A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘The Today Show’

Guinness World Record Shave for St. Baldrick’s Foundation on the Today Show

David Alexander, Guinness Record-Holding Barber

David Alexander, Guinness Record-Holding Barber

What a great day it is Today! Childhood cancer advocate and barber, David Alexander, teamed with St. Baldrick’s to break the record of the most heads shaved in one hour by one barber. In the past, David has raised over $600,000 for pediatric cancer research. I read that he even has a St. Baldrick’s tattoo on his chest!  Today, David shaved 73 heads of hair back to their shiny domes live on the Today Show to beat the world record– with eleven seconds to spare. This record shave is a huge thrill for everyone working to end childhood cancer. Hearty congratulations and thank you, David!


“I think we’ve established that Bald is Beautiful!” ~ Savannah Guthrie


Hearty thanks go to all the volunteer “shavees”who have formed teams, raised money and awareness, and traveled to leave your hair behind. I’m thankful St. Baldrick’s sent out an email to alert us about what would transpire this morning! As I tuned in, feelings of excitement rushed through my heart. I was happy to see St. Baldrick’s on the Today Show, because awareness is extremely important! I was happy to know that a lot of money was being raised for childhood cancer research. I was routing for David to break the record. And then…

St. Baldricks Record Today Show Shave 003

The camera turned to the very first person who would become bald. I recognized her immediately as Susan Heard. Memories of her son, David, and his origami cranes filled my mind, then my heart flooded with sorrow. My eyes filled with tears. I could see the celebratory mood of everyone in the crowd, but my eyes would not leave Susan’s eyes. As only another mom could, I felt I could see in her eyes what she was feeling at that moment. It was all for David. It was all for love.

I lost it.

Viewers of the Today Show this morning got a short glimpse into the world of what “lengths” childhood cancer advocates are willing to go to in order to make a brighter future. Record-breaking excitement, hair flying to the ground, and Today Show appearances are great. What is beyond great is that people like Susan Heard are choosing to use their pain to lead all of us.

Susan Heard ~ David’s Warriors



“Bald never looked so beautiful.”

                                                          ~Al Roker


Six Year-Old Joseph Maroney one the Today Show 4 -9 -2014

Six Year-Old Joseph Maroney on the Today Show 4 -9 -2014


Would you like to make a donation on this record-setting event & help fund childhood cancer research?





Guest Blogger: Lee Marchiano








Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey, and LIVESTRONG

At thirteen years old, Lance Armstrong was one of my greatest heroes. I admired and connected with him in many ways– as an athlete (yes, dancers are athletes,) as someone who had also faced cancer, and as someone who helps others fighting cancer.  Friends and family know this about me, and many are asking me how I feel about Lance’s cheating and lying confession last night during his interview with Oprah Winfrey.  I feel sick.  He must feel sick.  Everyone he has betrayed for so many years must feel sick.  Lying and cheating create a tangled web that traps innocent people.  Cheating creates a false fortress that can only be supported by lies. Lying builds the foundation for more lies.

Confession is good. Lance’s confession sets the table for forgiveness.  

What makes me feel the worst is that I looked up to Lance as a hero—not because of his awards or celebrity status—but because I was touched by the kindness of his heart.  I imagine those who are suffering the most right now are people who know him best… his family, close friends, and those who run LIVESTRONG.  This brings me to the most important part of my post.

This year, for the third year, I will be a LIVESTRONG Leader.  I have had the tremendous opportunity to visit headquarters and to communicate with employees at the foundation over the past two years.  Although my main focus in advocacy is childhood cancer, I will continue to support LIVESTRONG because those who run the foundation, including CEO Doug Ulman, do an outstanding job of serving the cancer community.

This is a link to Mr. Doug Ulman’s interview this morning on the Today Show.


Sometimes I think too much…

As I was searching my mind for comparisons that will stress the importance of continuing support of LIVESTRONG’s services, even though its founder has fallen from Grace,  I think of what would have happened to St. Jude Children’s Hospital if Danny Thomas’ reputation was “tarnished” in some way.  My point is… the need would still be there. 

The need is still here

People are diagnosed every day with cancer.  They need a place to turn for answers.  They need navigation services.  I know of no better place for this than LIVESTRONG.  I know of no finer people to take your hand and lead you through the fight of your life.

LIVESTRONG was born through Lance Armstrong, but it lives on because of the millions of people who have shown their support for helping others in need.  Please look beyond the media feeding-frenzy and remember the cancer patients who still need our help.

My heart breaks—not because I feel betrayed—but because I fear for those who may not receive the help they need.  What if… what if this means less support for critical services that save lives?

I cannot accept that—not without fighting hard to keep hope alive.

Let’s move on to the business of saving lives.



I Met Jenna Bush Today!

The exclamation point at the end of my post title tells you how excited I am about meeting Jenna Bush today:) Each time I recall this morning, I smile and my heart feels happy.

My mom noticed an ad in The Tribune earlier this week. It said that Jenna Bush Hager was scheduled for a discussion at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo (exactly where I will be performing in The Nutcracker in a few weeks:)) on November 8th. I remember her questioning the date, and then she concluded that the paper must have made a mistake on the date and that it had to be today.

We dragged our weary little bottoms out of bed in the deep darkness of morning and prepared to travel north to San Luis Obispo. I brought along a copy of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer And Recovery to give to Jenna (yeah, right… like I would really get the chance to do that!!!) Mom and I joked on the way there about how this whole adventure reminded us of setting out for Solvang to look for Lance Armstrong so he could sign my port jar– like a needle in a haystack, we found him. Not only did we find him, but we somehow managed to accomplish our mission, despite the massive crowds.

As we walked to the entrance of the Performing Arts Center, there, over to the far side of the entrance, was none other than Jenna Bush. She was with a photographer who was taking her photos, one other man, and that was all.  Mom quickly assessed the situation and figured that the man with them was most likely Jenna’s “Security Person.” After walking over to this “Security Person,” we found his name to be Cornell, and he was very friendly. Mom explained that I had a gift to give to Jenna and what it was. Cornell responded with an open heart, kindness, and care, asking us to wait with him until Jenna was finished with her photos.

And then, I met Jenna Bush Hager.

I have to tell you that my excitement is not because I met “Jenna Bush,” but because of the person I learned that she is from my experience talking with her. Her smile is brilliant and when she looks at you, she looks straight into your eyes and soul with genuine care. I am still deeply moved by the way she stopped everything– even though she was scheduled to speak within minutes– to ask me thoughtful questions about my book. She is a lovely, beautiful woman, and I feel blessed to have had our lovely talk.

Just in case you don’t know, Jenna is a contributing correspondent for the Today Show, and she’s chair of UNICEF’s Next Generation whose purpose is reducing preventable childhood deaths worldwide. Jenna’s book is “Ana’s Story,” and I am really looking forward to reading it.

To Jenna’s parents, former President Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, what a beautiful daughter you have raised! You must have given her lots of love, because she sure does have a lot to share.

I am extremely grateful she chose to share it with me today.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: