A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Jeff Foxworthy’

“God Gives Children With Cancer Something Extra”

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

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday’s post about the need for celebrities to Step up to the Plate to become dedicated advocates to help raise money for childhood cancer research, I want to acknowledge some people who have come up to bat. One person I want to thank is Jeff Gordon, for his compassion and dedication to establish Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital . Another person who has given from his heart to help children with cancer is Jeff Foxworthy. Mr. Foxworthy has been an advocate for children with cancer for many years. He has helped CUREChildhood Cancer, and he has also helped me.

It was nearly a year ago when I began sending out requests for testimonials/endorsements for my book. I wish I could communicate all that I learned from this process. It was highly educational; I learned a lot about the human spirit. Right away, I heard back from a kind woman named Maggie, who told me that she forwarded my request to Mr. Foxworthy and he responded swiftly and with compassion. This told me he is one of the special people with a loving heart for children. I also learned has given from his heart to help Duke University Children’s Hospital. The words he chose for his endorsement told me he has spent time with childhood cancer warriors; he is not just posing for photos with bald children to boost his likeability. (Do people really do this?????)

This is what he wrote for me, and what he wrote to help other children with cancer:

“I have often said God gives children with cancer something extra. They are remarkable and inspiring people to be around. Melinda tells her story with such honesty and openness that you can’t help but be touched and encouraged. This is sure to be a blessing to all who read it!”

He included a note, saying that I could edit it or “throw it in the trash can!”

I just love Jeff Foxworthy!

Others celebrities who stopped their lives to respond kindly included Ray Romano and Kathie Lee Gifford… I send my deep gratitude to each of them for their contributions.

The responses to my request were as varied as the people who inhabit our Earth. Some people responded with kindness, even when they chose not to help. One response that came from a famous young singer (who I will not name at this time,) I will admit, was a bit disturbing… it ruffled my mom’s feathers.

This was the response from her publicist: “I don’t think childhood cancer applies to _______.”

Now, for my mom, a no answer was just fine. But this statement, for my mom and I imagine for many other parents, was just the same as stating, “I don’t care about children with cancer.” Does childhood cancer have to “apply” to us before we realize that it is the responsibility of every living, breathing adult to care for the children in this world? How can it be that there has not been one new therapy approved to fight childhood cancers in the past twenty years, yet our technological advances have grown exponentially?

This is entirely unacceptable.

Children who “make it” through their tortuous treatments are losing their battle after the battle. The treatments are so toxic that the side effects when treatment ends can be brutally painful and life-threatening.

This is why I keep writing… everyone needs to hear… everyone needs to help.

My friend, Breanna, who I have been asking you to pray for, left this Earth for heaven last night. She made it through her treatments, but effects from treatment caused complications that were too much. Please pray for Breanna’s family, and please do everything you can that will help find a cure.

Breanna (on the right) and her friend Sammie

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

I was telling my mom on the way to dance today about how I find it so “funny” that people I don’t even know are buying my book. I realize that that is what is supposed to happen, but it’s still a mind-boggling concept. I received a beautiful message today on my Facebook page from a lovely woman who is fighting her battle with cancer right now. She told me that her brother bought my book for her. It was evident from her note that she is a wonderful writer. It’s hard for me to put into words how I feel about what she told me. All I can say is that her words made me grateful for every single drop of blood, sweat, tears, and chemo that it took to create my book. I am humbled by how God can use utterly horrid events and turn them into something that can help others.

Only God.

I would like to share the very first review for Grace on Amazon.UK:

A truly engaging and uplifting book eloquently and powerfully written with complete honesty and humour by a most courageous young lady. A book of words which do not hide the struggles cancer brought into her life but also words of hope, joy and absolute love. A book whose words left an imprint on my heart, whose words made me both laugh out loud and cry but above all reminded me what it is like to live life with my heart. It is more than a book, it is a gift of lessons to us all.

Made my mom cry happy tears:):):)

One more thing I just have to share… I keep telling you what a caring and kind person Jeff Foxworthy is. Here is proof:)

 Thanks Ellen!


Giggle! So funny Ellen, and way to go on the whole patience thing Jeff!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surprise from Jeff Foxworthy;Response from Dr. Maya Angelou

When I wasn’t dancing this past weekend, I was going over the first page proofs for my book.  Linda, the lovely woman who edited my book with her “editorial feather duster,” did an outstanding job.  I appreciate the fact that she really knows her stuff, and at the same time she allows me to be me… meaning I need to make up phrases and words that don’t necessarily exist in anyone else’s speech, or even in a dictionary.  I love that Linda let me be me in my writing, but at the same time, she corrects all of those nasty little nit-picky things (like nit-picky!)  Seriously, I have never loved purple marks on my papers like I do with Linda’s marks on my first page proofs for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.

