A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Avalanna’

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


Justin and Avalanna, Mr. and Mrs. Bieber

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








Broken hearts.

News today of Avalanna’s passing is heartbreaking. This beautiful little girl has captured the hearts of millions of people who have come to know her as “Justin Bieber’s wife.”

This morning,

RIP Avalanna is trending on Twitter.


Avalanna’s Story from Stand Up To Cancer


Avalanna’s bravery, her exuberant personality, and her sheer loveable-ness needs to become a part of all of us. We, as adults in this complex society, tend to focus on the little daily things that pester and annoy us. When we look into the face of Avalanna, when we hear about all that she has dealt with, when we feel the pure, sparkling love spilling from her into our lives, we realize our focus is not where it needs to be. We realize we have a responsibility to respond.

Our response needs to be love for all children fighting cancer.

What joy Avalanna must have received from all of Justin’s love and attention! This really, really touches me. I will never forget what it meant to me to have love and support from someone I looked up to during my cancer treatments—Patricia Barker.

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

My hands began to shake, and my eyes became two glaciers, melting and forming rivers upon my cheeks.

 Patricia Barker . . . oh my gosh. I had watched her farewell performance at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle the previous June, in celebration of my thirteenth birthday. She inspired me. Her fluidity, musicality, and strength left me in awe. I was stunned by her grace . . . inside and out. Gasping for breath, I looked to Mom. I remained speechless. There were no words, truly, no words. Soaking up the beautiful moment, I realized that cancer had created it. Well, not cancer itself, but me having it. It was these times that I saw the other side of cancer. I knew I would not be standing there—my body numb, my eyes gushing, and that letter in my hands—if not for it. Cancer is battle after battle, struggle after struggle. And then, something beautiful happens that keeps you going.

 Venturing back into the package, my hand met something hard. The object was not in view, but I knew, from the feel and shape, exactly what it was. The only thing was . . . I didn’t believe it. My mind wouldn’t let me. Delicately pulling the precious gift from its royal sheath, a flash flood occurred in my eyeballs.

It was pointe shoes . . . her pointe shoes.

 To Melinda” was visible on the tip of one shoe.

A gold ribbon tied the two slippers together, creating an almost angelic presentation.

 Oh my gosh. My heart pounded. I could not believe what was happening to me. After suffering so much, I almost felt it was too good to be true, like I didn’t deserve it or anything. My mouth hung open, my breathing was awkward, and my face was hot and red from crying. I lost it—completely lost it. Burying my head in my arms, I cried so hard that it hurt. Never had anything touched me in such a way. To hear encouragement to keep fighting from someone who I admired was breathtakingly unimaginable.

 Her letter was filled with wisdom, hope, and an understanding of what it is like to have a hindrance affect the dance in your life. She also told me that when I beat cancer, I would dance again with a new love and passion. Her certainty made me believe her and gave me a ray of light in the view of my future.

 She concluded by saying, “I will look for you on the big stage of life.”

 Ms. Barker, your words are eloquent, and they’ve had a huge impact on my life. What you did for me will forever remain in my heart.

 I believe Avalanna has taken all of Justin’s love straight to heaven with her. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching, uplifting, and inspiring story of love! My prayer is that this Love Story will inspire many others to open their hearts and give everything inside it away.

 Justin, please don’t stop. You may be young, but your actions show mature compassion and strong leadership. Please keep leading with love.


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