A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Archive for October, 2010

KSBY 6 TV Helping “Clicks” to Save Kids Lives

My deepest respect and my sincere gratitude go out to Carina Corral and to my hometown KSBY 6 TV in San Luis Obispo, California for being the very first reporters to air a story focused on the ever-growing “Oprah, Please Do A Show On Childhood Cancer” Facebook page. I have always appreciated the physical beauty of this area I have lived in my whole life, but I have to tell you that this is the first time that I am struck by how blessed I am to live in an area where people truly care for one another.

Carina, you reported exactly what I would have chosen for the most important points!

#1 Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of our children.

#2 80% of childhood cancers are found after the disease has progressed to advanced stages!

I truly enjoyed my interview with you, and I cannot even express how much it means to me that you listened with an open mind and heart to this huge problem. Thank you for making childhood cancer important. KSBY TV, I pray you have started a tidal wave of stories across our nation, and I thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!


Video link:


If people knew what childhood cancer really is, if parents knew early warning signs, if we had screenings, if we had adequate funding for research, if we shared ALL of our information…


We can do it together. No “ifs.”

We better start immediately and kick our steps into Warp Speed. Children are suffering and children are dying. Yes. Now!



KSBY 6 Interview– Oprah Facebook Page Movement for Childhood Cancer

When I decided to put all of those scribbles in my spiral notebooks into book form, I was entirely motivated by the belief my story could help others. This belief didn’t come easily. It took several times of being asked to speak at events before I realized how what I have been through needs to be shared. Now that Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery  has been  released, I see even more why God kept tugging on my heart– asking me to pour it into this project. There is nothing that makes me feel better on this Earth than being able to help someone else (okay, dancing is really, really close!) When other kids who are going through cancer, or their parents, contact me to ask for help with something, I gasp with amazement at how God can use something utterly horrendous and use it to bless those He loves. Wow. Double WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel change today. I feel hope today. My day began with an interview with Carina Corral of KSBY 6, San Luis Obispo, CA. We A Scarf for my Child Life Specialist, Jaynietalked about how this incredible movement has begun with parents, friends, and loved ones whose lives have been affected by childhood cancer. An amazing woman named Christine started the Facebook page, “Oprah Please Do A Show On Childhood Cancer” out of her loving care for her friend and her friend’s son who are both battling cancer right now. There is SO much that needs to change.

Did you know that when adults are diagnosed with cancer, only 20% of them have advanced stages of the disease and when children are diagnosed, 80% have advanced cancer. Many, many times, children are originally misdiagnosed (Hello, me!) and this leads to valuable time wasted and terrible progression of their disease.

Also, childhood cancers are different from adult cancers. Adult cancers are sometimes caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking and diet, but the causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown.

I am extremely grateful to Carina and to KSBY 6 for recognizing the HUGE need to air this information. We MUST do everything we can to put a stop to the #1 disease killer of our children.  My heart is bursting with gratitude, and hope is flying out!

The Garron Family’s $30 Million Donation for Pediatric Cancer Research

Where have you been??????

He he, just a little humor for this Tuesday afternoon. Where the heck have I been?

One thing I surely do not want to forget to tell you is some incredible news I heard today about a HUGE donation for childhood cancer research.


Yes, $30 million dollars has been donated by the Garron family to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. The Garrons lost their son, Michael Garron, after he battled cancer for ten years– from the time he was just three years old. It has been thirty years since his death, but his family has not forgotten him. Their donation in his loving memory is believed to be the largest private gift ever for pediatric cancer research.

Knowing that there are outrageously generous and kind people who are committing themselves to taking vital roles in supporting childhood cancer research is VERY inspiring! I wish I could put my arms around the entire Garron family and squeeze them:)

I know what their gift means to so many families. I imagine that watching your child suffer is worse for a parent than suffering themself. I am so sorry for the Garron family’s loss of their son so early in life. I am so sorry Michael had to suffer so much and for so long. I am touched to the very deepest part of my heart that the Garrons expressed their love for their son, Michael, in a way that will bless other sick children until the end of time.

If there was any way possible to express my thanks, it would have to be something like this:

Write Michael’s name across the sky and blow him a kiss up toward heaven.

Barnes & Noble and Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

I am very excited about my first bookstore book signing tomorrow at Barnes & Noble on State Street in Santa Barbara.


One of the things I am most looking forward to is seeing my “Santa Barbara friends”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mom talked with Jaynie, my Child Life Specialist, this past week, and she is going to come– and I think she might even bring Rowan!

Who is Rowan?

Rowan is a 122 pound Leonberger and incredibly amazing therapy dog:) I can’t begin to tell you how much healing that Rowan brought to me as the chemo dripped into me.

I love Rowan!

It will be so much fun to see everyone. I hear that dearly loved Dr. Dan will be coming by with his family and guess who else said he will come by?

My mentor, who, without his splendid information, I would not be signing anything tomorrow– or seeing any of the people I love.

