Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interest/Info Meeting...

Looking forward to seeing you at the Springfield-Burke Relay for Life Interest/Info Meeting to be held on September 17, 7pm, at West Springfield High School in Spartan Hall. Join us there before the football game to get answers, pick up Captain packets and meet the Executive Committee members.

See you there!



Monday, August 31, 2009

First Annual Beth Bryan Swim-a-thon Tee-Shirts!

All. Just got the tee shirts in and they are awesome! We will be selling them at the swim-a-thon for $12 each and taking orders for a limited time after the event.

Come to the swim-a-thon registration table with at least $50 in sponsorship $$ and get a free tee shirt!

See you Sunday night!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Swim-a-thon Update

Here is a link to the flyer with all the info you need and also a link to the sponsorship form right here.

Free tee-shirt to swimmers who register and submit at least $50 in pledges
Tee-shirts will be available for purchase
Wrist bands will be available for purchase
There will be door prizes

All of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society in support of the 2010 Springfield-Burke Relay for Life

See you there!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The First Annual Beth Bryan Swim-A-Thon.

Dear Friends.

The Springfield-Burke Community has been busy working with the American Cancer Society and we have established the Springfield-Burke Relay For Life Committee. We are writing to you to invite you to participate in our first official Relay Event - The First Annual Beth Bryan Swim-A-Thon – at Orange Hunt Pool from 9-11 PM on Sunday, September 6th.

The Swim-A-Thon will give all of the kids and families touched by Beth an opportunity to work together in her name for a good cause, enjoy the pool for the last time before school starts, and have a bunch of fun doing it! We will have music, refreshments and games. The Swim-A-Thon will also launch our 2010 efforts in style – and in a way Beth would have appreciated – in the pool!

A pledge form can be found here and we would ask each participant to find sponsors for the event and set an individual goal of $25-50 each. If we all participate, we can make this inaugural event a huge success, and all the donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to the American Cancer Society. We want a great turn out, so if you know someone who might like to help out, please feel free to forward this pledge form for them so they can join us for the Swim-A-Thon as well!

We do have space limits, so if you plan to join us, just register by emailing John Ariale at springfieldburkerfl[at]gmail[dot]com with the names of the participants.

The actual Springfield-Burke Relay for Life will be held on May 14-15, 2010 and if you are interested in joining the committee, starting a team, or just learning more about the event, contact us at

We have all been touched by someone impacted by cancer. Participating in Relay, or Relay events like the Swim-A-Thon, represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

We hope you will consider joining us at the First Annual Beth Bryan Swim-A-Thon on September 6th. Please register for the event no later than August 28, 2009.

Thanks for all your support!

The Springfield-Burke Relay for Life Committee


Monday, April 27, 2009


Dear Family and Friends.

Mike has asked me to pass along to you that he and the boys have appreciated all of the meals, food, etc., over these last 6 weeks. But now, it is time for them to figure all of this out on their own.

The last official Care Calendar meal delivery will be this Friday, May 1. After that, we will discontinue the Care Calendar.

Having said that, I warned Mike that an occasional meal or baked treat might still make its way to their house. Sometimes via the Smith's (email me). But for the most part, I'll be shutting down the Care Calendar on May 2.

There will be more updates to Caring for Beth. I'm pulling together a picture slide show, I'll be posting birth dates and I know of a few other things in the works. Please check back now and then.

I can't tell you how much your love and support has helped Mike, the boys and the families. And your kind words, emails, cards, flowers, treats, phone calls and hugs have kept me going as well. Thank you so very much.



Friday, April 24, 2009

In Remembrance of Beth

Dear Family and Friends.

Mike created this beautiful Remembrance of Beth that I wanted to make sure you were all able to access. It is in PDF format. I will post it here, but will also add it to the right sidebar.

In Remembrance of Beth



Monday, April 20, 2009

In lieu of flowers...

Mike asked me to pass onto you that they would so much prefer donations as outlined below, rather than flowers, in order to fund research for this devastating disease.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center
1 Charles Center
100 North Charles Street
Suite 234
Baltimore, MD 21201

Memo line or letter should direct to Melanoma research in honor of Elizabeth Bryan.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Funeral Arrangements for Beth.

