Wednesday, May 15, 2013


The clean up 10 days later

Rising Waters


Hello everyone,
First I am sorry for the delay in blogs . I am a graduate student , nurse , mom, and many other hats that keep me from getting the posts done.
Adding to our new title are natural disaster survivors.

NO ONE on our block died and thank GOD for that!
I want to talk about being prepared for the worst.

On 4-18-2013 we had the worst flood we've ever seen. The rapidly rising fast moving water was dangerous caught us off guard and any plan we thought we had failed.

Persons with health conditions are at the greatest rsik during disasters. Immobility , requiring   medcaitions , breathing difficulties and conditions realted to Sickle Cell Anemia WILL need special attention.
We assisted our new family with an expectant mother and little boy, we helped save cars, pets and then after sand bagging my husbadn helped the Fire Dept complete another rescue our other neighbor can not walk and the water was already 7-8 feet to their home. The fire men borrowed a paddle boat tethered lines and got him. My husband drove him in our garden cart with the tractor to safety.

After we helped our neighbors my BIG plan was to grab Marqus and a bag of supplies and go out our back door uphill to dry land , that did not happen!

After the boat rescue of my neighbor , we smelled gas Marqus was slummped in a chair slightly blue after he preared his small bag. OUR house is OXYGEN RICH  with a M60 tank and 3 concentrators.

My best freinds had just lost their entire home and they were now helping us , we all helped each other THE POWER OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT!!
NOW we had to throw together a suitcase of IVs , meds supplies for his central line and other essentials , I have ashtma  so that meant we needed the nebulizer etc etc,

ALL I could think of was EXPLOSION and get this O2 tank out of the house and up the hill.

I pushed the life line and the divers returned to us witha motor boat to get Marqus. We evacuated to Benedictine University where the Red Cross set up temporary shelter then a hotel.

We are lucky because we still have a roof over our head but the clean up and fianacial losses are great.
During clean up we all helped each other and fought off scavengers picking though our wet , fithy stuff on the curb , stealing and preying on our tradgey like vultures. IT WAS A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES!!!!  There was raw sewage on many things our basement was full of it and folks took that awful stuff not just metal.
10 days later the bulldozers and semis came to pick up the trash. The Smell was sick!
The Village communications broke down and THANK YOU to BOY SCOUT TROOP 108 and THE LISLE CARES FB page for  information and help.THANK YOU TO OUR FIRE DEPARTMENT ! for tying themselves to a paddle boat to rescue our neighbor and coming right back for Marqus and the rest of the people that were trapped.

TROOP 108  is a blessing they saw our needs and have helped ever since!!

Well I hope to post information that can help you in a disaster.
Despite our best plans Mother nature is unpredictible !

Go to The American Red Cross and FEMA web pages and check out the information it can save your life.


A always thank you for listening and I promise to try and update this more often.
Francesca Valentine  RN BSN MSN Candidiate Benedictine University  , SCA parent

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Beach

Hello everyone ! It has been sometime between posts. I am in graduate school and work many many hours. But recently I had the time of my life. I took a vacation . I had the opportunity to spend time on the beach in the south of Spain.
I was in the Atlantic Ocean , wore a big floppy sun hat , drank fabulous cold drinks , coffee and watched Flamenco!!!! WOW the sand was hot and the water felt soft.
The buildings in Cadiz Spain were old and charming . We walked the streets stopping at places to eat and drink. The coffee was served in tiny cups with huge flavor . Tapas OH Tapas !!!! All over Spain the best Tapas was at Manolo's in San Fernando , a local place that was just down the street from the school where Ashley taught English last year.  Madrid , Cadiz , Seville , San Fernando oh Spain !!!
Me encanta Espana !!!!!!!!!!I love Spain.

Late nights and walking everywhere was amazing. I now have the travel bug and intend to return and bring the family.
Ashley has paved our way to the world by working and studying abroad . The international network has many branches.

11 days 3 climates , 3 countries and a really BIG suitcase!!

