A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘46 Mommas’

“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

 

 

Hope Tour– Long, Winding Road as we Dance to the Music

 

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

 

 

 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” 

― George Harrison

 

 

If I had to choose the most spectacular drive of our Make-A-Wish Hope Tour, it would also be the day of our longest drive. It would have to be our drive from Salt Lake City to the Grand Canyon, a fourteen-hour day on the road. We left Salt Lake City early in the morning, with Herbert The HopeMobile loaded down with our freshly cleaned clothes. Mom and I were excited– really, really excited to see what wonders of nature were waiting for us to explore!

Although Bryce Canyon was a bit out of our way, there was no way we could drive past the sign pointing to the side road without turning. Mom had been there with her family when she was a teenager, and she had told me about the spectacular beauty. As we climbed out of the car and headed up a hill for our first view of the canyon, I had no idea what awaited me on the crest of the hill. It took awhile to fully comprehend that what I was looking at was real!

Bryce Canyon on Make-A-Wish Hope Tour

I watched the teeny-tiny-sized people hiking in the canyon below and wished we had more time here. I felt teeny-tiny. I felt like the whole entire world was spread out before my eyes to behold. I felt blessed to be standing there looking at a sight that appeared way too special to be viewed by mere human eyes.

Can You Hear the Music?

 

 

 

 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” Nietzsche

A dear friend sent me this quote. I love it on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin telling you how much I love it! Taken literally, it is a gorgeous way of explaining why dancers dance. Not only do dancers “hear the music,” but we need to dance when we hear it. Taken figuratively, this quote is a beautiful explanation for why there are growing numbers of people joining together to stop childhood cancer. They are people who “hear the music.” They are people who hear the call to “dance.” It makes no difference what type of “dance” they do, whether it is ballet, modern, lyrical, hip-hop, or jazz, as long as they “dance to the music.”

One extraordinary example of this is 46 Mommas. Someone with little or no understanding about the great need for childhood cancer research would look at these women who shave their heads to raise money for this cause and think that they were “quite insane.” Those who “hear the music” know that these women are not only much more deeply connected to it than the rest of us, but they are “dancing” as gracefully as they can to “the music.” These women who have a very personal connection to childhood cancer also have a clear understanding of the great need for swift, strong action. Their selfless “dance” — raising money by shaving their heads– helps those who are currently “deaf” to hear. It turns The Unaware into The Aware. Thank you to all of the “Mommas,” and to one “Sister,” Leah Mireles, for Shaving for the Brave and for raising money for St. Baldrick’s and childhood cancer research!

Road to the Grand Canyon

The Glory of Nature on the Hope Tour

Got YOU SeniorMadness!

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

SeniorMadness is trying its best to keep me far from the Land of Blogging for Childhood Cancer. Whenever a week goes by without writing a post, I feel badly because I know that childhood cancer continues its destruction.  With everything in me, I need to do all I can to stop it. 200 children around the globe are going to die today, and 600 more are going to get diagnosed.  I refuse to allow SeniorMadness to gobble my words.  I love sharing what others are doing, and I love sharing news about advances in research. 

Yesterday, I read this terrific news from St. Baldrick’s:

St. Baldrick’s announces more than $5.1 million grant to the Children’s Oncology Group! For the first time, this year’s grant will also help COG member institutions open four specific high-impact clinical trials which they might otherwise not be able to offer their patients.

http://www.stbaldricks.org/media-and-photos/media-stories/view/headline/title/St.%20Baldrick%E2%80%99s%20Foundation%20Announces%20$5,140,000%20Grant%20to%20the%20Children%E2%80%99s%20Oncology%20Group/id/1559

Clinical trials are the breeding ground for hope for a cure for cancer. While sharing about St. Baldrick’s, I also need to mention and thank the 46 Mommas for their tireless support for St. Baldrick’s. 

Speaking of research, news from Kids Cancer Research Foundation today is about T-Cells.

T-Cell therapy involves taking out the child’s T-Cells, making them stronger, and linking them to a mouse antibody that is then injected back into the child to target the Neuroblastoma (NB) cells.

