A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Archive for October, 2012

What I Know About Lance Armstrong

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


In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

~ Robert Frost



Thank you, Mr. Frost. Sadly, this applies to cancer as well. “It goes on.”

Two and a half years ago, when I was beginning the publishing process for my book, I began sending out requests for endorsements.  I found it fascinating that this was one of the very first steps; I found it fascinating that authors receive their endorsements from sending out the first couple of chapters before it is even edited, before the book is even complete.  I soon learned reasons why this is so.  People have very busy lives, and reading an entire book is beyond what most will invest for an endorsement request. Secondly, it takes a very long time to retrieve the endorsements from the requests before an author can compile their advanced praise for their work.

What I learned about human nature was one of the most valuable gifts that I received from being involved in the book endorsement process.  Responses were nearly all genuine and caring, even when people were “too busy” to take a look.  Each time that Grace would receive an email with an endorsement, I would be thrilled.

I remember the day clearly when an email arrived– not just any email– an endorsement for Grace from Lance Armstrong! What this meant to me, and what this still means to me, is something beyond our worldly vocabulary. I had read Lance’s book, It’s Not About the Bike, during my cancer treatment and received strength from it for my fight.  I had admired and respected his compassion and dedication to create LIVESTRONG.  Personally, I knew many survivors who had been helped tremendously through LIVESTRONG’s navigation services.  I knew of, and was grateful for, LIVESTRONG’s programs that teach children in schools about cancer.  Reality called and I also realized that Lance Armstrong was a “celebrity,” which meant the chances of him ever looking at anything that Little Ol’ Childhood Cancer Patient Melinda wrote were slim to none.

Was I ever wrong about that last one!

“In her book, Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery, Melinda Marchiano offers an honest and inspiring portrayal of her cancer experience through the eyes of a teenager and proves there is medicinal value in love and laughter. Melinda and I share a common bond. We are survivors. And we believe in the importance of empowering fellow survivors to live life on their own terms. By sharing her story, Melinda is giving a voice to this global epidemic that needs immediate attention. I am grateful to Melinda for having the courage to speak up and for her generosity in helping others fighting cancer.”

—Lance Armstrong

It is true that Lance and I share a common bond.  As survivors, we share an understanding.  As survivors, we share a passion to help others through the nightmare that is cancer. As survivors, we work to continue to “empower fellow survivors to live life on their own terms.” As survivors, we step up to the challenge of “giving a voice to this global epidemic that needs immediate attention.” 

What I do know about Lance Armstrong is that he is passionate about helping cancer patients— even young cancer patients who write books with the hope of helping others. 

What Lance Armstrong has created through LIVESTRONG is nothing short of a treasure of services for people who want to survive.  For some, these services mean the difference between life and death. LIVESTRONG services are vital.

This is undoubtedly a difficult time for everyone at LIVESTRONG. I want to send my sincere thanks to you for your outstanding work, and to encourage you to continue ahead with pride for all that LIVESTRONG provides and all that LIVESTRONG accomplishes.  You have my continued support.


What I also know now about Lance Armstrong is that he wants LIVESTRONG to LIVE ON.  Lance chooses to save lives.

Me too…

LIVESTRONG Leader Assembly March 2012

Thank you LIVESTRONG, for 15 years of serving the cancer community!

“Failure Is Not An Option”

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







May the children suffer no more….may parents forever have their children…may all who turn a blind eye and think that this will magically happen by itself have their minds and hearts opened to who will actually propel change- them…us…you…me… ♥ ~Melinda


This is an excerpt from PAC2’s interview with Kathleen Ruddy, the Executive Director of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  This year, St. Baldrick’s has raised over $32 million dollars for pediatric cancer research. I cannot mention fundraising and St. Baldrick’s without giving a huge shout-out to ladies I love with all my heart, the 46 Mommas. I love how Kathleen Ruddy compares the mission of winning the “war” on childhood cancer to previous U.S. ambitious missions, like going to the moon…

In 1961, when President Kennedy challenged America to send a man safely to the moon and back by the end of the decade, he didn’t say, “but only if we stay within a certain budget.”  The goal was the moon, and the reason to shoot for the moon was to expand human knowledge, extend man’s exploration, and advance science.  He also acknowledged it would be hard and expensive.  We have no less ambitious a mission, and probably a more difficult one.  It’s also more precious as our children’s lives depend upon it and with them, our future.  