Plaza de Espana!!
After leaving Spain we flew to London ! We met Kevin my oldest son . He works for an international construction company and was on R&R to take a test in England.We were right in the middle of the Olympics and again WOW!!!!  Hats off to London ! The UK was amazing and we watched 1 live event !! The pubs were wonderful and Hyde Park was so crowded I couldn't stand in line anymore.  New tourist mistake new shoes LOL and the most painful feet in the world.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with Sick Cells ?
Ashley did her field research in London and I met one of the most amazing women. The director of a SCA program in London that reached out to Ashley and as a result our network now reaches across the pond.
Soon Marqus will travel to the Scotland for his sisters graduation from the University of Aberdeen.
Ashley will be receiving her Masters in Social Research.

I started at the beach and ended at the North sea in Scotland .
I am forever grateful to my kids for their hard work that has opened doors and
extended branches around the world.

Please follow our documentary. Social media and the world wide web connects us .
Luv Mom!

Rebajas!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!! 50% off

London taxi

Tower Bridge London!

Phone call anyone?


Train station from London to Aberdeen Scotland!

A view from the train of a wonderful building on a pennisula in the ocean.

A building in Scotland by the University

The plaza in Cadiz Spain

Thursday, May 10, 2012

From Island to Village

Before the creation of Sick Cells, living and working daily with a chronic illness felt like being shipwrecked on a deserted island. Each time there was an episode of pain or a crisis, came the need for a short physiology lesson as to why Marqus was suffering.  

A person with a more familiar disease just has to give a one word title, and the message is received. Sickle Cell Anemia is still an Island. It stays alone in stereotypes and is still burdened with "Oh, I've heard of that, but I didn't know it did all that."  

The documentary is slowly but surely expanding our Village. The disease needs the help of the world! My daughter, Ashley, is doing her Master's thesis about Sickle Cell Disease, and is our international link.

Social isolation keeps you on that island. Please join our discussion and help us create the Village that needs to grow into a city and flow into the world. 

Release that hidden pain and suffering! Shout out! Use the Social Media links and comments and talk to us! 

We are spreading and with this mission there will no longer be castaways!!! 

Thank you for listening!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Speak Quietly So Someone Will Listen

We just finished the movie called Buck. It is a documentary about a man that trains horses naturally and was the consultant for the movie, The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford.

One of the training clinics showed a Stallion that lost its mom at birth and was revived by humans and raised by humans . The horse was then left to pasture without human contact for a long period of time. The horse was not gelded meaning castrated. When a horse is born, it is best to imprint it, in other words, touch the baby horse called a foal. You need to introduce the foal to common objects and allow it to be touched with different textures and daily items from the barn.

If it is orphaned, you should find the foal a nurse maid horse . The foal has to learn boundaries and behavior before it weighs one thousand pounds. In the documentary, the horse was unsafe for contact. It bit the trainer in the chin and knocked him down. I've seen a horse like this in real life and it is terrifying.

Sadly it is the owners fault. Almost like a child that is left to be wild and unengaged. The horse had no trust and was also purely afraid and striked out whenever possible. This horse will be put to sleep. There is no training for a dangerous animal such as that horse. The woman had 18 other stallions in her fields and cannot train them.

Sometimes, animals are a reflection of human turmoil. We took in a German Shepard that my sister-in-law found. Clearly it was afraid and did not trust other animals nor men. We found a home for the dog, and the dog went though socialization training . But we later found out it had attacked the woman's nephew and was put to sleep. My guess is that the dog was beaten, because it was very shy around men. Humans can not power over animals . Just like the horse, beating the animals into submission will not work. By no fault of their own both animals are now dead.

Abused children are in some ways like the animals they are here but did not ask to be born. They return to or are given back to the abusers because they have no where else to go. The cycle can easily continue without a better way or without a savior that is willing to rescue them.

In the movie, one woman asked, "Why didn't you just force the horse in the trailer? Why did you just take your time and coax it in humanely?" Buck answered, "I have no malice for the horse."

As humans we have so much to learn ABOUT OURSELVES . Our ideas of power and superiority can cause such pain , suffering , despair and death.

Sometimes we must whisper for others to really listen.

I thank GOD for the privilege of having children and animals. Thank you for listening.

Below, you can see the trailer for Buck. I highly recommend it as a testimony to the human spirit.