The T-Cells are natural killer cells, kind of like Pac Men. The mouse antibody portion of the combination helps identify the NB cells, thereby brining the T-Cells to the Neuroblastoma cells to be killed.

Dr. Louis, from Texas Children’s Hospital/Gene Therapy at Baylor College, just published their T-Cell trial in the journal “Blood.” Out of 19 children in 2 groups, 8 children had no disease after frontline treatment. After 3 years, not one of the 8 relapsed. Frank Kalman, executive director of Kid’s Cancer Research Foundation, reports, “Numbers like this don’t exist in NB (neuroblastoma) research.”

Continuing on the subject of research, I want to tell you about a very fun activity coming up this weekend to help support CureSearch.  There is a very brave boy named Sy Sherman who has inspired his Aunt Rachel to “Kick It” into high gear to fight childhood cancer. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, please check out this great event that will take place on Saturday, October 29th.

 http://www.kick-it.org/events/kicking-cancer

Finally, I want to share a petition. (You know how much I love sharing easy, clickable ways to be an advocate for childhood cancer!)

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/keep-kids-alive-allocate-more-funds-towards-childhood-cancer-research/8ZnnxNgw

Click, click… nice… way to go!!!

And you, SeniorMadness… hee hee, got you  this time!

You "Kick It" Sy!

Mission Possible

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

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to click to help make this happen…

The Isaiah Alonso Foundation has been nominated to win a free brand makeover, ad campaign and website, provided by advertising agency Chimpanzee.  https://www.facebook.com/chimpmybrand

Voting runs until midnight EST on September 30th. Every single vote really matters!

 

https://www.facebook.com/questions/10150294239110172/

Please vote. It will only take a minute of your time.

There are many others who are dedicating their lives; I know we can take the time for a little clicky-poo to help The Isaiah Alsonso Foundation. Did you know that one of the 46 Mommas is Cheryl Alonso, Isaiah’s mommy?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Mrs. Jodie Nunn is someone I look up to and admire.  She has taught me  things about life… and I have never even met her. Jodie and her family      make me look for how I can do more to help stop childhood cancer. If  more of us become just a bit more like the Nunn’s, the Mission to stop  childhood cancer is certainly possible.

 Ms Cheryl, Ms Jodie, and all of the 46 Mommas make me know we can all  do more. We can all give more. 

 Yes… until there is not a speck of hair on our heads… if that is what is  takes.

 From Mr. Tom Nunn to his beautiful wife (and 46 Momma) Jodie:

 “I look up to Max‘s Momma more today than I thought was possible. I  am so sorry Jodie that you had to do today what you wanted to do that  I wish no Momma will ever have to do again some day. You made Lilly  and I so very proud and added even more meaning to Max’s life and  legacy than I ever imagined possible. I still hurt the same as you do too  but we have taken one more step forward to ending the monster                           little c.                  I Love You Jodie.”

 

46 Momma Jodie Nunn

Don’t Stop Believing

Here I was, sitting and thinking about the team. My friend posted Emmett’s hope flag hanging in Union Station in D.C. Instant tears, knowing that he and everything he has endured is honored and respected and he is spoken for! I love you, my Little Lion Man!

           ~Angela Williams

46 Mommas Banner in Union Station

I thought of the 46 Mommas all day today—especially when it reached 2:00 p. m. PST. I knew that a few of the Mommas would be sitting in the chairs, ready for TheBigShave. Have you imagined what they would feel like? I’m not talking about the new-found breeze on their heads, but what it must feel like inside. Each one of the Mommas has a huge reason why they are there. Somehow I know each of them would give more than their head of hair if it meant that pediatric cancer research would be fully funded. They all know that when that day comes—full funding for research—we will begin to make huge strides toward cures.

This is why they Shave For The Brave.

If you haven’t yet, please considering adopting a Momma.

Here is a video introducing each of The Amazing 46 Mommas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxJTi93URwc

Thanks for the Inspiration Anna!

“At 5:00 EST, 46 of the most beautiful women in the world will become bald. Their children had no option of losing their hair. These ladies are in D.C. at Union Station. Some have lost their children to cancer, some have children still in battle & some have survivors (but the worry never stops). Each shaved head brings awareness and money towards research and a cure for childhood cancer.”

                                                                 ~Jeri Where’saCure Geary

Thank you Angela, Anna, and Jeri. May the money raised today for St. Baldrick’s lead to what we are all working for, hoping for…

Don’t stop believing.                                        

Leaders Who Lead

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

In a world where we are lacking respect and trust for our elected officials, I have a huge breath of the freshest air you could ever imagine.

Ready?

Deep breath in…

The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation: Delaware State Representative Greg Lavelle is, again, donating his pay raise to charity. For the second year in a row, he has selected The B+ Foundation as one of the beneficiaries of his salary hike!

 Delaware State Representative Greg Lavelle – GregLavelle.com

www.greglavelle.com

Okay, now let that breath out in one great big whoooooooooooooop! Representative Greg LaVelle is a total stranger to me; at the same time, if I ever met him in passing, I would feel obligated to squeeze the ever-loving stuffing out of him (maybe I could donate that to The Blanket Fairy!)

You know me by now– always looking for those undiscovered, creative ways to help children with cancer! Speaking of creative ways of raising money for pediatric cancer research, Rally Foundation is quite clever…

Rally Foundation

I am happy to be teaming to help Rally Foundation raise money for pediatric cancer research during the month of September!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150375068436042&set=at.366729161041.189443.58432741041.100000747848829&type=1&theater

Rally Foundation and Grace $ for Pediatric Cancer Research

Blackstone Wine– Corks Against Cancer

“Blackstone Wine is donating $1 to Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research for every bottle sold in Sept/October for their Corks Against Cancer campaign! This opportunity is nationwide, go buy a bottle (or case) today, tell your friends, and share the page! Cheers!”

Rally Foundation– 46 Faces of Cancer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4YPtRk1myI

Continuing on the 46 faces theme… tomorrow, there will be live video of the 46 Mommas doing what they gathered in Washington D. C. to do.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bald-moms-rock-46-mommas

http://46mommas.com/index.php/in-the-news/press/item/press-release-sept-13-2011.html

Sleep well tonight Mommas. May you dream of a time to come very soon where each of our elected officials, and each of our citizens, place the needs of the children above their own. Thanks for leading us.

May God’s blessings rain down mightily upon you.

 

 

Right Next to Your Undies

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

 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave do not fear the clippers as they have already experienced the worst that can happen in a parent’s life. Bald is nothing to a momma but a new hairdo and the means to start a conversation and bring awareness.”

~Alyson Rich Weissman

As 46 Mommas pack their bags to fly to Washington D.C., I am thinking of each one of them. Today, I am adding each of the 46 Mommas to the nomination list for The Big Heart Red Carpet Awards for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Just in case I have not mentioned it, each of the nominees is a winner! This is not a competition. This is gratitude-filled recognition for each and every nominee!