The notion of shared sacrifice is something our organization was built upon.  The World War II generation understood that each citizen must work and sacrifice together to achieve victory.  Our country came together again to win the space race.  It’s time we pull together again to finally win the war on cancer, and ensure that children fighting cancer not only survive, but thrive. 

This excerpt makes me think of a lot, including my brother Nicholas. When he was ten years old, someone asked Nicholas what his favorite movie was.

He quickly answered, “Apollo 13.”

(Yes, the person’s jaw dropped as he pondered the uniqueness of this ten-year-old’s choice in movies!)

 My brain dinged and chimed with quotes from Apollo 13 as they spun like pin-balls and connected to the world of childhood cancer…

 ***Funding for pediatric cancer research is critically low. Children have NO VOICE.

 “Houston, we have a problem.” ~Jim Lovell

 ***Far, far too many children are being tortured and taken away…

 “So long Earth. Catch you on the flip side.” ~Jack Swigert

***Kathleen Ruddy is correct. If our country will pull together with meaning, purpose, focus, and sacrifice, we can win the war against childhood cancer.

“With all due respect sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.” ~Gene Krantz

***With seven children dying each day from cancer in the United States, it absolutely must be time—right now—to pour money, time, sweat, and guts into ending childhood cancer. We must treat this reality with the urgency it requires. Because…

“Failure is not an option.” ~Gene Krantz

Failure really is not an option. Warriors, like Lane, continue to fight while we either decide to act, or stand aside.

United States Flag for Lane Goodwin

Update for Lane:

“This morning has been a little better. Lane is a lot more lucid & calm 🙂 God is working really hard through Lane, us & others to bring awareness/funding/ cure to Childhood Cancer! We had a wonderful visit with Congressman Ed Whitfield, District Director Michael Pape & Field Representative Edward West. Lane was sleeping but he was excited to get the US Flag that was flown over the Capitol in Honor of him. We will have a big announcement this weekend :)”

Please feel free to copy, paste, and tweet!

We call the #NumberOneDiseaseKillerOfChildren in the U.S. #Rare #SoundsPrevalentToMe #ChildhoodCancer #FundPediatricCancerResearch



This Symphony will be a Masterpiece– “Music” to Change the World


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

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.

Always remember, you have within you the strength,

the patience, and the passion to

reach for the stars to change the world.”
~Harriet Tubman

Patience is a tough one. We live in the age of The Instantaneous, which makes patience even more difficult to learn, being direly devoid of societal examples. But, anything worth our time and attention also requires our patience. I say this as I think of Mike Gillette, who has been pouring himself into the production of the childhood cancer documentary, The Truth 365. This project is not only enormous, it is delicate. Maybe it is because of this delicacy that it has never been done like this before. The World of Childhood Cancer is a sticky, tricky place to step into. Further, the thought of gathering information from diverse sources and compiling it into a visual call to action for pediatric cancer research is overwhelming to me! His task is nothing short of Conducting a Symphony. Only someone with tremendous love and passion would take on such a task—only a dreamer. Without a doubt, after meeting and working with Mike, I know he is a dreamer. Without a doubt, he has the “patience and passion to reach for the stars to change the world” of childhood cancer.

Our impatience tells us, “Hurry up and release the film!!!” Wisdom takes over and lets us know that there must be very good reasons for the wait. As this project has developed, it has taken on a “life.” There have been surprises and opportunities arising each day, and I trust Mike completely—which means patience. I admire his patience in choosing to make this film the best it can possibly be, and making the priority the children, instead of the awaiting, impatient audience. I will be the first to admit that I cannot wait to see it; I cannot wait to share it. When impatience knocks, I envision Mike juggling all kinds of things I could never imagine, and my selfishness shamefully subsides. Mike loves the kids, and his vision, compassion, and passion will be clearly evident when The Truth 365 is complete.

Thank you to all of the families, childhood cancer patients, siblings, doctors, teachers, and volunteers for your contributions of time and for your outpouring of support for this project. I patiently await the masterpiece I know will be arriving, via Mike Gillette, our Change the World of Childhood Cancer Conductor. 

Blessings to you Mike. May mountains move… all for our dearly loved children.

“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.”       ~ John Burroughs

*** Thank you to Carina Corral and KSBY for your continued support to help children with cancer!


Go Lane! Fire Department New Albany, IN

More and more support for Lane Goodwin!

Someone showed their love for this little boy by making him a Halloween Costume that included his wheelchair!

Update for my last post– Justin’s Tribute to Avalanna 9-29-12


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