Wednesday, April 22
Fairfax Memorial
9902 Braddock Road
Fairfax, VA 22032

Funeral Service
Thursday, April 23
Church of the Good Shepherd
9350 Braddock Road
Burke, VA 22015
Reception following in the church fellowship hall

Sharing about Beth.

Dear Family & Friends.

I have been encouraging Beth's friends to share about her. Writing your thoughts, moments you remember with her, anything you would like to share with Mike and the boys, please post here or send to me by email. I'm compiling ALL of your comments and emails for the family.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


It is with the saddest of hearts that I share that Beth passed away around midnight today.

Arrangements are still tentative and I will update as soon as they are final.

Please continue praying for Mike, Andrew, Stephen, William, Carolyn & George, Tom and his family, and Mike's family.

I would like to continue with the meal Care Calendar.

Thank you so very much for loving Beth's family as you have and I know will continue to.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beth Update.

Dear Family and Friends.

Beth is coming home from the hospital later on today. I can't tell you how it saddens me to add that she will be under Hospice care.

Mike and the family continue to covet your prayers, your love, your support. For the families and friends that are far away, I hope it is a small comfort to you to know that they are surrounded by people who love them. People that are willing to do anything they need.

Your cards, letters, emails, messages, flowers, food, gifts and especially your prayers, are all so very much appreciated.


Messages to the family.

There are a couple of ways to get messages to Beth and the family.

You can leave a comment on any of the posts that are up, including this one. The easiest way to do that, is to click on "comments" at the bottom of each post, if you don't have a google or yahoo account or any of the other options list, select "anonymous". Type your comment in the space provided. Be sure to put your name at the bottom of the comment/message and click on "preview" to proof your comment and then "post comment".

Another option would be to email me your message. My email address is RussellSusan[dot]Smith[at]verizon[dot]net. (I know many of you are not as comfortable and experienced on the computer as others so let me explain that [dot] is a period and [at] is the @. When posting on a blog like this, it is always better to use the dot and at written out so that computers searching for spamming targets aren't able to instantly pick up your email address.)

I hope to be posting later today as to how Beth is doing, when she is coming home, etc.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Dear Family and Friends.

As many of you have already guessed, Beth's treatment has not gone as planned. She is still in the hospital. Beth is not up to seeing visitors, unfortunately. She is expected to come back home once her doctor feels she is stabilized. The family is asking for your continued prayer and support.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beth is still in the hospital.

She should be coming home within the next couple of days. I'll let you know.

Thanks, as always, for your prayers and support to Mike, the boys and family.



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weekend Update.

Just a quick update.

Beth is in the hospital for a short stay to get rehydrated. She'll be released soon. She is in a private room and only family is visiting.

Stephen and William have been at the beach for a couple of days. Kim...you are the best!

Andrew is staying busy with work and keeping Mike and Beth company when he's not in school.

Thank you for the continued meals, cards, letters, and prayers.

Blessings to you and yours as we celebrate Easter tomorrow.


Monday, April 6, 2009

A New Need added to the Care Calendar

All. I had an e-mail from Susan Ariale this weekend and her mom passed on a great idea.

If you go to the Care Calendar (same log ins as before) you'll see that beginning April 10, there is a new need in red lettering: Cards & Letters. Basically, pick a day to put a card or letter in the mail to Beth and or the family.

8809 Dianne Place, Springfield, 22152.

Maybe instead of a card you would like to send an inspirational poem? Book mark? Short book? DVD? CD? Just something to let Beth know she is being thought of and prayed for.

Thank you, as always, for being so willing to help. As soon as I have word of other "needs" from Mike and the family, I'll let you know.



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Food and friends.

I know it has been forever since I updated. Not much to tell, really. But I'll try.

Beth is undergoing treatment. Radiation and chemo. It is tough. Tiring. She is sleeping a bunch. Building strength and resting up for each day's treatment.