An email response arrived in my inbox today from an assistant for Dr. Maya Angelou.  Yes, I sent an endorsement request to Dr. Angelou sometime in early March. Rather than feeling disappointed that she is too busy to look at my book, I feel grateful for the kind reply from her assistant.  They could have rolled their eyes at my request, and blasted me back with a, “YOU?!! YOU want a WHAT???!!!!!”  But kindness and civility prevailed throughout their polite decline of my request. 

And now… what a smile I still have upon my face! Yes, I know it is a smile I usually reserve for when I am filled with pure joy from dancing, but a pure joy surprise appeared in my mailbox today.  I opened an autographed photo that was signed to me along with a beautiful note that was written on the coolest of cool stationery  The note has his name pressed into it  and cowboy boots on either side of the paper.  And the note and photo were signed… Jeff Foxworthy.  Have you checked out his PSA for CURE Childhood Cancer?


Thanks Jeff… for showing you truly care about children fighting cancer.  My gratitude runs deep and wide.

Finalizing Endorsements and ARCs Soon

For all of you seasoned authors out there, you guys have this all down…  I am still recovering from the startling fact that a book needs to be raised after you are finished writing it.  But, believe it or not, I have emerged unscathed and actually quite perky from the endorsement phase of book raising.  I am very, very happy that we were able to finalize the paperwork for “The Cheese!” and this endorsement will be on the cover of the ARC for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery, along with Jeff Foxworthy’s very kind and thoughtful quote. 

I appreciate the doctors who took the time to read what I sent, the cancer foundations who responded with positive encouragement, the celebrities who surprised me with their warmth, and each and every person who supported my project with an endorsement!  It was such a successful endorsement campaign that I have been forewarned of “Endorsement Fatigue.”  I guess that this refers to readers inability to cope with reading endorsement after endorsement.  My thought is that it is better to gather too many and pick the ones we like best.  Promise I won’t “fatigue you!”

There are a few more “floaters” out there that I would love to bring in.  Hmmm… calling all floating endorsements!  Front and center, please !

And then come ARCs!  The end of May… the end of May. 

This is fun.  Yes, this is really fun!

“Someone #3” Believe it or Not!

My mom smiles as I squeal when a new endorsement comes in 🙂  There are three things I would love to blurt out, but I have found that there is a certain etiquette to this book endorsement gathering process.  “Someone #1” is reading Chapter 8 right now– his manager requested more, and already promised an endorsement.  And then there is that “Someone #2” who I have received the endorsement from, but I need to get her management a release before I “release.”  And then, there is “Someone #3,” who I have yet to tell you about!  This “Someone #3” is part of an organization that has already told me they would be “thrilled” to endorse my book, but a testimonial from this “Someone #3,” who is associated with this organization, would be simply amazing

I am really, really, incredibly excited that Greenleaf has begun the cover design process for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery!  I know what the “theme” of the cover will be, and I am anxiously awaiting the opportunity to view the cover designs to choose from.

Do you know that Roger Daltry of The Who started Teenage Cancer Trust?  How inspiring it is to know that he has a heart for kids.  I am going to add him to my Golden List of “Heroes for Kids” right alongside Jeff Foxworthy.  Thanks so much for caring, you have no idea what it means…

Jeff Foxworthy, Dr. Wharam, and Cure Childhood Cancer

What an interesting project this book endorsement requesting is!  Being a teenager, and a first-time author, I had no idea that after you write a book, you need to “raise it.”  I am very fortunate to have someone who  has helped me tread through the murky waters of book publication, and I will never forget him telling me, “Now that you have published Grace, you need to raise her!”  What the heck does that mean?  Well, I am finding out.  I was just so deliriously happy at this time to be holding my words in book form, I didn’t really care if anyone ever read it!   It is such a funny process… it’s like when you put some corn kernels in a pot, turn it on, and then things start to crackle and pop. 

Crackle and Pop… I am ready for the popping sounds to reach ear-popping decibals.

Jeff Foxworthy is a Hero for Kids!

Did you know that Jeff Foxworthy has been a fundraising chariman for Duke Children’s Hospital for fifteen years, and he has worked with Camp Sunshine in Atlanta for over a decade. I have to say that this touches my heart so deeply… that he would commit to help sick children for many years.  He is genuinely concerned for cancer kids, and he shows it by giving his time, and by giving from his heart. 

Can I share with you the latest gift he has shared with a “cancer kid?”

Jeff Foxworthy wrote me a kind, encouraging, supportive, and inspiring email, and guess what?!

 Mr. Jeff Foxworthy wrote a beautiful book endorsement for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey through Cancer and Recovery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can tell by his words that he really does spend time with kids who are battling cancer.  In this world that is becoming more and more devoid of people we can look up to for an example of how to live our lives, Jeff Foxworthy has given me something to reach for.  Integrity is a wonderful thing to share.  Please excuse me while I go cry happy tears.

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