A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Dear Oprah,

My name is Melinda Marchiano, and I am 16 years old. I will admit right up front in this message that I am desperate for you to bring attention to a cause– childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children, and I discovered– at 13 years old– what it is like to fight cancer. The reason for my desperation is not because I need or want anything for myself, but because I need you to make the choice to give childhood cancer a Voice.

Childhood cancer is overlooked, underfunded, and grossly misunderstood. The NCI and American Cancer Society give little of their time or resources to childhood cancer. The eleven drugs used today to treat children with cancer were all developed before the 1970’s; we absolutely must develop new targeted treatments that cure, yet are far less toxic (for example antineoplastins and oncolytic virotherapy.) With the research tools that are widely available now, enormous strides toward this goal are highly possible—with adequate funding for research.

By now, your producers must be shaking their heads, thinking, “Wow, this girl really means it.” I wonder what the thought is that comes after that. Is it, “What are we going to do about this?” Or, is it, “Wow, is she ever dreaming?”

I have people posting on my Facebook wall, telling me that writing to you is a “Big waste of time.” Even if your answer is no, I do not view writing to you as a waste of time. I truly believe there is goodness in you that will cause you to open your heart to this passionate plea. I have to try. Do you know why?

Children are suffering.

Children are dying.

Here is the thing; it does not have to be this way!

Let’s round up The Giving Pledge with childhood cancer experts to create an everlasting Pledge for a Safe Cure for all Children with Cancer.

We can do this. Let’s do it.


Not giving up hope,


A seven year-old boy named Max Nunn taught me about advocating and raising money for childhood cancer research. Max said, “I mean it!” Thanks Max for still teaching me– all the way from heaven.

Thank you for your lessons, Max!


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

Comments on: "Wow, This Girl Really Means It!" (4)

  1. sheila overstreet said:

    so glad u r doing well….yr so lucky u got a really curable cancer ….if u had 2 get one know i cople guys who got this in ther early 20 ies and now in there 60 ,s…know ppl in their 40 and 50 <s and 60 who have beat it too. for 20 or more years……What about the ones that r not curable ……..know too guys who got it when they was earley 20 ies now is in the 60 ies actually alot ,so what about the ones who have the bad cancers……..ur sweet and young but what about the ones who get the real bad cancers ..not curable ones!What r u trying 2 do about this other that promote ur book and get on Opra you really have no idea i saw ur pics …u have no idea what i have seen and witnessed…….Opra isnt the answer ..the cause of the cancer in children is ..and how we can protect them check out the Cancer cluster in the ohio town…look it up ..goverment cover up…..Hope this comes out as a private message ..u need 2 think if ur serious…..

    • 1ballerina said:

      You have great points to make. All types of cancer are bad! I would love to be able to advocate for every type of cancer and every person with cancer, but what I have found is that it is best for me to focus on one area– childhood cancer– so that I can have the very best chance of spurring change. The reason I am writing to Oprah is that I am a “Soldier” in the Facebook Army and movement of over 52,000 people who are writing to her each day as part of our way of letting her know how important (and overlooked) childhood cancer is. I agree with you that Oprah is not the answer to a cure for childhood cancer, but I believe– absolutely– that her voice reaches many, and she has the ability to raise major awareness which will save children’s lives. Early detection would be one huge gain!!!!!
      If you read my letters, you will notice that I do not want to be on Oprah, I want her to gather childhood cancer experts (which I am not!) and members of the Giving Pledge (which I definitely am not!!!) to create a Childhood Cancer War Machine.
      Please keep doing all you are doing to help people with cancer and I will too!

  2. Just re-tweeted your link to this post. I am so glad that you mean it.

    I hope Oprah will, too.

    Thank you.


    • 1ballerina said:

      Alex… grateful that you mean it too!
      Bless you for sharing and bless you for caring!

      Big hugs,


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