There is food all over the place in the Bryan kitchen. So...new idea. If you signed up for a meal, definitely bring the meal over. If you are not signed up, please don't bring any food over. At least for a couple of weeks. The freezer and fridge and counters are overloaded. Which is, absolutely, a blessing and very much appreciated.

I will be adding more days onto the meal care calendar. Seriously, knowing that food is taken care of each day is a huge load off of Mike. He told me today that he is just blown away by the generosity and love shown by y'all and he doesn't know how he'll ever be able to thank you. I told him there was no need to.

As of this time, there still isn't really anything they need other than the continued prayers, love, cards and letters. Beth really just does not have much energy right now and when she does, she is spending her time with Mike and the boys.

Beth did come to church this morning for a bit. She has gotten out of the house to sit outside and supervise Mike in planting some flowers this weekend.

I promise you that Beth and Mike know how much y'all want to see them and talk and visit, but they continue to covet your prayers. And really, cards and letters are a much better way to communicate with them right now.

As always, I can't tell you how much everything you have done and are doing is appreciated.



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I saw Beth for a few minutes this morning.

She looked great. She is ready for treatment to begin today. She seemed in great spirit and is ready to fight.

Keep up the prayers!


Monday, March 30, 2009


Beth starts radiation and chemo tomorrow. As far as I know, Mike is going to take Beth to her radiation treatments and she is taking the chemo in pill format from home, at least initially.

Thank you, as always, for everything you are doing and want to do. The thing Beth and family needs most right now is our prayers.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just a few things to update.

Beth is still doing well. Trying to regain some strength. Resting a lot. Still not wanting visitors. You might be able to speak to her on the phone if you call when she is awake. Please just give her, and the entire family, some time.

Regarding the food and meals, I know that right now they have a ton of fruit and desserts. The house is overflowing with flowers. If you want to bring over or send over something, please wait a bit to allow the family time to enjoy what is there now. Maybe a break until next week for the non-meal items (those on the care calendar)?

Beth seems to still be on track to begin treatment next week. As of right now, Mike and the family are going to be taking her for treatment. I will let you know as soon as Beth is wanting or needing drivers, treatment buddies, etc.

Please know that Mike, Beth, the boys and family appreciate everything everyone is doing and wants to do. They just really are trying to adjust to this new "normal".



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oncology appointment this morning.

In anticipation of beginning treatment next week.

Beth is resting a lot. She came up to bible study for an hour last night. I think it totally wiped her out.

Carolyn and George are spending lots of time with the family.

Mike is working some.

That's really all the news.

There isn't anything the family needs right now. They continue to ask for no visitors. Carolyn says thank you for the extra pounds she is now carrying as the desserts have been amazing :)

They continue to appreciate ALL of you. As do I.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Keep the cards and letters coming.

That is truly the best way to support Beth right now.

She is in the midst of doctor appointments and regaining her strength. I believe she starts radiation next week.

Thank you for continuing your prayers, love and support for Beth, Mike, Andrew, Stephen and William. I know that Carolyn and George, Beth's parents covet your prayers as well.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beth was in church this morning!

She and Mike were there for the last half of the service. She really does look great. I think the outing was just what she needed to start regaining some "normalcy". She says she is coming to bible study tomorrow night, too.

Again, Mike and Beth are very appreciative of the meals and all of the love and support. I hope to spend some time with her tomorrow and start getting a feel for how we can best support her. What they need/want in addition to meals.

Y'all have been absolutely awesome...I can't begin to tell you what this means to Mike and Beth and the boys.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beth is settling in.

She has been talking about going to church tomorrow.

She's anxious to get caught up on her Esther bible study.

She is resting a lot.

Not much to report...sorry!

Keep up the prayers, cards, letters, etc. They are very much appreciated.

Even I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record...


Friday, March 20, 2009

I spoke to Mike and had a text from Beth.

Beth walked around outside for a bit this afternoon. It was very tiring for her. She and Mike are still asking for no visitors. They know you are anxious to see her and hear more news. They are appreciative of all of the meals, cards, letters, calls, love and support. Beyond words at this point.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Beth is at home.

Just spoke to William. Beth is home and catching up on some much-needed sleep.

Beth is coming home from the Hospital today.

I know. It's hard to believe. She is up walking and doing everything for herself. It is amazing.

Not sure what time she'll be home. She hopes before lunch.

Beth is looking forward to settling back into her own home, her own bed, getting some rest and spending time with her Boys, including Mr. Baxter who has missed her dearly.

Beth's treatment will start in a week or so. In the meantime, she is supposed to rest, get her strength back up, etc.

Thank you for continuing to pray. It is definitely helping!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beth is doing great!

Seriously, she really might be released tomorrow. Which I just can't fathom.

Mike would definitely like folks to not come up to the hospital or even to the house yet. I think he will allow us to set up a schedule of sorts soon and from that we can schedule visits and help. Maybe some on-call shifts to help with whatever tasks and notes that Mike leaves for us.

I'll work on that and continue talking to Mike and to Beth and her mom, as well.

I do want you to know that Mike and Beth are completely overwhelmed and in awe of the love and support and prayers for them and for the boys. And truly, they don't even know the half of it.


I'll be sharing all of your e-mails and comments and the care calendar with them as soon as Beth is settled.

Thank you again, so very much!


Prayer, Cards, Letters and food.

Thank you so much for your excitement and joy and quick response to the news that Beth is on the mend and soon (so it appears) heading home.

The family would ask, however, that we not all rush up to the hospital to see Beth. Hard to believe she just had brain surgery yesterday and they are talking of releasing her tomorrow, but still...she will be tired, sleeping a lot, etc.

So...the best way to show the love right now is by praying still, and cards and letters and of course all of the food that everyone has signed up to bring. Seriously, the desserts have been amazing and the boys are loving them.

You all are incredible and I have to tell you that I am, like I told Sarah Ide this morning, flying by the seat of my pants here. I truly don't know what to tell y'all most of the time because I hardly know what to do myself.

Already, in just an hour, I have had so many offers of help regarding Chemo-buds and where to go for info and even some really cool offers that I will be posting about as soon as I get more info.

So, keep checking back here for updates, ideas, etc. I hope to talk with Beth's mom today about some scheduling things for next week and also to Beth to get a feel for what she will want (and more importantly NOT want) over the next couple of weeks.

Y'all are amazing. Thank you.


An update.

I had the following email from Beth's church deacon, Gary Alexander:

Just got back from the hospital. Beth has pulled through her brain surgery
with flying colors. She was released from the NeuroICU at around 9PM and
has been moved to room 356 where she is glad to be out of recovery and able
to bathe and brush her teeth. The sawbones think she will be able to come
home on Friday. Go figure. Brain surgery on Wednesday, home on Friday.
What is the world coming to.
Both Mike and Beth want to thank all those who have helped the family gain
5 lbs. each through the overwhelming support they have received. God bless you all.
On a final note. Beth will probably start Chemotherapy in three to four weeks. So, if anyone has any experience in being a Chemo-buddy, we could sure use your help.

Once we figure out life at home for the Bryan's, I'm sure there will be lots for us to do and we'll start letting you know.

If you do have any experience with Chemo, whether having gone through it yourself or supported someone while they were going through it, please drop me an email or call me so that we can talk.

Thank you again. Mike is just totally overwhelmed by the love and prayers they have received from you.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I just spoke with Mike

Beth is doing well in the ICU. They are not sure how long they are going to keep her there but are talking about weaning her off some of her iv's and getting her up to walk around a bit this afternoon.

I'll let you know when she moves to the step-down unit or maybe straight to a room.


Nothing new to report.

Beth is still in ICU.

The meals are a huge help. Your prayers even more so.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Beth is in ICU tonight. Yay! That was the original plan. She will be in there at least overnight and, of course, will be moved to a room when she is ready.

Please keep Mike in your prayers, too. This just has to be exhausting for him.

Beth's parents, Carolyn and George are also spending a lot of time at the hospital and then some time with the boys.