Amber Burns Chillicothe, MO, 64601, US
Amy Brennfoerder Plano, TX, 75025, US
Amy Cagle Guntersville, AL, 35976, US
Amy Carter Arlington, TN, 38002, US
Amy Raub Grand Prairie, TX, 75052, US
Angela Atherton Carlsbad, CA, 92009, US
Annemarie Kulikowski Rockland, MA, 02370, US
Bonnie Mulieri Holbrook, NY, 11741, US
Brandy Pace Jonesboro , AR, 72401, US
Brittany Snead-Butcher Coal Grove, OH, 45638, US
Cheryl Alonso Radcliff, KY, 40160, US
Danielle Leach Arlington, VA, 22204, US
Dawn Talley Little Rock, AR, 72205, US
Deb Fuller Woodstock, IL, 60098, US
Debbie DePew New Pensington, PA, 15068, US
Debra Nickell Milford, OH, 45150, US
Diana Foley PLANTATION, FL, 33324, US
Diana Lipski Madison, AL, 35756, US
Donna Cassidy Hartsville, SC, 29550, US
Ginette Lamberti-Lacchini Staten Island, NY, 10301, US
Holly Carr Wendell, NC, 27591, US
Janet Pollok Bastrop, TX, 78602, US
Jennifer Cartwright Wichita Falls, TX, 76308, US
Jennifer Malcolm Gibsonton, FL, 33534, US
Jessica Diaz Rialto, CA, 92376, US
Jessica Jensen Spokane Valley, WA, 99216, US
Jodie Louthain Greenwood, IN, 46142, US
Jodie Nunn Morley, MI, 49336, US
Karen Singletary Cairo, GA, 39828, US
Kathleen Henry Fayetteville, NC, 28314, US
Kelli Tracy Marietta, GA, 30066, US
Kim Blue Wilkinson, IN, 46186, US
Laurie LeSage Angola, IN, 46703, US
Maggie Travers Cordova, TN, 38016, US
Melissa Whipple Canastota, NY, 13032, US
Mindi Finch Spokane, WA, 99223, US
Monica Fochtman (Marelis) Okemos, MI, 48864, US
Nakia Arrington Raleigh, NC, 27610, US
Patti Phillips Luthersville, GA, 30251, US
Rebecca Thacker Fort Bragg, NC, 28307, US
Rhonda Ebrom Corpus Christi , TX, 78412, US
Samantha Senkbeil Nampa, ID, 83686, US
Sarah Smith Columbus, GA, 31904, US
Shannon Hayes Spring, TX, 77373, US
Susan Heard Easton, PA, 18042, US
Suzanne Wozniak Chester springs, PA, 19425, US
Theresa Duffin Doylestown, PA, 18902, US
Tiffany Taylor Cincinnati, OH, 45236, US

Can I tell you something, Mommas? I know you will be returning home with a little less (like your head of hair,) but I will let you in on a secret. There is something in your suitcases you did not pack yourselves. With each of you, I send my deep respect, genuine appreciation, and my very best wishes for an incredibly fun fundraising time together. I stuck it all in your bags, right next to your undies, when you weren’t looking!

I love you!

Please let me know if you would like an experienced shaver to help!

About Ready to Sport my Dome

Gold Ribbons

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

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  It has been officially declared by President Obama over a year ago.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/10/presidential-proclamation-childhood-cancer-awareness-month

I have yet to see a single Gold Ribbon in a public place this entire month.

We are tragically unaware.

I am not suggesting Gold Ribbons will cure childhood cancer; I am wondering why there are no Gold Ribbons.

What crawls up the back of my spine is that I know that lack of public knowledge about childhood cancer is costing lives.

Costing children’s lives….

To me this means war.

And so, from my own little corner of this World, I write, speak, raise money, and journey in HopeMobiles.  I know that my contribution to the war is a little drop in the bucket.  I also know that I am not alone. I love knowing others who have joined to help the kids in many different ways.  I want to thank you, everyone, for all you are doing. I need to give you one great big group hug right now!

Can you breathe???????

So, little itty bitty Melinda will keep doing my MelindaThing and please, everyone else keep doing your Thing too!

Maybe next year, we will see Gold Ribbons.

Gold Ribbons are great; the real victory will be a cure.

Children's Mercy Hospital

 The more we join together, the faster we will get there…

Directory of childhood cancer organizations

http://curechildhoodcancer.ning.com//page/childhood-cancer-directory

Alex’s Lemonade Database Project

http://www.mychildhoodcancer.org/?LQID=1&origin=facebook

46 Mommas Shave for the Brave at Union Station

http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/46mommas2011

Ellen Loves The Blanket Fairy!

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

“Ellen Got An Amazing Gift!” 

This is a quote from Ellen’s website. I love this! I really, really, really love this!!!

Thank you to everyone who supported The Blanket Fairy, helping to get Ellen to notice the beautiful gold package in the mailroom.  I have been amazed again and again by the strength, endurance, purpose and tenacity of the group I am truly honored to be a part of…

The Group of People Who Fight to End Childhood Cancer.

I witnessed this spectacular group of people join together for the cause of raising awareness for childhood cancer.  I want to give a special thank you to @abolishcancer for your help spreading the word on Twitter.

Did you see Ellen’s photo album? It was covered with Blanket Fairy Posters from all of us! It would have been impossible for anyone to miss.

Congratulations! This is a victory for children with cancer.  

Ellen Loved Her Gift From The Blanket Fairy!

