A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Advocacy’

Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act Signed by President Obama

“If I go, if I lose my battle then I’m going to want other people to carry on this war.”

                                                                                   ~Gabriella Miller

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Today, something extraordinary happened in the world of childhood cancer. President Obama signed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act into law, with Gabriella’s family present. Gabriella was diagnosed with a brain tumor at nine years old, and became a fierce advocate for childhood cancer research before cancer stole her at ten years old. As you can see from her quote above, she now needs all of us to carry on the “war.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/obama-signs-cancer-research-bill-memory-girl-23182252

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/04/gabriella-miller-kids-first-research-act-to-be-signed-into-law-101786.html


“This Act may be cited as the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.

Termination of taxpayer financing of political party conventions; use of funds for pediatric research initiative”

The full text:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2019/text

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“When you get cancer, you have to be all grown up and you don’t really get a childhood.”

                                                                                                                ~Gabriella Miller

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While I am feeling happy along with other childhood cancer advocates over what happened in Washington today, I cannot help but think of the Miller family. What did it feel like for them to be there for the signing today? How are they ever dealing with the grief over their loss of Gabriella? One of the things that strikes me most when I watch Gabriella’s videos is when she says, “If I die, I will be with my friends.” What an enormous burden these childhood cancer patients carry, not only fighting for their own lives, but emotionally fighting for their cancer-stricken friends as well.

If you have never “met” Gabriella, you absolutely must. Gabriella shows wisdom that comes only through suffering. The purity of her soul and her message will grab your insides and squeeze them until only love remains. Sweet Gabriella, may your mission continue. Your spirit lives. Your spirit will save the lives of many children in the future. To Gabriella’s family, thank you for raising a child with such tremendous insight, grace, and love. She has forever made an impact on my life. May she forever have an impact on our nation and our on our world.

http://www.thetruth365.org/2013/04/04/welcome-10-year-old-gabriella-miller-to-the-truth-365-documentary/

Gabriella Miller’s words: Sugar, Protein, and the need for Constant Awareness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a7NZxNMpcA

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“My biggest fear is that a little child is going to die.”

                                                                    ~Gabriella Miller

Happy Dance for the signing today of Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

Happy Dance for the signing today of Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

 

Guest Blogger: Lee Marchiano

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Childhood Cancer Advocacy Momentum — Connect Connect Connect

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My name is Lee, and I am Melinda’s mom. As a college sophomore, Melinda has responsibilities that make time for blogging difficult. Sleep is a rarity. The world of childhood cancer still goes on, which means this blog about childhood cancer needs to continue. Melinda has invited me to be her guest blogger until Pepperdine lets out for the summer.

Since the time of her treatment, six years ago now, we have worked together as a “team” to help children with cancer. Having a strong focus to help others was instrumental in Melinda’s physical and emotional recovery from cancer, and I have no doubt it has helped me as well. There is something indescribable about helping others when your very own self is falling apart. Isn’t it true we feel as humans that we need to have our act together before we can help anyone else; we need to have all of our “ducks in a row” before we have “extra” to output for others. The plain truth is, we are often more compassionate, more understanding, and more helpful when we are broken, mangled, or bent. Any parent whose child has fought childhood cancer falls into this broken, mangled, or bent category. I am no different. My heart will never recover from the terror of Melinda’s suffering. But… I will rejoice every moment of every day for the rest of my life that she has come through the suffering. I intend to take this mangled heart of mine and form its love into a huge, fierce fire– a fire that will light the world of childhood cancer.

The childhood cancer community is a community no one chooses or dreams of joining. We are “drafted.” Not long after I was drafted, I realized I needed to “Enlist.” My love for children is so deep, so great, so overflowing, that I have no choice but to help these children in every way I can. I will admit there are kid parts of me that have never grown up. I have been known– on many occasions– to randomly and suddenly break into a skip. This is just one thing I love about kids; they teach us joy. They teach us about what we have discarded and left behind in our adult lives. When that adult reserve kicks in and tells me not to skip next time, I plan on inviting it to join me!

