A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Carina Corral’

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


The Quiet Place of My Heart


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

This is finals week.  My last final was today! Wow. Wow,wow,wow,wow!

So now, dance performances are over until August and school is out tomorrow.  Sigh…

Guess what I cannot wait to do?

Meet you!!!

I am leaving a week from tomorrow, and now that I have a moment to take in what is about to happen in my life, I feel like I need to go to the quiet place of my heart to seek Guidance.  How can I, little Melinda, leave this world a better place? How does this intersect with my great desire to help children with cancer? I pray that every step of our journey will help kids with cancer. I hope the  children I meet will share their lives with me in their own beautiful ways. I hope while I am gone, you might think about doing something like the following… making lemonade:)



One lovely way to help raise money for childhood cancer research this summer is to make some lemonade and have some fun.

Lemonade Stands near you


My friends at Pablove on Twitter asked me to vote for this boy… I love him!


Finally, one more linky-dinky today…  This is why we need research for less toxic treatments. The treatment is deadly for too many children… one is too many.


Okay… I found one more to share. I want to thank KSBY and Carina Corral.  You always show you care about ending childhood cancer, and I am grateful.  I am really grateful.


Mom and I have tweaked the end of our trip a bit… I will update the schedule soon.  I really don’t own a BullHorn and I probably wouldn’t use it if I had it.  Well, hmmm… there is a situation for just about everything… and I am quite passionate!

I will love to meet you along the way!

I am going to go back now to that quiet place of my heart.

God whispers from the quiet place of my heart.



Beware: Minefield Ahead

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

Something happened today that tickled my soul and made my jaw drop to the floor. This happening arrived in the form of an email…


I love hearing from people. I am a People Person. Well, today I received an email out of the clear blue Universe from someone very special who shall remain anonymous at this time.

This special person told me that she does not even know what she was Googling, but she came across my book. This person was diagnosed ten years ago, at the age of twelve, with Hodgkin lymphoma. She has suffered ever since with a depression and a terrible eating disorder. She has danced since the age of three.

Does any of this sound like someone you know??????????????????????

One of the things she told me that (thankfully!) is not familiar, is that what troubled her most during treatment was that her doctor would not let her dance during chemotherapy treatment.

This would have killed me…. not the chemo, but the Huge “NO DANCING” Roadblock sign!

Thanks Dr. Dan for seeing this in me– and for not constructing Roadblocks to restrict this body of mine that needed to dance—even though my best dancing at that time looked like “a hippo giving birth.”

What Special Person has shared with me has made my thoughts spin around. I sure would love to see children who have finished cancer treatments monitored more closely for all of the possible late effects. I would love to have more awareness of the potentially deadly and devastating “Minefield” that awaits survivors. I understand why the giant focus is on treatment, but also important is what price are patients paying for their survival?

Special Person has been battling and suffering for ten years.

What a price.

Today, I ask for your prayers for the incredibly joyful Lyssie Righter…

Lyssie Righter Teaching us Joy



Thank you Carina Corral and KSBY 6 for your continued support for raising awareness for childhood cancer!


Thank you also to the Adobe Press and Santa Maria Times:







Golden Mike for KSBY’s Carina Corral Grey

I received great news today from Carina Corral Grey at KSBY– she won a Golden Mike Award! Golden Mikes are awards given by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California, and the award she will be receiving at the Award Dinner is for:

TV-17- Best Hard News Series Reporting in Division B. The title of the series is called, “A Child’s Resilience,” and guess what story is included in this?

Published author, dancer, cancer survivor: Nipomo teenager being honored this weekend – KSBY-TV-msnbc.com:

I am very, very happy for Carina and for KSBY, not only for their award, but for their commitment to air news stories that will bring forth awareness and assistance for kids fighting serious childhood illnesses. I am thrilled that the broadcasting industry obviously agrees with the importance of this issue and with the beautiful way Carina and KSBY put together the stories. I hope this will encourage other reporters to reach out to help our very youngest in need.

Thank you Carina. Thank you KSBY. My sincere and warmest of all congratulations on this well-deserved award.

