A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation’

Skipping and Squealing with Squeaky Shoes On

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



“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.”




Something that never ceases to amaze me, with the more I learn about the children and families affected directly by childhood cancer, is the sheer multitude of them who become passionately involved in ending the suffering of children with cancer. This alone speaks volumes. My heart breaks for the families who no longer have their child by their sides. And here they are, fighting for our kids of the future… making sure that no child has to face what their child faced.

If people could see how hard they are working, or even feel a glimpse of their pain and loss, all of humanity would step up as an enormous support system to help them in their mission– and to honor and recognize the bravery of their childhood cancer heroes. 

At the very top of our “To Do List,” as a World, Country, and as People, is to help fight for the children who have no voice. Children fighting cancer are too busy fighting to have a voice, and too young to articulate their needs to the adult world. Somehow, these kids make the world brighter, even though their own world is falling apart. I want to recognize them and honor them. I saw a little girl and boy skipping and squealing through a store with their Squeaky Shoes on, and I thought…

“That’s what I want for all kids.” 

If you want this for all kids, there are many things you can do to help get rid of the Childhood Cancer Monster. 

Alexa Nawrocki 

My mom and I had the honor and great pleasure of meeting Joann Nawrocki of Alexa’s Foundation during the Hope Tour of Summer 2011. Alexa lost her battle to cancer, but Joann has worked tirelessly to bring Alexa’s love and light to other children fighting cancer. We love you Alexa! We love you Joann!

Joann Nawrocki
Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation

Someone else Mom and I had the honor of meeting during that time is Ali McDonough, and her father, Joe. Please vote for Ali McDonough B+ Foundation. She is up for an award, and she really, really has earned it. After the loss of her brother, Andrew, she has turned her loss into hope for children with cancer. Thank you Ali!


Please take a moment to vote for Ali– B+Foundation!

Another way you can support these families and honor the children…

The Isaiah Alonso Foundation Chase Community Giving and Ethan Jostad Foundation

(You can vote for two! Just a moment of your time!)



If you have not seen them yet, here are the first two previews for The Truth 365

Day one Preview of TheTruth 365


The Truth 365 Day 2 Preview Campaign


This includes The Truth 365 Interview with Talia… before she knew her dream to meet Ellen would come true!

One more thing I want to share with you today is the inspiring story of childhood cancer survivor, Sabrina Cannella.


I am in awe of what families and survivors are doing for our kids of the future. I imagine what can happen with the support of our communities, businesses, and government. I know there can be a day when all kids can skip and squeal, with their greatest care at that moment being that their shoes light up and squeak.







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!


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,


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



Dear Mr. or Ms. BIG NAME Fashion Designer

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

I am sitting here in my soft, long-sleeved, pink “Team Max” shirt and ideas are bouncing around in my brainola like ping-pong balls. I love my Team Max shirt! I love not only its softness, but most of all that I am able to raise awareness of childhood cancer every time I wear it. I even have the opportunity to answer people when they ask, “Who is Max?” This is my very favorite part; I love having the chance to tell people about one of my biggest heroes. Max set a goal of raising $100,000 for St. Baldrick’s and pediatric cancer research, inspiring multitudes to give with his motto, “Two bucks, I mean it!” At only seven years old, Max knew all about giving and helping others. Last Thanksgiving Day, Max’s family learned the pain of saying good-bye to him. They are now carrying on Max’s mission to raise money for pediatric cancer research, and I have no doubt they will surpass Max’s goal.

Now for the “Bouncing Brainola” part…

I admit that I am “fashion challenged,” and have little knowledge of “what is hot.” Those name brands that have sky-high price tags just because they have a Hot Fashion Name puzzle me.

What if…

What if Team Max, Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, B+Foundation (“It’s not a grade, it’s an attitude!”) Alexa’s Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Arms Wide Open, Isaiah Alonso Foundation, et al suddenly became popular high fashion? What if everyone suddenly needed fashion gear that not only covers their body and keeps them warm, but it fights childhood cancer every time it is purchased?

Maybe there is someone in the Hot Fashion Designer Name business who would like to give their name to help raise money for childhood cancer– just by lending their name, their brand.

Like I admitted before, I am fashion challenged; my knowledge in this area is slim to none. Please Mr. or Mrs. Fashion Designer with a BIG NAME, step forward into the light so I may see you and welcome you to the most noble of worlds you can live in… the world of helping children in great need.

Max, Mighty Leader and my Hero









TwitterLand People, please copy, tweet this, and vote to help raise money for Isaiah Alonso Foundation!

Pls RT & vote #kidsmatter 50k from #pepsirefresh http://t.co/P6M3zFg @The_IAF is #kickasscause@socialvest!