Thanks Matt.

Also, without my amazing, loved bunches and bunches, medical staff, there would not only be no book, there would be no Melinda:)

Amazon UK and Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Amazon UK and Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.

Amazon UK and Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

I was telling my mom on the way to dance today about how I find it so “funny” that people I don’t even know are buying my book. I realize that that is what is supposed to happen, but it’s still a mind-boggling concept. I received a beautiful message today on my Facebook page from a lovely woman who is fighting her battle with cancer right now. She told me that her brother bought my book for her. It was evident from her note that she is a wonderful writer. It’s hard for me to put into words how I feel about what she told me. All I can say is that her words made me grateful for every single drop of blood, sweat, tears, and chemo that it took to create my book. I am humbled by how God can use utterly horrid events and turn them into something that can help others.

Only God.

I would like to share the very first review for Grace on Amazon.UK:

A truly engaging and uplifting book eloquently and powerfully written with complete honesty and humour by a most courageous young lady. A book of words which do not hide the struggles cancer brought into her life but also words of hope, joy and absolute love. A book whose words left an imprint on my heart, whose words made me both laugh out loud and cry but above all reminded me what it is like to live life with my heart. It is more than a book, it is a gift of lessons to us all.

Made my mom cry happy tears:):):)

One more thing I just have to share… I keep telling you what a caring and kind person Jeff Foxworthy is. Here is proof:)

 Thanks Ellen!


Giggle! So funny Ellen, and way to go on the whole patience thing Jeff!!!!!!!!!!!!

BookPageXTRA Ad for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Happy Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to share with you this BookPageXTRA ad for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.

BookPageXTRA Ad:


I am looking forward to sharing at an expressive writing class tomorrow afternoon for cancer survivors called Lifeline. Susan, the lovely woman who teaches this class, extended this invitation a couple of months ago. It seemed like it was so far off when she invited me, but lo and behold, time flies once again! This will be great fun to not only be with survivors (I call these folks “My People”,) but also to be able to share the process of writing and creating Grace.

I had asked Bryan at Greenleaf a few months ago if I could keep the first page proofs. For some reason, they had to keep them for awhile, but last week, I received them. I will love adding these to my collection of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery  building blocks. I plan to bring my spiral notebooks with all of the scribbles that my mom deciphered and typed into book form. I plan on bringing the very first proof copy of my first edition of  Grace.  And then, I have to bring an ARC…. oh, and also I should bring the eight different cover designs Greenleaf designed for me to choose from.

I think I better get out a big box and start piling these things in it!

Grace has Arrived!

Amy Grant and Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Hi everybody:) Do you like my new WordPress “look?”

I am feeling very colorful these days!!!!!!!!

Last night, a new-found friend whose name is Karen handed Amy Grant a copy of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery  at a “Meet-and-Greet” backstage after her concert. Karen’s son is fighting cancer for the third time, and she– like me– is on a mission to get help for children with cancer. Every drop of awareness and every drop of our efforts will gather together in a river that will lead to an ocean of hope. It makes me think of a quote from my book:

To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.

– Chinese Proverb

And so…

We will keep on stepping.

And stepping

And stepping

With people like Dr. Joshua Schiffman receiving new grants for research, and with dedicated people like Karen who “step” daily, we will reach our goal of eradicating childhood cancer (and all cancer) from the face of this planet.

I believe.


Max Nunn

Can you imagine needing a medicine for your child that is the last resort? Imagine that everything possible has been done for your child, but there is this one drug that just might offer hope? Would you do everything possible to get that medicine for your child?

Max Nunn is that child and his family and his friends are doing everthing possible to help him.


Please read this story and do whatever you can to help Max.

Guess what?

Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery is #45 on the:

Amazon Bestseller in Living with Cancer & Other Illnesses:


What I pray is that my story will help children like Max. Why does there have to be so much “red tape” and rules and regulations when we are talking about the life of a child?

Cut the tape. Get Max what he needs. If his parents and doctors want this, no one and no thing should stand in the way.

On your team, Max.

Oprah Please Do A Show on Childhood Cancer FB Page Hits 35,328

Will you be the one who makes the page show 35,329 “Likes”?


There are rumblings… the media is beginning to take notice. I wonder how many local  news stories will have to air before national stories air and then, finally, I wonder when Oprah will hear about our plea. I wonder what her response will be when she hears it. Please help all of us who are passionate about helping children with cancer to grow this Facebook page.

My time speaking with a cancer support group today at Hearst Cancer Resource Center was uplifting for me. When I meet survivors, I am always struck by their enthusisam for life. It never fails. What we all share with each other goes far beyond chit chat to a whole new level of awareness. Survivors are seriously amazing people. If you know a survivor, have they inspired you to “go for the gusto” in life? Have they taught you that each day is a gift we are given and taught you how we can choose to share our daily gift?

Can you see God’s light shining straight from their spirit?

I can. Thank you God.

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