My Christmas Day Letter to Oprah…
My name is Melinda Marchiano and I am sixteen years old. When I was thirteen, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Today, I am in remission and working hard to stop childhood cancer—yes, I am writing to you on Christmas Day. If I could open my heart for you to look inside, what you would see is a whole ton of gratitude. It is this gratitude inside me that drives me to become a voice for children who cannot speak for themselves.
Oprah, CureSearch and Children’s Oncology Group state that with adequate funding, a cure is within our reach. I believe them. What you could do, by giving a voice to childhood cancer, is astronomical in scope. When children are diagnosed with cancer, 80% are at advanced stages—compared to 20% in adults. I cannot sit silently with my “cure” and allow my fellow young cancer patients to continue their battles without fighting with everything I have for their cure too. Just by raising awareness, we can all make a difference. Today is the day to begin to stop the suffering. We need awareness. We need funds for research. We need a cure. Today.
As I looked around the table today at all of my family at our Christmas feast, I could not have been more thankful. At the same time, I will admit that thoughts of the Nunn family… who lost their seven year-old son Max this past Thanksgiving Day to brain cancer…danced through my heart all day long.
Please Oprah, please do a show on childhood cancer,