On Ellen’s site today is a video!

http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2011/09/ellen_got_an_amazing_gift_0914.php

To Ms. Ellen DeGeneres,

Thank you. I have to pause now because my eyes are giving me trouble and it’s hard to see. This touches me deeply that you and your staff took the time to notice and share the desperate need of children with cancer. I want you to know that what you have done by taking notice– posting the video on your site about The Blanket Fairy—it lets us know that someone out there cares.  This gives us stamina to fight on for the children.

Thank you, Ellen, for the stamina.

Now, a gift of dance and comedy for you…

Faith, the Dancing Princess    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdeJhGoC9NQ&NR=1

Gummy Worm Fate   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsVt3bMMM8Q&feature=youtu.be

Finally, if you have your buzzers handy and feel the need to use them next week, 46 Mommas are going to Shave for the Brave in Washington D. C.  It might even be therapeutic, I don’t know. I do know a few of the Mommas and I know they are among the bravest, most kind women you will ever meet on this Earth. They are moms whose hearts have personally been crushed by the blow of childhood cancer. Yet, they fight on for the other children. These women have my utmost respect.

Ellen, you have my utmost respect as well. You heard the cries of thousands of people and you responded with genuine warmth and kindness.

I will never forget your kindness,

Melinda

Please bring your shears Ellen!

Please add this photo

to Ellen’s link  https://www.facebook.com/ellentv?sk=wall&filter=1

to ask Ellen to join the 46 Mommas next week!

Happy Birthday (September 14) to Alexa Nawrocki, a sweet angel baby girl with a special place in my heart.

For my praying friends, please pray for Melissa Masters, currently in ICU at Children’s Mercy and for

Nicholas George

http://www.nickybear.com/

 

Ellen and The Blanket Fairy

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

What a beautiful package,  Blanket Fairy!  I know what lies on the inside must be even more beautiful… to catch the attention of Ellen… all for the purpose of helping children with cancer.

I know your game, Blanket Fairy.

I love your game, Blanket Fairy!

Anyone else want to help out the Blanket Fairy while you sit in front of your computer with a tweet here, a Facebook message there?

Please copy, paste, and send into cyberspace for others to share, as requested by The Blanket Fairy:

I have shared this with over 1 million people so far this morning. Please share and go post on Ellen’s Show page at least. Thanks so much 🙂

I just got the delivery signature confirmation and this package is in the studio. It got there late this morning. Please everyone take 30 seconds to share this and post the following on walls. ♥

Ellen this package was delivered to your studios today. Please be on the look-out for it. There is something very special inside that I handmade just for you. It is called Package of Hope for a reason… and when you open this up you will see why. With Much Love The Blanket Fairy ♥

Gold Package for Ellen


http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Blanket-Fairy/490397070410?sk=wall

PLEASE POST THE ABOVE ON THESE LINKS BELOW:

http://www.facebook.com/ellentv

and

http://www.facebook.com/ellentv?sk=wall&filter=1

and on twitter at:

http://twitter.com/#!/TheEllenShow

Tweet this: Ellen this package was delivered to your studios today. Please be on the look-out for it. ♥ TBF and if you can attach a picture of the package above that would be great!

Okay, Blanket Fairy, make the GOLD moment happen! 

Note to Ms. Ellen DeGeneres…

You know, Ellen, The 46 Mommas are going to “Shave for the Brave” in Washington D. C. next week, on September 21 at Union Station.  Seriously. 46 moms will shave their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s and pediatric cancer research. I would love for you to consider joining them— not to shave your head, but to see first-hand the desperate need to raise funds to stop childhood cancer.  (If you feel you absolutely need to join them in ridding your cabeza of hair for this great cause, please, for the kids, do! If you will, I will too!!!!!!!!!!!!)  

I would love for you to see how this tremendous group of women is raising money toward a cure.

Washington D. C. September 21st.

46 Mommas Shave for The Brave.

I imagine you have someone who can make the reservation for you. Please have them do it!

Just in case Washington D. C. has a bit of a fall chill in the air, don’t forget to bring the gift from The Blanket Fairy, you will be warm as toast!

 Love you, Blanket Fairy… love you Mommas… Love you Ellen… Love you warriors…

 

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