A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Relay for Life’

A Single Flame…

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

What would we ever do without friendships? Sometimes– if we are very fortunate, we find people to enjoy life-long friendships with. My mom has this kind of a friend in Gregg Kaufman. They met in junior high school and they have remained friends forever. I have been the truly appreciative recipient of his friendship through all of my years, including his loving support throughout my cancer battle. A card would show up in our mailbox, or Gregg would show up at our door with fluffy socks and a cozy blanket. He always had words of encouragement, and he showed his care in every way and every chance he would get.

Gregg asked me if I would come to speak to his Rotary Club this past week and to speak last night at the Morro Bay Relay for Life. It felt great to be able to do something for Gregg for a change! The Luminaria Ceremony is my very favorite part of Relay. I thought about the emotional impact I feel each time I attend Relay and wrote a poem to share last night at the Luminaria Ceremony. 

 A Single Flame …

beyond its rippling edges is a vast space no eye can see.

It is here the worst of fears have been confronted,

and tears have been shed in the light of joy, and the dark of sadness.

It is here patience has been shoved again and again,

all while trust clings tightly to its feeble legs.

It is here faith has crumbled before being built anew, and here that existence

has finally peeked out through the crystal clear window of perspective.

It is here that the greatest of battles were fought,

although most will never know of them …

It is here that an army rose up,

coming together for one purpose-one soul.

It is here that loneliness pierced abounding support,

and here that roads twisted, turned, began, and sadly, ended.

That one, single flame is an intricate and delicate story … if you listen quietly you can hear it speak of its life-paths chosen and un-chosen.

When multiplied, the sheer quantity of softly glowing flames

can overwhelm the mind and sink the heart.

There is an innocence in their glow …yet ever-present is an incredible strength,

a quiet strength, often an unknown strength.

To stare at your flame is to feel your life sweep over you in an instant …

emotions flood the heart,

but none can dilute the immense amount of gratitude already there

To stare at a flame that contains not only a story, but a spirit is to be made numb … No words …

And then, a little miracle takes place inside …

every emotion blends and mixes while inability to feel melts away.

And in an instant hope arrives through hopelessness …

and through hope, purpose …purpose for every, single flame

Copyright Melinda Marchiano August 6, 2011

Aquarium at the Entrance to Duke Children's Hospital

Relay yesterday, Johnny Tan Interview Tomorrow

Relay for Life this past weekend was awesome! Our team, Team Trilogy, raised over $17,000 for the American Cancer Society, and all of the Arroyo Grande teams together raised $93,000! It is remarkable to see what all of these dedicated people do– it is truly God’s work. The feeling of love that surrounds this whole event is something I wish for all of you to experience. Consider joining a team next year. You will truly make a difference and what you receive in your heart will be so much more than what you give from your time and your wallet. Trust me. I speak the truth.

Tomorrow morning, at 8am PST, I will be talking with Johnny Tan:


I would love to have you call in with questions at 347-327-9995. Life is always more fun and more rewarding when we do it together. Please join me!

Foreign Publication Rights

Part of the thrill of creating and marketing my book is the joy I have from meeting many people I never would have met. Another unexpected part of the thrill is that I get to learn something new every day about publishing. I am not sure where, but I have heard of the term “foreign rights” before and never thought too much about it.

Today, I am thinking much more about it than ever. We received news today that there is interest in foreign publication rights for Grace. I am imagining Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery translated into German and Korean. I am imagining Grace in bookstores on the other side of the world, and this tickles me to giggles. In my most hopeful dreams, my written words would be able to help people who are suffering here in our country. I never, ever imagined that my words might travel to other countries to help people there. But, isn’t this exactly how God works? He loves us so much that He finds a way to help us– even when we are utterly clueless. Wow.

Tomorrow is Relay for Life day in Arroyo Grande, California… hometown of Zac Efron, and also home of highly dedicated and loving people working their tails off to make cancer to take a long walk off a short pier. Thank you to everyone who has given their time in their own hometowns to Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back! Tomorrow is going to be awesome!

“The Cheese” Endorsement, Relay for Life, and Johnny Tan

Hi!!!!!  Have you wondered where the heck I have been?  Guess where?  The first ten guesses don’t count!  This may surprise you, but I have been dancing and dancing and dancing… jamming my homework in between rehearsals and performances. 

Today, a very exciting email arrived from the kind manager of “The Cheese.”  He asked me to call him, and he told me that he has “The Cheese’s” quote for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Unfortunately, when I returned his call after school, he had already gone home for the day– New York time.  I guess I have something to look forward to tomorrow!

Last week, Deb Jeffers from the American Cancer Society called to ask if my mom and I would speak at the Luminary Ceremony at Nipomo’s Relay for Life on May 1.  Mom had plans to go out of town that weekend, to meet up with some high school friends, but we both feel the strong desire to give thanks for my life… and what better way than sharing hope with others who have suffered through cancer, or who have helped loved ones through treatment and recovery.  We will be speaking at 8:00, on May 1st, at the Nipomo Relay for Life.

Over the weekend, I received an email reply  from Johnny Tan.  He has had an amazing life, and I can’t to read his book, From My Mama’s Kitchen.  From what I know, his book is about his mothers (8 of them I believe,) and how they each influenced his life.  He has a talk radio show, FMMK, and I will be joining him for an interview on June 29th, at 10:00 am, Central time.  After learning about him on his website www.frommymamaskitchen.com, I told him that I am going to begin working on getting my very own radio show– so I can interview Johnny!  Lance too!

Clue #2 For “Someone #1”

I loved being able to see many people who I love and care about today at the book signing for Relay for Life!  I was so surprised to see my basketball coach (who was an awesome coach,) Joe Moreno walk in.  Another wonderful surprise was Nat Fast showing his always incredible smile and warmth, and if you haven’t seen his artwork… well, it is way past time!  (Faculty Emeritus, Art Department, Allen Hancock College/PCPA Associate Artist)  Barbara Miller, my homeschool teaching advisor for several years before I got sick surprised me too.  And then, there were Gramma and Poppy who are always there to love and support me. 

It was fun sharing, and the people who came asked really good questions.  It seemed like everyone had fun, and we raised money to fight back against cancer.  Very, very, very cool.

On to the Guessing Games…

Okay, now for clue #2 for “Someone #1.”

Do you remember clue #1?

Anyway, clue #2 for “Someone #1” is “Type of.”

Wait till you see the prize! 

By the way, have you figured out who “Someone #2” is yet?

Wow, you are quite sharp, aren’t you?

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