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Charlie’s Grandma

By August 22, 2016 No Comments
Charlie's Grandma

by Robbie (Mia) Faught

I was having lunch with my son at his Austin Vet Clinic on May 30, 2012 for his birthday when the phone rang and the office manager told me Angela wanted to speak to me.  I answered and Angela said, “Mom, are you sitting down?”  I knew it wasn’t going to be good.  She said Charlie has a tumor.  It is about the size of a Coke can.  Angela kept talking but my mind was whirling.  I told her I would be there as soon as I could pack some clothes and get on the road.  My son told me not to think the worst till we knew more.  I was racing with the impending darkness.  I met up with it as I reached I-10.  Thankfully I made it to the Dina’s house and Mike met me there.  As he brought me up to speed, he said the word CANCER!  I hadn’t wanted to hear that word, but there it was falling like a brick on my heart.  I went to Texas Children’s the next morning and saw my precious grandson smile and say,”Mia” as only he can.  After days of tests and examinations, Charlie was diagnosed with a stage four tumor and satellite cells on his left collar bone.    Charlie would have chemo, radiation, a 19 hour surgery and a 6 hour surgery, and stem cell replacement.  That precious little four year old went through it all.  Angela and Mike were so positive and encouraging.  I think they gave Charlie the confidence and power to do all he had to do.

I felt the place I could help the most was with my 10 year old granddaughter, Caroline.  I made plans to stay with her in Houston and keep life as normal as possible for as long as it took.  Normal it wasn’t.  She and I are very close but she missed her family.  She was either a celebrity or felt invisible.  She was mad or felt guilty.  Angela and Mike made every effort to be at any function in which she was involved even if only for a short time.  I don’t know about other grandmothers but I feel extremely close to my grandchildren and I wanted to know everything that occurred.  Being there made that possible.  I would have gone crazy if I’d stayed in San Angelo.

The friends and neighbors were unbelievably caring.  They signed up to bring food, have prayer vigils, make donations, and buy Tshirts and bracelets.  Charlie’s Angels was born with Philippians 4:13 as its motto.  From even before Charlie was diagnosed, a grand plan was planted by God and continues to be carried out.   We came to find out that only 4% of all money given to cancer research goes to juvenile cancer and so the need for a foundation to raise funds for more research came about. Aggie football player, Johnny Manziel, helped promote that foundation by telling the Heisman audience about his hero, Charlie Dina.  The messages and requests for Tshirts and bracelets poured in.  The entire neighborhood was on fire for juvenile cancer research in the name of Charlie Dina.   What is so amazing is that these friends have never lost that zeal and are working with the Dinas to see that Turn It Gold goes national.

There are so many instances that just simply couldn’t come together without God’s Hand in it.  What makes me happy is that my children have acknowledged that from the beginning.  As a Christian mom, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing your child has a strong faith.  My son-in-law’s faith has been a great compliment to Angela’s and they’ve found strength in each other.

God just continues to open doors to spread the word about the need for more routes to a cure.  I pray a cure is found for all cancers soon.  I feel God has blessed Charlie and our family however I still hold my breath until I hear the results of scans, “no evidence of disease.”  So far he’s beaten the odds. Everyday with my children and grandchildren is such a blessing.  Everyday is a gift from God.

Life’s Interruptions

Two thousand, twelve  started out great

Celebrating birthdays, holidays, and not knowing our fate.

As no stranger to life’s interruption

We’ve learned better than to jump to the assumption

That nothing can happen to us.


My favorite saying has always been,

“Life is what happens when you are making other plans.”

Most of the time the example of its manifestation

Brings me to a road I’d rather not have taken.


That is what happened May 30th, John’s Day

The celebration broke up like chalky clay

When we received news of a tumor

Crying and wishing it was a rumor

But it wasn’t; it was real.

Darkness and gloom was all I could feel.


I immediately loaded up, though late

To travel in the darkness.

Something I hate!

Partly to help in any way I could

But also to be close so that I would

Know where things stood.


The diagnosis was grim.

It seemed dependence on Him

Was our only hope

And the more we believed

The more love we received.

God’s miracles were always giving us a poke.


The year was filled with treatments galore.

My precious children never knowing what was in store.

Both parents trying to juggle

Their lives were always a struggle

But rarely did they complain.

Keeping positive was their refrain.


Even in the midst of  this storm

God’s Blessings made us feel like His arms

Were wrapped around us tight

And made it possible to never give up the fight.


Incredulously the family became renown.

I was even recognized as I went around town.

I am so thankful I could be near

So the outpouring of love I could see and hear.


Even celebrities took up the cause

To get Charlie well without any flaws.

The A&M quarterback led the charge

And made Charlie a famous patient at large


Praise God the great news finally came

That the tumor was now tamed

And not evident any longer

And Charlie got continually stronger.


The constant watch will never be over

But our faith tells us God will hover

Over us through the years ahead

Keeping us in His stead


Out of all this misery came a foundation

To show awareness over the nation

For research to find a cure

So that children may not endure

The treatment of this horrible disease.

Each September the story will be told



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