Carina Corral Grey and Melinda

KSBY 6 TV Helping “Clicks” to Save Kids Lives

My deepest respect and my sincere gratitude go out to Carina Corral and to my hometown KSBY 6 TV in San Luis Obispo, California for being the very first reporters to air a story focused on the ever-growing “Oprah, Please Do A Show On Childhood Cancer” Facebook page. I have always appreciated the physical beauty of this area I have lived in my whole life, but I have to tell you that this is the first time that I am struck by how blessed I am to live in an area where people truly care for one another.

Carina, you reported exactly what I would have chosen for the most important points!

#1 Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of our children.

#2 80% of childhood cancers are found after the disease has progressed to advanced stages!

I truly enjoyed my interview with you, and I cannot even express how much it means to me that you listened with an open mind and heart to this huge problem. Thank you for making childhood cancer important. KSBY TV, I pray you have started a tidal wave of stories across our nation, and I thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!


Video link:


If people knew what childhood cancer really is, if parents knew early warning signs, if we had screenings, if we had adequate funding for research, if we shared ALL of our information…


We can do it together. No “ifs.”

We better start immediately and kick our steps into Warp Speed. Children are suffering and children are dying. Yes. Now!



KSBY 6 Interview– Oprah Facebook Page Movement for Childhood Cancer

When I decided to put all of those scribbles in my spiral notebooks into book form, I was entirely motivated by the belief my story could help others. This belief didn’t come easily. It took several times of being asked to speak at events before I realized how what I have been through needs to be shared. Now that Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery  has been  released, I see even more why God kept tugging on my heart– asking me to pour it into this project. There is nothing that makes me feel better on this Earth than being able to help someone else (okay, dancing is really, really close!) When other kids who are going through cancer, or their parents, contact me to ask for help with something, I gasp with amazement at how God can use something utterly horrendous and use it to bless those He loves. Wow. Double WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel change today. I feel hope today. My day began with an interview with Carina Corral of KSBY 6, San Luis Obispo, CA. We A Scarf for my Child Life Specialist, Jaynietalked about how this incredible movement has begun with parents, friends, and loved ones whose lives have been affected by childhood cancer. An amazing woman named Christine started the Facebook page, “Oprah Please Do A Show On Childhood Cancer” out of her loving care for her friend and her friend’s son who are both battling cancer right now. There is SO much that needs to change.

Did you know that when adults are diagnosed with cancer, only 20% of them have advanced stages of the disease and when children are diagnosed, 80% have advanced cancer. Many, many times, children are originally misdiagnosed (Hello, me!) and this leads to valuable time wasted and terrible progression of their disease.

Also, childhood cancers are different from adult cancers. Adult cancers are sometimes caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking and diet, but the causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown.

I am extremely grateful to Carina and to KSBY 6 for recognizing the HUGE need to air this information. We MUST do everything we can to put a stop to the #1 disease killer of our children.  My heart is bursting with gratitude, and hope is flying out!

Gosh, I have missed you!

My goodness, my goodness! Do you ever get so busy in life that you feel things are swirling around you????????

Well, this would be me these past three weeks:)

The really difficult thing about not posting for a long time is that so much happens in that time that I have a hard time condensing the happenings. Here is my Campbell Soup “Condensation” of the past few weeks:

August 10–Kelly Teal from KSBY TV and Carina Corral taped an interview:

Published author, dancer, cancer survivor: Nipomo teenager being honored this weekend – KSBY-TV- msnbc.com:

August 12– I traveled to Santa Barbara for a TV interview with Marni Rozet, Executive Director of the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. It will air on Cox 8 during September for Child Cancer Awareness Month.

August 13– Early morning radio interview to talk about the upcoming American Cancer Society Tolosa Winery Fundraising Event with Amy and Kahuna, Coast 101.3.

August 14– All day dance rehearsal for Academy of Dance School Show

August 15– Early morning rehearsal at the Performing Arts Center– show at 2:00 p.m.  5:30– speak a few words at ACS Tolosa Winery Event.

August 18– Travel to Los Angeles with Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation for their annual Universal Studios Event.

August 19– First day of my junior year in high school… trying to add a community college course to my schedule.

In the meantime, I have been doing interviews and writing articles:

 RIT Open Publishing Guide Article:


(This one was fun to write and I got to meet Rachael… very, very nice!)

 TheSBON Interview:


(Thank you, Kira!)

 Choose to be a Hero Interview:


(My thanks to Shennendoah!)

Aren’t you happy I gave you the Campbell Soup “Condensed” version?


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