A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Patricia Barker’

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.



I love surprises! I love planning surprises and I love being surprised. One of the things that I cannot forget to mention during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is how important it is for children fighting cancer to have something to look forward to– or something to surprise them. It is those moments during my illness that allowed me to “store up for the winter” when difficult times arose. You know what is funny is that it never mattered what the surprise was, just that there was one.

… like the day Patricia Barker’s pointe shoes arrived in the mail. Ooooooooooooooooooooh my gosh!

I don’t think Patricia Barker will ever fully understand what she did for me on this day. It’s something that will last for much longer than a day and it’s something I truly look forward to passing on!






Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: