This weekend marks the 33nd anniversary of 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens that killed 57 people and forever altered the local environment. While Saint Helens might be the most famous volcano in the region-it's not the most dangerous. That distinction goes to Mount Rainer, which is actually one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. If it were to erupt, the heat would melt snow and ice that could create a mega mudslide that would wreak havoc through populated areas such as Seattle and Tacoma. The last time Rainer erupted was back in 1894.
I am doing it so I can have the evening off to spend with my wife and our 4 1/2 year old daughter Lilli at her "WISH PARTY". You see Lilli has a Congenital Heart Defect and a wonderful nurse at Randall Children's Hospital nominated her to receive a WISH from the Make A Wish Foundation. So tonight (Monday), she will be the star of the show as all of our family is able to send her off in style.
What's her wish you ask? Well since she is 4 1/2 years old, she is in love with Disney Princesses. Her wish is to meet Princess Jasmine, you know, the one from the movie Aladdin? Well, the Make A Wish Foundation is sending her to Florida to spend a week at the Disney World Resort where she will have her wish granted.
For me as a reporter, it's kind of difficult to be on this side of the story. I am always the one pushing the Make A Wish stories on our crew to cover. But I take a step back and realize, the trip is for Lilli, I am just lucky that I get to escort her. We will board a plane Tuesday morning and I am sure have the time of our lives before we come home late next Monday night.
So you could be asking why did he say "take my next three weeks for example". That is because as soon as we return we start preparing for what will be two of the hardest weeks of our lives. Early next Tuesday morning, we will go to Randall Children's Hospital for Pre-Op labs and then early Thursday morning, Lilli will undergo her third open heart surgery. She had her first surgery at just nine days old and her second at 4 1/2 months old. It's hard on all of us but mostly for Lilli and like any daddy would say, I wish I could take her place.
They tell us this is a "simple procedure", but how do you tell your little girl that? A little girl that is always on the go and who loves to bounce and run. How do you tell her that for the next month, you are going to have to go slow? It's going to be rough, and that is putting it simply.
I hope to be back with Portland's Afternoon News starting May 27th and it will be very hard to stay away from the day to day news gathering. I can't thank my colleagues at KXL enough for the support and love they have shown me and my family as we prepare for this event. I also can't thank Make A Wish of Oregon enough. There is no way I can ever repay them for what they are doing for Lilli. It is a pretty amazing experience and I look forward to working with them in the future to help other children with life threatening conditions receive their wishes.
And a big thanks to you, our listeners. You listening help me have a career and a job I love coming to everyday. I look forward to speaking to you again at the end of May when life gets back to normal.
Portland's Afternoon News
FM News 101 KXL
KXL is going ‘On Tour,’ Tuesday, June 4th at 7pm. It’s our chance to meet listeners in the Bing Lounge, and your chance to see what ‘we really look like.’ (Be careful what you wish for...LOL) KXL talk show hosts, news anchors and reporters will be on stage for an evening of conversation and ‘behind the scenes’ experience.
Steve, Rebecca, Lacey, Dan, Lars, Clyde and Mike Turner will be taking part in this first ‘tour.’ It will be emceed by KGW’s Stephanie Stricklen.
We’ll be giving away tickets all day every weekday in May. We hope to see you there!
I first learned of this story thanks to an ad in the Willamette Week that Stewart had bought, pleading with the thief to return the pieces, no questions asked. I called Stewart and learned a little more about him that really touched me. The two pieces that were taken were two of his favorites. One actually belonged to his wife...he didn't actually paint it for her but she loved it so much she claimed ownership. I learned how much art means to Stewart...that even though these pieces aren't self-portraits exactly, there is always a piece of him in his artwork. He went on to tell me that when he learned the pieces had been stolen, it felt like part of his soul was taken. I am not an artist myself but when he told me how much his love for drawing means to him, and how it actually saved his life seven years ago when he was going through a really depressing time, it made me want to help. His story was featured on Portland's Morning News, you can also see the pieces here, as well as get Stewart's contact information if you know anything about the missing pieces.
Hopefully you know something about this stolen art, and together we can help Jason Stewart.-Lacey