Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Benefit for Quinn

Quinn has had an incredibly busy January - including sipping Tea at the Plaza, enjoying her first mani / pedi, hosting her first slumber party and just today, undergoing her first (and only) surgery for placement of a g-tube and a Nissen fundoplication.  I am happy to report that she is 'resting' comfortably right now, having been strong enough to bypass PICU entirely, being placed directly into a regular room post-op.  

(She's only theoretically resting though because despite her crazy day and all the medication she's been given, freely kicking her legs while laying on her back for essentially the first time apparently trumps her exhaustion!)

Cataloging her various activities this month will have to wait for now because the most special thing to happen with Quinn this month was actually something for which she was not even present.  On Saturday, my brothers, sister, best friend and our neighbors hosted a benefit in honor of Quinn.

my mom and three of my four siblings - Mary, Brian, John (l to r)
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography
the fourth sibling - and Master of Ceremonies - Rick(y)
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

the world's best neighbors.
my brother had the perfect caption for this photo:
"this was the moment the neighbors became FAMILY"
my best friend Amanda with some more of "Quinn's Crew":
Liza, Amanda, cousin Colleen & cousin Kelly
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

^  That's the only word I can come up with to even attempt to describe what went on that day.  

Those closest to us worked tirelessly (and often, tired-ly) for months to create one of the most special days of our lives.  Four hundred seventy-eight people (yes - 478!) came together to support Quinn and to support our family.  There were raffles, there were silent auctions, there were donations of every form.

And there was LOVE.  

"In Support of Quinn's Wonderfull Life" bracelets sold at the benefit
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography
the full LOLA crew
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography
a small portion of the raffles / auction items which included
a Howard Stern experience, horseback riding lessons and a private chef
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

It was simultaneously the most hectic, most intense, and most peaceful day I have ever experienced.  People we haven't seen in 10, 20 years, people we have never seen, and people we see virtually every day joined in what turned into a fete of Quinn and her wonderfull life.  

the NYPD Emerald Society played!
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography
As Brett and I noted to all of those present, while we don't know what we're doing that is so spectacular - nothing any one else wouldn't do in our situation - it's very obvious just how we're doing it.  

Our support system, well represented by the almost 500 people standing with us on Saturday, is the how.

my uber cool family <3

some of my fabulous aunts and uncles
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

There are so many people to thank that I would wind up clogging up the interwebz so I will thank the general 478 people in attendance, the 144 who made online donations and the hoards of others who helped out, who donated, who sent notes and prayers and good thoughts for the day.

And most importantly, thank you to my AMAZING siblings Ricky, Brian, John and Mary; my awesome best friend Amanda and our incredible "neighbors" (no longer the right word for these ladies!) Candace, Lauren and Michelle.  

They have refilled our reserves of strength and just in the nick of time.  It's how we got through today's surgeries and I know it's how we'll manage to get through what lies ahead.

me and Brett, listening to one of the many heartwarming speeches of the day
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography
Brett and I even managed to get through a few words at the end of the night
photo credit: Angela Marshall Photography

The list item "Love" will always remain on the To Do list - no such thing as finite completion of that - but this day was Love exemplified.

Love.  Check!

INCREDIBLE drawing of Quinn, done by one of my oldest friends -
Jen of A Mother's Touch Photography
(original image by Shira Z Photography)
defining photo of the day <3
(thank you to Lily Flanagan's for a perfect venue!)


  1. oh Eileen! the photo of you and Brett listening to the speech said a thousand words. I loved seeing all the love you received, you and your sweet family and Quinn deserved all of it. I am so thankful for your wonderful friends and family. Sending all my love to sweet Quinn today for her surgery. xoxo ,Chelsea

  2. So happy to hear that Quinn's surgery went well - I've been wondering when it would be. The benefit? Well - there are hardly any words are there? The love jumps clearly right out of the pictures! What a beautiful, fantastic show of support for Quinn and her fantastic family. I soooo wish I could have been there. Your family and friends are a precious blessing! xoxoxo

    1. Eileen & Brett, John & I felt so honored to be at the Benefit for Quinn. Eileen, your Mom, Uncle Michael and Aunt Eileen were neighbors and good friend as we all were growing up in Hicksville in the early 50's! YIKES, are we old! They were always the "Carney Kids" to my family. So, to be able to see their next generation giving, loving and caring so much was a privilege for us! Please know you are in our daily prayers, Eileen and Brett, and never forget how many people are with you as you "take each day" in Quinn's Wonderfull Life!!!

  3. Eileen and Brett all you need to remember is the word LOVE. That's what brought everyone there for Quinn and that is what will continue to get through Quinn's journey. We love you and support you and I personally thank you for allowing us to share in Quinn's journey. The both of you and the boys and ofcourse Quinn are truely amazing.

  4. What a beautiful day for beautiful Quinn!

  5. Oh my goodness.

    I stumbled across this blog in one of those weird moments of mindless internet browsing. I honestly can't even remember how I got here, but I was immediately drawn in.

    You have a beautiful family, and it's incredibly touching to see them help in fulfilling the things on Quinn's list.

    Much love from a stranger in Oregon!

  6. I wanted to tell you I'm glad for the article in people because otherwise I would have never heard about your story I live in Tulsa' OK and amazed at grace of how you have handled and impossible heart break I have read your whole blog and have cried and laugh out loud so thank you for sharing your story

  7. Hi there! I design blogs, and would love to help your blog match in beauty to your beautiful daughter! please email me at jennisajoy(at) Thanks! :)

  8. Greetings from Turkey
    Quinn, we all love you very much
    I want to kiss her cheeks for me

  9. What a strong family you are all together! and I'm bursting into tears here in Istanbul. I am looking her pictures and bursting into tears praying for this little angel to get through everything she is in now and hope you will have all the world's strenght in you to keep her on her feet and give her a wonderfull life.