A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’

My love to you, Carol Burnett

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

Yesterday, Mom and I traveled to Santa Barbara to help the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation sell raffle tickets for their Fall Fundraiser at the Lobero Theater.  Mom and I worked as a team;  I became quite bold in asking people if they would like to purchase raffle tickets! I believe I even cracked the “toughest nut” there! If you are scratching your head and wondering why the Lobero Theater sounds like a familiar name, it is because it is the same Lobero Theater I write about in Grace … the pageant location.

It was one of those spectacular Santa Barbara days when the ocean sparkled while the majestic mountains gazed loving down upon the brilliant expanse. For as long as I have known about Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, they have always had a Fall Luncheon for their big fundraiser. This year was different. This year, Teddy Bear planned an evening of comedy to honor Carol Burnett.

Now, I need to give you a little background. My mom is one of those rare people who are never excited about celebrities. Her “celebrities” are children with cancer and those who help them. But—when she heard that Teddy Bear was honoring Carol Burnett, she lit up like a Christmas tree and began bubbling over with joy and laughter. She told me all about Carol’s show that she watched growing up and how Carol’s humor is like no others. My mom absolutely loves Carol Burnett!

When the big screen dropped down across the stage last night, and clips from Carol’s show began playing, I saw exactly what Mom was talking about. When Carol stepped to the podium to speak, I felt exactly what Mom had spoken of. Carol’s heart is huge. I say this not just because she helped Teddy Bear raise a lot of money to help families in need, but because she has a genuine love for her fellow humans. Something tells me this is why Carol’s humor is the absolute best ever, because of her tremendous care for those around her.

I learned something else about Carol last night. Carol lost her daughter, Carrie, to cancer.

It must have been very difficult for her to be there last night. I am grateful– extremely grateful– to Carol Burnett. I know firsthand how vital it is for us to support foundations like Teddy Bear. They helped save my life when I was imprisoned in the darkest pit imaginable. With their help, I received the help I needed to heal.

I want to thank everyone who attended last night, everyone who purchased raffle tickets (!), and I want to thank Carol Burnett for providing a beautiful bouquet of hope for children fighting cancer.

Carol… you have my love and deep respect forever.

Laughter is outstanding medicine for life!



Big Heart Red Carpet Awards

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

Have you ever noticed (I’m not sure that it’s possible not to notice!) the headlines on the magazines available for purchase at our grocery store checkout stands? Right along with the latest headlines of the latest happenings of celebrities, there are captions commenting on how excellent it is that someone has lost weight, or how dreadful it is that someone has packed it on.

I have a hard time managing my brain when I look at those. I have a hard time managing my heart when I realize that we, as a society, value what our outer shells look like much more than we value the wholeness of our hearts. Is it just me, or is something sickening and wrong with this? I am not suggesting we discontinue bathing and grooming. I just think that The Grand Prize of Life cannot possibly lie in becoming The Thinnest, The Most Beautiful, or even The Most Famous.

I think the Grand Prize of Life lies much deeper… down in the deepest part of us.

Will you please help me look for winners of The First Annual Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Big Heart Red Carpet Awards?

I am looking for foundations, businesses, and individuals who have opened their hearts (wallets are appreciated, but certainly not necessary!) to fighting childhood cancer.


It’s way past time we start giving awards where they are truly deserved.

Know what’s funny…. if there were an award ceremony for this, no one would show up. These people already have their “prize.” They have helped children with cancer. They don’t need or want accolades or praise.

Those aren’t The Prize.

I leave you with —reminders of the reality of childhood cancer…

Andrew McDonough

Written by Andrew’s family…

 This B+ Hero is Andrew – the reason we fight so hard for a cure. Andrew was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML) on January 29, 2007, just 48 hours after playing 4 soccer games. His body went into septic shock and his heart stopped. Doctors said he wouldn’t live through the night, but he proved them wrong. He underwent nearly 50 surgical procedures, 4 strokes, multiple hemorrhages and a brain aneurysm that forced him to be airlifted to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for emergency brain surgery. We were told he was the sickest child the hospital had ever treated. After 167 days in the hospital, Andrew passed away on July 14, 2007. www.caringbridge.org/visit/andrewmcdonough


46/7 is real... are you?

Written by Carla Mota…

… like always up all night fearing for my daughter… indescribable how it is to live fearing that your daughter might die… only someone who walks in my shoes will truly know the heartbreak I live with and for all of you who don’t, get on your knees and thank God NOW and beg him you never find out !!!

Update on Reefie... he's on his way to the U.S. today!

Written by Randy Hinton…

“If you force radiation ,steroids, and chemo on a condemned prisoner without his permission he can SUE THE STATE AND WIN. If you do it to a child it is called “Best medicine available”.

