Saturday, June 27, 2009

Please Help Ryan Hess!

I am posting this message on my bog, in hopes that you or someone you know will be able to help. Margie is a good friend of mine and is in a situation in which we all hope to never be in. Please post her email on your blogs and talk to anyone you know who would be willing to help. I know most of you don't know them, but they are an amazing family and they have been really good friends of mine.


Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you know, Ryan is currently undergoing treatment for T-Cell Lymphoma. His treatment plan looks like it will last anywhere from 4-6 months and maybe longer. With Ryan using all his sick and vacation leave, he will soon have to start using Leave WITHOUT Pay. However, he can receive donated leave from any FEDERAL EMPLOYEE (military, DEA, FBI, VA, EPA, Dept. of Homeland Security/ Justice, etc.) The more donated leave he receives, the longer we can go without having to start Leave Without Pay.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help….well, this is what you can do- PLEASE forward this to ANYONE you know (and ask them to forward it on), post the message below on your blogs (and ask friends to post it on THEIR blogs), Facebook etc. I am hoping this will spread like wildfire and that we can get the message out to as many people as possible. You may not know people who work for the Federal Government, but someone you know may know someone who does. So please pass the message along(as well as the attached family picture):


My name is Margie Hess, my husband Ryan was diagnosed on June 12, 2009 with a rare and aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since this is an aggressive form of T-Cell Lymphoma, his doctor has put him on an aggressive chemo regimen that will result in him being unable to work for the next 4-6 months and possibly longer. At the time of diagnosis he was finishing up his 1st year as a Podiatry Resident at the V.A. in Tucson, AZ. Ryan is a devoted husband and fath er of two children, Hallie (5) and Max (2). By the end of this month (June 2009), Ryan will use up the last of his vacation and sick leave and will have to go on unpaid leave. Ryan is the sole provider for our family; I stay at home with both the kids. Without him working we have no income. I need to stay home to help care for him, so I cannot get a job right now, either. As difficult as it is for our family to have to ask for help, we have realized that we must do so at this time. We were told that any federal employee (ie: military, Border Patrol, DEA, FB I, Dept of Justice, EPA etc. EXCEPT Post Office employees) can donate vacation time to be used as sick leave for another Federal employee. We would be so thankful for any number of extra paid days we can accumulate. Thank you so much.

How can you help if you ARE a Federal Employee?

Go to your HR department and request to donate leave to Ryan Hess who works for the VA. (Your HR person will know the form that needs to be filled out- each Federal agency has their own form to donate leave)

Once filled out and signed, the HR person will then need to fax or e-mail the form to:

OLIVIA McCLURE - Benefits Specialist (TUCSON V.A.)
Phone #: (520) 792-1450 x 6076
Fax # : (520) 629-1849
E-Mail :

ALSO, for those who are federal employees, please print out this message and post it in break/lunch rooms to help get the word out as well as emailing it to co-workers!

How to help if you are NOT a Federal Employee:

PASS this along to ANYONE and EVERYONE that you know and then ask them to pass the message along. Post it on blogs, Facebook...whatever you can think of.

Thanks again everyone- this will help SO much!


(E-mail to receive updates or to send a message!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Looking back at places we will miss in Tucson.

There are a few places that we will miss in Tucson and some places we are glad to say good-bye to.

One place that Kylee will miss more than I, is downtown Tucson. She would point out the window as we would drive by and say "Look Mom, New York!" Little does she know about tall skyscrapers and big cities. I will miss having the convenience of living near a big city and living among mixed cultures.

I don't know about Lam, but I am glad to be saying good-bye to the University of Arizona. The U of A is where Lam spent the first three years of our marriage, attending his internal medicine residency. The long hours Lam put in was outrageous and he had very few days off. I am really proud of Lam for his hard work and devotion in his medical school and residency.

Lam is sad to say good-bye to his job at North West Medical Center, where he worked as a Hospitalist for three years. He worked hard, but when he would come home he was off work, no pager or late night calls. We sometimes wonder if we made the right move, for him to give up a cush job to be closer to family. Lam has his busy days and nights but it is nice to be closer to family.

My hot hubby in his white coat. I can't count how many white coats Lam has been through in the last 7 years but it has been quite a few. He would have a pen leak and cause a big stain right in front of his coat. The stories I have of him trying to take out the ink stain is hilarious.

One time he tried soaking it in a bucket of bleach and water for, I think about, one week. He put it on our patio and forgot about it. I then found it and had to throw it out, since it was basically just one big rag. Another time Lam decided to use white out on this little ink stain, well that of course did not work out at all. In fact it made it even look worse. So if anyone is in need of a white coat to use for Halloween you know who to call.

I was sad to say good-bye to my first family away from home. That family ended up being some of my co-workers at Dr. Robert Leff's office. I had worked with Arizona Community Physicians as a medical assistant for three years, up until Kylee was two. I still kept in touch with them, but lately I have not been so good at it. I missed the court yard in front of the office. It was a peaceful place to sit at lunch, and take a few minutes to breath, after a hectic morning at the office.

Here is a picture of Dr. Robert Leff with Lori, his triage nurse and Keenan. Keenan is five months old in this picture.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I am still alive.

I finally have updated my blog. I know a lot of you probably thought I fell off the face of the earth a year ago. Well I am still here, alive and kicking.

We had moved from Arizona to Utah, and our items were in storage for many months. Then we moved in our home in October, and by the time I finally got the place together it had been almost six months. I then wanted to update my blog but could not find my adapter for my compact flash, to download pictures on my computer. I searched all the boxes downstairs in my basement and could not find it. Lam then finally told me he had it all along in his laptop bag. If only I would have asked him where it was in the first place, I would have updated my blog at least six months ago.

Thanks to having my cousin visit this last week, it motivated me to update my blog. She did not have her camera with her to take a picture so we used mine. For Dayna to get the pictures, I had to post the pictures on my blog for her to view. Thanks Dayna for getting me off my behind so I would update my blog. I even have an empty memory card and can take more pictures!

I have a lot to update so I will be posting one everyday for the next little while to show everyone what our family has been doing in the last year.

The Hillmans

I had the opportunity to have my cousin Dayna come visit us, while she was in town for our cousins wedding. The last time I saw Dayna was two years ago, a few weeks before Payton was born. I enjoyed our time together, even though it was for a few hours. I also enjoyed getting to know Brian a little more, since I only saw him at their wedding, which was seven years ago. Thanks Brian for helping Lam out with the grease fire on the grill. We will definitely have to come up and visit your family in Idaho.

Brian, Dayna, Sydney & Payton Hillman

Kylee with Sydney & Payton

Sydney and Kylee having their usual big good-bye squeeze. At least this time they didn't tackle each other to the ground. They had a blast playing with each other.

Dayna this picture is posted just for you. If you would have had your camera I would have not posted this. What I do for my cousin's, I will even post a terrible picture of me on my blog for everyone to see. I should have had Lam take one more picture of me with a better smile. Oh well. We miss you and can't wait to see you again.