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Enough people have asked us about how this site came together and gets updated that we thought to add a brief explanation.

In December 2000, Mary's "niece" Lexi (actually a second cousin or so--the daughter of Mary's cousin Curt) suffered a terrible fall from a second story window. As family and friends rallied in support, Mary's cousin Steve set up a Web site to aid in communication of Lexi's progress through her slow, but very successful, healing process. It is that experience that inspired us to create this Web site to help us communicate about Simon.

Thinking quickly at the end of December when Simon was diagnosed, we contacted Doug Heavrin-Brown, the designer of Mary's Web site for her Arts at Michigan office Web site. Doug generously agreed to put together a design for this site, taking the basic structure we requested and turning it into the cheery and highly functional site we are now using. We told him Simon likes rainbows and butterflies, and you can see the results!

Mary and Markus have slightly different proficiencies in Web authoring. Mary (who only knows what Doug has masterfully taught her over the years . . . ), writes "pure code", i.e., html files. She does most of the writing for the WHAT'S HAPPENING and SIMON SAYS pages. Basically, she puts a few tags around her new material, and leaves the "fancy stuff" on the page well enough alone. She's pretty good at taking a page that's working and cloning it to make a whole new page that works, too.

Markus (who taught himself to use FrontPage to create a well received Web site for his MBA core course in Organizational Behavior) created the TREATMENT and PHOTO GALLERY pages (with some tweaking from Doug). He uses Web authoring software to create more complex layouts. He also got the MESSAGE BOARD feature to work. Both Mary and Markus can write a hyperlink in a second, so it's fun to pepper our texts with places we think you all might want to visit.

Many of you have sent us links and other helpful information, which we have incorporated into this site. There are many more things we'd like to include, but we keep our editing time as brief as possible and don't get to all of it. If you do have a suggestion, you can email us at

Postings on our MESSAGE BOARD are also an important part of this page. We read them eagerly, feeling the connection to our extended and very caring family. Knowing that you are out there "listening" and absorbing some of the weight of this difficult and shocking time really helps us keep marching along. Many of you have commented on how positive we sound. While much of our strength and positive attitude comes from our ever-inspiring children, a great deal of it comes from the support we receive from so many people.

Meanwhile, the kids really do say all the amazing things we put up on the SIMON SAYS page. They delight us in more ways than we can possibly convey. Our gifts are many, and we enjoy each other and our life as a family.

SIMON'S PLACE | A Web Site For Simon Vodosek