Praise the Lord for Remission

Written by Nikki Katz of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation…

“Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is currently working with a family whose three year old daughter is battling a Wilms Tumor. The family recently had to move out of their home into a small two bedroom apartment and have no furniture. If you or someone you know have any of the following items and wish to donate them please contact Nikki at 308-9941 or via e-mail.

Be sure to share this e-mail with friends, family and coworkers.

Queen bed, sheets, comforter, two pillows & pillow cases

Twin bunk bed, sheets, comforter, three pillows & pillow cases

One Twin Bed mattress

Sheets and comforter for a toddler bed

Small couch and chair

Dining room table with six chairs (not big)


 DVD player

Standing lamp or two

Side Table for table lamp


Thank you for your time and consideration.”


Reality check to all of America!

I will be awaiting your votes for the True and Most Deserving Winners in This Life.





Pearls of Wisdom and Rusty Gates

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

“Make that change” ~ Michael Jackson

It makes me wonder. I wonder why humans spend enormous amounts of time focusing on what we are getting or not getting—instead of examining what we are giving or not giving.

I wonder where and when, “Me, me, me!” became the rule rather than the exception.

Would you like to know about the glaring exceptions to this dreaded state? I see exceptions everywhere I look in the world of childhood cancer. I see Mr. Tom Nunn ready to tattoo his head to raise money to fight childhood cancer and I see his wife, Jodie, prepared to shave her head. I see their sweet daughter, Lilly—at ten— willing to shave her head too. Not only do they do all of this, but they collect cans, have bake sales, hold continuous online auctions, and also collect gold items and old electronics. All of the money they raise goes straight to St. Baldrick’s. In all that they do, I feel their love for Max. I love how they have chosen to honor their love for him by diving head first into the water to help other children.

In addition to Lilly Nunn, there are more children who have received and processed “The Pearl of Wisdom” about giving. One of these kids is Nino Mireles. Nino’s sister fought cancer as a toddler, and she is now a survivor. Nino has created something delightful by combining his love for cancer children and his artistic talent. He paints lively, colorful murals to make children happy and at the same time he is raising money for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Cottage Hospital.


Lilly and Nino are givers. Givers are the humans who “Make That Change.”

Thank you, Lilly and Nino. You are making this world a better place to live. Your Pearls of Wisdom are shining for other youth around you to notice. When they see what you are doing, they will feel the goodness of your heart and want to do something too.

Sometimes when we look inside ourselves, we discover that we hold the keys which unlock the old rusty gates imprisoning our potential to give all we have to give.

Here’s to unlocking a multitude of rusty gates.

“Make That Change.”  ~Thanks Michael… for your dancing:):):) and your love.

From Noah’s mom today:


I want to adopt the Nunn family!

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

Dave Congalton KVEC 920

I had a great time today talking with Dave Congalton in a radio interview to promote the American Cancer Society Gala Fundraiser that will be held at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo at 5:30 on August 15th. I loved Dave’s questions– especially the one about my port and Lance Armstrong! Gosh, he is funny! Now you are going to have to listen to the podcast to see what all that hilarity is about:) I finally had the chance to meet Kathleen Schroeder– American Cancer Society volunteer extraordinaire and Dave Ruiz– another volunteer extraordinaire, with a voice that belongs on the radio!

This morning, just after I yawned and opened my eyes, Kelly Teal from KSBY came to our house to tape an interview that will likely air on KSBY TV on Friday. Tomorrow, Mom and I are heading back  to Santa Barbara so I can do a TV interview with Marni and The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Have I told you lately how much I love the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation????????????? Also, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This child is asking you to “Be Aware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Your helpful assistance in some way is even better:)

Right after the interview in Santa Barbara, I am looking forward to joining Starbright World in their online chatroom. They are a group that does wonderful things to support teens with life-threatening illnesses. I am already looking forward to meeting them. I pray that I will be able to help them in  some way– somehow I already know that they will be helping me!

Julie, Nikki, and Squishy People

Today I met a woman named Julie. Julie is a nurse, and she is a beautiful, loving, caring woman who radiates love all around her. Do you know what I am talking about? I love when I meet someone who exudes so much warmth and love that their life vibrations  go straight through me.  I left her three hours ago and I still feel the glow from deep within her.

I call people like Julie “Squishy.” Imagine poking your finger into the Pillsbury Dough Boy and how soft, supple and tender he is. Well, Julie is one of those tender people walking this Earth, and she is not doughy because of any excess skin or fat. She is so tender that she “squishes” when touched. And her Squishiness is a direct result of being filled to the brim with love!

I am adding Julie to my handful of people in this life who I consider Squishy. Nikki, from the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is quite possibly the Squishiest of the Squishies!

Are you Squishy? Why not give it a try? It makes people around you feel incredibly loved:)

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