Jonas Brothers was taken backstage, on Joe's birthday, and the joke was to have him dress up in a cake costume for the VIP sound-check party!
Maci's school did a routine vision screening on her class and found that she couldn't see through her left eye. After many tests at Texas Children's Hospital, Maci started chemotherapy right away and after months of therapy her team of doctors decided she needed to have the tumor removed. In January of that year she underwent a 7-hour craniotomy where the tumor was removed and so was her optic nerve that gave her left eye vision. Once Maci had time to heal and return back to school, gymnastics, and life she realized life was different. We are very grateful that she is healthy and still has two beautiful eyes. Maci's wish was to meet the Jonas Brothers! Today, Maci is still involved in gymnastics, piano, and raising money for Make-A-Wish. For her 7th birthday she requested donations to MAW instead of presents and delivered the checks to the Houston office herself. Maci is learning to embrace that she is different and use that energy to go out and make a difference. Different is beautiful! We are all made different and unique!
In August of 2009, a limo pulled up to our home in Lake Charles Louisiana, there were neighbors lined up at our house to cheer Maci on. Once we were on the road State Troopers escorted us with their light flashing all the way to New Orleans. Once we arrived to the Hilton on the Boardwalk there were lots of people outside with signs that said "Welcome Maci and family!" A red carpet was rolled out and balloons were everywhere. Maci and our MAW representatives went out first, they were greeted by the hotel manager and staff. We were treated to a suite overlooking the Mississippi River. The next day, a limo brought us to the back door of the Superdome where we were given passes and walked straight through the back door to meet all of the musicians, staff, get a tour of the stage, meet managers, and even Big Rob their bodyguard. We were escorted to a VIP sound-check where they unfolded chairs and sat us next to the stage. Between the sound-check party and concert we were brought to a secured area where we were able to visit with the Jonas Brothers! They listened to Maci and asked her more questions than we asked them. One thing I do remember is when Maci's story came up about believing in miracles and that she knew God had taken the tumor sucker and sucked the tumor out of her head, Kevin Jonas said "Maci we believe in miracles too and tonight we are celebrating with you!" We all melted and then they asked her if they could all give her a hug. Maci gave them a jar of cookies that she and her neighbor-friend Alli baked for Joe's birthday and the night went on.......it was a night we will always remember. For our family, it was a night that put smiles on our faces and gave us a few days to really enjoy each other without worrying about what had just happened. It was like a celebration!
Ryan, Nikki, Maci, and Ellie Kate