August 2003

August 3, 2003 (see pictures)

Sorry for the long delay in updating Kaitlyn’s Journal, but we’ve been busy, this is a good thing!  In May Brad and Kaitlyn went on the Indian Princess Spring Campout. It isn’t really “camping” but more like staying in a cabin with all your meals provided, but it was very fun. On Cinco de Mayo the First Annual Kaitlyn Langstaff Golf Tournament was held at Silver Creek Country Club in San Jose. Our friend Kristin Mills organized the entire event which benefited Kaitlyn and will help greatly with her medical expenses.  More than 75 people played and it was a fantastic day! Also in May Kaitlyn was the Honorary Captain for a San Jose CyberRays women’s soccer game along with Brandi Chastain.  This Spring Kaitlyn was the Assistant Manager for the Purple Panthers Bobby Sox girl’s softball team alongside friends Jackie Morris and Kris Anderson. She attended each game wearing a full uniform and helped to cheer her friends on.

In June Kaitlyn’s school held a special “I Am Courage” Assembly featuring friend and ALS victim Don Altier and Kaitlyn. They each spoke about the courage they’ve had in surviving their diseases and Kaitlyn answered many questions from the kids in the audience.  Kaitlyn went to A Writer’s Camp in June and now wants to try and get published.  We are all enjoying the summer now that school is out. Kaitlyn attended Technology Camp at the California School for the Blind in Fremont, CA where she learned to access the Internet and most importantly e-mail using JAWS, a special screen reader for the visually impaired. She also learned to use a new tool called a BrailleNote which she will be receiving when school starts. The BrailleNote is a small and portable device with a Braille keyboard and Braille and/or speech output. It is often compared to a "Palm Pilot" type PDA for sighted people. It will allow her to type on the machine using and have what she has written read back to her in Braille. She can also print out what she has written in print or Braille. She is very excited to start using this new technology.  Our family also attended the Enchanted Hills Family Camp for families with blind children in Napa, CA sponsored by the Rose Resnick Lighthouse organization. We spent three days riding horses, swimming and doing lots of arts and crafts projects.  We got to meet a lot of other families with blind children.  We also adopted a 10 week old black kitten on the ride home, it is a long story…  But now “Phoebe” is the newest addition to our family of two dogs, two cats and a gold fish

We have not been having so much fun in July as Kaitlyn has been having some breathing difficulties. We have managed to see several plays performed by the San Jose Children’s Musical Theater and Kaitlyn has been attending Braille class.  We also went to an Oakland A’s vs. the Baltimore Orioles game. We also went to several concerts. Kaitlyn and Brad got backstage passes to see Counting Crows and John Mayer and actually sat on the side of the stage during the show! And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, the next week we were the guests of the Dixie Chicks for their concert with Michelle Branch. After the show our family was escorted backstage where we got to meet “the girl’s!”

We hope August will find Kaitlyn feeling better and breathing easier.  She is looking forward to schools starting in a couple of weeks and being a big 4th grader.