Bigger, Wider, Deeper

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

Hugo the HopeMobile returned to California one week ago. After three weeks, 3 days, 28 states, and well over 7,000 miles, it has taken me an entire week to process all that has happened so that I can place some of it into words. I feel that it will take my entire lifetime to fully grasp the meaning of this epic journey. I wish– I wish there were words big enough, wide enough and deep enough to describe to you how much this trip has impacted me. I am a different person than when I left home on June 17th.

Being able to visit so many places and having the opportunity to meet absolutely amazing people has made my heart bigger. I love how there is always room for more love in our hearts!!! The people I met taught me to have a wider view of how we need to give without holding back and how we need to express our love with passion and action. I love how when we set out to give our love away, it always comes back so much bigger than what we give.

I witnessed God’s mercy, grace, and His goodness. I felt His deep love. 

People ask me now if it was sad to visit the children who are very, very sick. It was just the opposite. As much as I hate what cancer does and as much as I hate the suffering it causes, meeting the children was a joy! They gave me so much more than I could ever give them; that is the plain truth.

At each stop, I thought of all of the children I know who have left this Earth way too soon because of cancer. As thoughts of these children who are no longer here filled my mind, my heart went immediately to all the people who suffer with this kind of hole in their hearts. I know there is nothing that can fill that hole.

Deep, deep love remains. This deep love has given birth to many forms of hope that help children with cancer. While we were in Philadelphia, Mom and I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Joe and Ali McDonough from Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. We loved meeting and talking with them! By combining their love for Andrew with their own enthusiasm and positive outlook, they have been able to raise money that is desperately needed for pediatric cancer research.

Joe and Ali McDonough from Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation

Now, I need, and want, to give a very special thanks to Joann, Bill, and Char from Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation. This foundation is named after Joann and Bill Nawrocki’s daughter, Alexa. Alexa battled cancer when she was two. In her loving memory, they began helping others.

Imagine what it must feel like to have someone give you food when your child is fighting for their life.

Imagine what it must feel like to have someone help you financially when it is time to bury your child.

Imagine how I felt when I met Joann for the very first time on our Hope Tour and she presented me with a check from Alexa’s Foundation to help toward our mission!

What means the most, is not the money, but they believe what I am doing is important—that it can make a difference. From the deepest part of my heart, I want to thank Joann, Bill, Char, and Alexa’s Foundation.

I finally got to meet Joann!!!

From this Bigger, Wider, Deeper Viewpoint, I wish that I could do everything to make a difference. I realize it’s going to take each one of us doing our part.

From this Bigger, Wider, Deeper Viewpoint, I can see the entire puzzle. I can see how we all need to be whatever part we can be of fighting childhood cancer.  Each piece is for the children,  and in its entirety, it is absolutely breathtaking. 

Stopping childhood cancer is about as beautiful as it gets.




Courage Despite Grief


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

Dear Oprah,

In my daily letter on this day, I ask you once again to please do a show on childhood cancer. I have read each of the stories posted on the Oprah, Please Do A Show On Childhood Cancer Facebook page since it was born in early September last year. I don’t know how anyone can read the stories and not take action in some way. It seems our society has become lazy, self-centered, and selfish. We wait for others to do what we can do ourselves. We busily pursue our own agendas… turning away from those who desperately need our help.

I know people who have not turned away from the daunting challenge of working toward a cure for childhood cancer. These people are the opposite of lazy, the opposite of selfish. The people I am speaking of are heroes to children with cancer—they are parents who have lost their own child to cancer and still fight on for others. They have created organizations that raise money for research and also help families through the financial/emotional struggles of childhood cancer. I would LOVE to see you feature these heroes on your show. Funny, after I wrote that last sentence, I heard a voice telling me what these heroes would say in response.

They would say that their heroes are the children fighting cancer.

The truth is, Oprah, children fighting cancer need tons of support—medically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I don’t know what we would do without the individuals who have created Layla Grace Foundation, People Against Childhood Cancer, Alexa Nawrocki  Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Kids V Cancer, Children’s Cancer Association,  Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and I know there are more. I cannot express how much I admire these people, not only for what they are doing for children with cancer, but for their courage in taking huge leaps to assist children with cancer in the midst of their grief.


Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher

 Be back again tomorrow,



AJ and his Dad, Bob... one of my heroes




Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation

I have to tell you about an incredibly lovely lady I met on the path of my book endorsement requests.  Her name is Joann, and she lost her two year old daughter, Alexa, to cancer in 2004.  What a beautiful thing she did with her grief.  She created the Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation to help other children suffering with cancer and their families.  This inspires me.  This inspires me greatly. 

It seems that none of us escape this world without being battered and bruised along the way.  When someone, like Joann, take their wounds and scars and create a better place for us all to live in, it is remarkable!  This is exactly what I aspire to do.  Joann sees that through all of her efforts, her precious daughter’s light shines so brightly. 

Just think if we all took our life’s “rotten apples” and turned them into a brilliant, fruitful tree of life… wow… what a world we could make!

Thank you Joann.  And Alexa… I love those beautiful angel wings of yours.

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