A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Archive for February, 2013

What A Gift to the World

This is International Childhood Cancer Day, a day we can learn to expand our focus on childhood cancer to include not just children in our own country, but throughout the world. For me, the problems of late diagnoses, toxic treatments, late effects, shortages of medicines, and a dire lack of development of new, more effective—less invasive—treatments keep me focused on all we need to do as a country.  We have so much to do. This should not be discouraging, but encouraging. Be encouraged there is a growing army of people who know The Truth about childhood cancer. Be encouraged by becoming an individual who does their part. One way to do your part is to let our elected officials know that childhood cancer research is a top priority.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation has made it easy—like, really, really easy to contact your representatives.

Go ahead…. it takes just a few minutes, and you will know you did something to help!


 Did you do it yet???

 Please don’t read on until you do!

 If you would like to learn more about World Child Cancer:


 One way that we will be able to better treat children with cancer in the future is to gather data on childhood cancer survivors. Alex’s Lemonade Stand is doing just this. If you are a survivor, or your child is, you have an opportunity to provide vital information that will help researchers develop better treatments for kids who come along after us.

Please take the time to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand in this very important mission and pass this link on to others who might be willing to help.


When we do discover those new treatments for more cures…

what a gift we will have to give the world!

We totally fell in love with Kaiden!

 What we really need, and really want, is an end to this…

“( ) passed away on January 25, 2011 from a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor. He fought cancer for 3 years and 7 months. He was known for his compassion and kindness. He was once asked, “What would be the greatest super power that a person could have?” Ben’s response was simple, but powerful – “Forgiveness.”” 
“Even though he is nearing the end of his earthly life, he hangs on for the love of his family. Please keep them in your prayers and thoughts. No one parent should be in this position. No child should have to fight to live and especially not for 5 years, only for modern medicine to have still failed him. We Need A Cure! Too many families, too many children- It doesn’t make sense”
“Surgeon just came out for a break ( ) is doing great. Her tumors were a lot worse than they thought but praise God she has been able to remove the most difficult ones so far. The vascular surgeon is in there now reconstructing her iliac artery. She will finish removing the rest of the tumors and then reconstruct her ureters. Then she will apply the hot chemo wash to her entire abdominal cavity.”

I Want to Make All of Them Full

Grace Cover ARC Ray Romano

Definition of “Full”

Containing or holding as much or as many as possible; having no empty space


This past Friday night, I had the honor of dancing at Wish Night for Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties. I had the honor, and the great pleasure, of dancing to Becca Solodon’s original song, “Through the Fire.” Becca was diagnosed with cancer when she was sixteen, and she lost one of her legs to the beast. I have known Becca for a few years, through the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation where she now works. The most accurate way I have of telling you who Becca is…. is to tell you her photo belongs next to the word “SWEET” in every dictionary. She has dedicated her life to making a difference for kids with cancer.  She has an unsurpassed special beauty in her voice and in the music she writes and performs.

Make-A-Wish Hyatt Teddy Bear Lift


Topping off the musical talent of the evening was Wish “Kid” Jessica McKenzie, who has studied voice at UC Berkeley. Her gorgeous vocal performance had everyone on their feet clapping when she was finished.

I was overjoyed to be there! The whole evening, I kept envisioning all of the kids I have met who are fighting for their lives. Looking at the people in the room, I gave thanks for their hearts. Some of the people there were Make-A-Wish volunteers, like John MacFadyen, who was the fabulous MC for the evening.  

Some were Make-A-Wish employees, like Shanna Wasson-Taylor, CEO of Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, who was honored for seventeen years of service. I must also mention Linda McKenzie, my most incredible Wish Planner! The others were those who had paid to come, people who gave more money for auction items, and people who raised their hands to personally choose and fund a portion of a child’s wish. 

After several wishes were funded, there were no more hands raised, and John asked one more time.  We all looked at the bar graph showing there were some children whose wishes were not fully funded– and there were some that were not funded at all.  

There was a man who raised his hand…

“I want to make all of them full, ” he offered. 

Poor John, I think he nearly fell off the stage. He was speechless. The entire room of people stood and applauded this man’s generosity. It was an incredible moment! 

Full… “no empty space” 

This generous man left “no empty space” in the hearts of the children. He made them all full. With this kind act, he left no empty space in his own heart either.

…  I can “see” the kids everyone helped that evening. I “see” the moms and dads and siblings who will be blessed. 

Hope and Joy and Love are beautiful things to share; this is what Make-A-Wish does as their specialty!

Gramma & Poppy, always supportive, were at Wish Night!

Gramma & Poppy, always supportive, were at Wish Night!


Childhood Cancer survivor Becca Solodon rehearses her original song, “Through the Fire” before Wish Night for Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties. It was an honor to be there… to dance to Becca’s beautiful music, and to help make more wishes come true.


St. Baldrick’s Poetry

Beauty, Compassion, Hope, Change
Help me re-define Beauty
Turn Compassion into Action
Show the Power of Hope
Convey the Meaning of Sacrifice for Change

St  Baldrick's Flyer


World Cancer Day… “Clouds”… and Freedom

Grace Cover ARC Ray Romano



As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility. 
~Arnold J. Toynbee



My emotions drift from one place to another on this day we call World Cancer Day. My first emotion is “Goodness Gracious” (honestly, words a lot stronger than that!) There is a killer loose and wild on our Earth who strikes everywhere at once—one who leaves a trail of destruction like no other disease here on the globe we call home.  Until we trap, capture, and disable the enemy named cancer, we cannot truly be free. The People Shells we embody on Earth will forever be threatened, and perhaps even worse, our loved ones’ bodies will be threatened.

Adults do have some degree of control over preventing certain types of cancer, but for children, there is no known cause.  In my case, I ate vegetables grown organically from our garden from the time I was born, which makes me skeptical of those who are quick to suggest that the cause for childhood cancer is diet.  My hunches are that the causes are more tied to environmental and genetic factors, but hunches are just that, hunches.

Research, research, research.

I will say it again, research.

People often-times create New Year’s Resolutions; I would like to suggest we create a resolution and renew it yearly on World Cancer Day.  If each of us finds even one thing we can do, one thing we can sacrifice, to bring “peace” to the People Shells of our world, imagine.

… imagine our world without cancer.

Zach Sobeich is fighting a cancer that has no more treatment options.  This beautiful song, “Clouds,”  is his love-gift to the world. Let’s share it widely– with great hope Zach’s music will inspire our world to be a safer place where we can live without fear.


Please sacrifice, give to cancer research, support patients in their fight, and believe our efforts will lead to the extinction of cancer.


Bye Bye World Cancer Day…

Thank you Zach, for your inspiration and beauty in our world. 

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