While Beth is in ICU, her visitors are limited. I hesitate to go up myself because I don't want Mike, Carolyn or George to feel like they need to interact with me. I'll let you know when Beth is ready for visitors. I know that you all are anxious to see her and Mike. Please be patient. Beth will need lots of company while undergoing any treatment over the next couple of months, I'm guessing.

You all are amazing and your love and support has been such a blessing.


Beth is out of Surgery!

Her surgeon said she did great. Her vitals are good. She will be in recovery for a few hours and then moved to ICU where she will remain overnight. She will be moved to a room tomorrow sometime.

Thank you all so very much for praying for Beth and the family. I told Mike and Carolyn, Beth's mom, about the overwhelming support and concern and desires to help they have received from all of you. Carolyn, especially, was happy to hear about all of the meal support, lol.

I will be in touch regarding other avenues of support as soon as the plans come together. The family is taking one step at a time, as you can imagine.

Cards and letters for Beth can definitely be sent to the house.

Thank you again, you all are so wonderful.


Beth Update.

Beth's surgery is scheduled for this morning. I'll send out an update when she is out. And some regular updates, if I have any, throughout the day.

The family has requested no visitors today so that they can focus on Beth and the family. They very much appreciate your love and prayers and support. I'll let you know when and how is a good time for visitors.

Thank you so much for being there for them. I know it is frustrating to not have a lot of information and please just keep them all in your prayers today.


Update on Beth.

Thank you to all who came to the prayer service last night. I passed on your notes to Mike last night and he will get them to Beth.

Mike is asking for no visitors today. Beth is exhausted. The family is exhausted.

Once we get a feel for when Beth will come home after surgery, we'll pull together a schedule for other support such as walking Baxter, cleaning, errands, yard work, etc.

Again, thank you so very much for the huge response to Beth and the family.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Thanks, Jill, for sending this.

Psalm 41:1-3
1 Happy is one who cares for the poor;
the LORD will save him in a day of adversity. (A)
2 The LORD will keep him and preserve him;
he will be blessed in the land. (B)
You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies. (C)
3 The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed;
You will heal him on the bed where he lies.



Beth's bible study group meets Monday evenings at 7:00 at South Run Baptist Church, 8712 Selger Drive. Tonight we are getting together for a 15-20 minute time of prayer for Beth and the family. If you would like to join us, meet us in the Sanctuary at 7:00 sharp. You are welcome to stay for the study afterwards.

Oh, it's a Women's Bible Study so...ladies only!


Mike is here!

Mike has landed at Dulles!!!

Thank you so much, Nancy, for meeting him there and getting him to the airport.

A few administrative details since I was anxious to get this up and going yesterday.

Become a follower of this blog by clicking on the "Followers" link in the right side bar.

I've set up the RSS feed link to the blog if you use readers or link notifications. If not, just check back here regularly for updates and to post your own comments.

This blog is also for you to leave comments and thoughts and prayers for Beth and the Bryan's. I will be printing out all of your thoughts and prayers and passing them on to Beth and Mike and the boys.

This blog is also for your ideas and for your help. Now that Mike is home it is our job to make sure his focus and energy can stay on Beth and Andrew, Stephen and William. There will be lots of opportunities for all of us to help. Bringing meals, donating $ for parking passes and helping with laundry and household chores are just a few of the things that I can think of. Anything that YOU think of, please post here or email me directly. I will soon be setting up a regular laundry/cleaning schedule. Baxter will need some regular walks.

Thank you so much for being so very willing to help.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, you can always email me or phone me directly.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mike is en route to Dulles.

He arrives early in the morning. A friend is picking him up at the airport and taking him to the hospital.

The boys are home. Beth's father, George will be spending the night with them tonight. Pastor Wayne is picking the boys up in the morning for breakfast and a ride to school.

The neurosurgeon will meet with Beth, Mike and Beth's parents tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your prayers for Beth, Mike, Andrew, Stephen and William.


Mike is in Dubai

Mike has landed in Dubai. I don't have a time table for his return to Springfield. Will keep you updated.

Beth's parents, Carolyn & George returned to Virginia today.

Please keep Beth, Mike, their children and parents and siblings in your prayers.