I want to express my thanks to moms and dads in the childhood cancer community for sharing your daily lives through social media. I feel I know so many of you, just from following. You have given me a better understanding of the problems, pressures, and battles you face each moment of each day. I want you to know how much I care. I want you to know how hard I will work for change. I want you to know you are not alone.

Finally, I am excited about the momentum that is building. I am honored to know many of you who work your tails off so that there can be newly funded research for less toxic treatments. I am amazed by the courage of so many of you who have lost your children to cancer that now run foundations to help the kids. After five years of my personal advocacy, it’s clear to me that the tides are beginning to turn. Four years ago, a dear lady named Christine began a campaign intended to raise awareness of childhood cancer. She was inspired by her friend, Deliece Hofen and her son, Braden, who is currently undergoing a bone marrow transplant. The campaign aimed at getting Oprah’s attention for a segment on her show and was called, “Oprah, Please Do A Show On Childhood Cancer.” Within no time, the childhood cancer community came together with a loud voice. Unfortunately, Oprah did not answer our pleas to help raise awareness. She had never done a show about childhood cancer and never did one before the show went off the air.

Recently, the outcome of our cohesiveness did bring about something extraordinary. “Under intense pressure” from social media and grassroots, Josh Hardy was able to get the medicine he needed, but had been denied. Another beacon of hope for progress is the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. Because we are connected and engaged with each other in our community, we are beginning to achieve some success. This means we have opportunities to save kid’s lives! This means we can build even more momentum for avenues of change.

Josh Hardy

http://video.foxnews.com/v/3329179339001/7-year-old-cancer-patient-receives-new-drug/#sp=show-clips

The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/11/congress-passes-bill-to-support-childhood-cancer-research/

Yes, let’s connect, connect, connect so we can achieve as much as we possibly can. Childhood cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease in our country. Seven children die from cancer every day here in the United States and over 40,000 children are currently in treatment. Many of these children fight for years. Many of these children suffer even more from the effects of their treatment than they do from cancer.

To all my fellow onc-parents, I love you and your children.

“Charge!!!!”

Please leave your contact on this page so we can all connect.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-A-Childs-Intimate-Journey-Through-Cancer-and-Recovery/149423578414076?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1ballerina

            https://twitter.com/HappyQuailPress

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Literacy, Advocacy, Awareness, Accountability

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

I received some excellent news today from the United Way of San Luis Obispo County. My program, “Literacy and Advocacy Youth Challenge” has been selected to receive a 2011 Youth Board Grant! I am really, really, really excited about this because it means I will have many opportunities to share with students.

What I proposed for my program is to place five copies of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery in twenty schools throughout San Luis Obispo County, and also speak with the students. For the very first time, students will learn from a survivor what childhood cancer really is. Kids love the world of fantasy— Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for example. I believe it’s good for children to also get a dose of some harsh reality of life as well so that they are able to become compassionate individuals. I know that many will be shocked by the harsh reality that a child can get cancer and shocked by the harsh reality of what treatment is like.

Notice the word “Challenge” in my title? Yep, I plan to hold a bar as high as I can in front of them and challenge them to use everything they have been given to reach it. I want them to know that fourteen year-olds (and younger) can write books.

“Gosh, if she can do it, I can too!”

Perhaps even more than motivating them to write, I want to challenge them to become an advocate of something. You know very well that I will use this opportunity to tell every student I speak to about childhood cancer and why I am passionate about raising awareness and finding a cure. I will leave it up to each individual to look within themselves for what cause moves their heart to action.

And guess what?

Part of my program is accountability.

The students will be reporting back to me about the actions they have taken as a result of my challenge.

Literacy, Advocacy, Awareness, Accountability… sounds great to me, and I am excited to get started!

With my sincere thanks to United Way of San Luis Obispo County!

Still Rejoicing in Braden's Miracle!

 

Prayers for Breanna and Crista. Praising God for miracles!

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