Today marks one very sad year since Prince Liam the Brave passed away. I wrote this post about him last year soon after he passed away. I have no idea how his parents Gretchen & Larry, continue to get up every day and continue to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, but they do. They continue to do it because they made a promise to Liam, they promised that they would make it better for other kids, and they will, I have no doubt about it. Gretchen and so many other mamas are forced into a life that they did not want to be part of, but in turn take the worst possible thing that could ever happen and try and make some good come out of it. I never met Liam, but was blessed to meet Gretchen last year when she came to our mamas night out event. While I know that there is nothing that can ease her pain, I hope that knowing how her story as opened they eyes of so many people, around the country and here in Santa Cruz, can at least show her that she is making a difference and Liam lives on in the hearts of so many.
There is another blog that I have been following, that touched me in the same way that Liam’s story had, that I have hesitated to share because it is so incredibly heartbreaking, raw, honest and real. Beautiful little Ronan, had Neuroblastoma like Liam, and sadly lost his battle last year as well. Ronan’s mama, Maya, shares her story and grief in a way that will leave you crying and hopefully motivated to make a difference. You can read her blog here. If I had to pick out one post that sums it up for me, it would have to be this one: “how could my love not be enough“. Just imagine for a second being told that there is nothing more that can be done for your child’s cancer. I don’t think that we have any clue what it is really like to love a child until we hold our babies for the first time. To know that no matter how much you love them, there may come a point where you can do NOTHING to save them, is just shocking and so completely wrong.
I know many people who completely tune me out when I start talking about pediatric cancer, it is just too awful to think about and I guess that people hope that if they pay no attention to it, it will not happen to them. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Pediatric cancer does NOT discriminate, and it is thousands of moms like Gretchen & Maya who are working through their never-ending grief to make a difference so that other mamas do not have to ever feel the pain of losing your child to cancer. As a mom of 3 healthy kids, I owe it to moms like this to do my small part to make a difference.
Like many others, I could have made resolutions a few weeks ago to eat better, exercise, be a better mama, get organized, spend less money, go through 5 years of photos on my computer, etc, I would really just be setting myself up for failure. If I could just find a way to love like liam and live like a rockstar, I will be a much better person at the end of 2012 than I was at the end of 2011. I am not so sure that organizing photos or spending less money will make me a better person, will it?! I think this years resolution needs to be a bit more simple, it really comes down to this:
“It is about being the BEST version of yourself, that you can possibly be.” – Maya Thompson
Ronan’s mama has this list on her blog called “how to live like a rockstar”, that I have printed out and look at every single day. For today, in honor of Liam, I am going to focus on #6 – Educating people around me about pediatric cancer and #18 – Love with your whole heart, soul, mind and body. #19 is to stop freaking out because your kid colored on the wall with a black sharpie, and then peed all over the carpet. I will be glad that I have a kid to create such a creative piece of art for me. I will embrace my little guys inner spiciness. That cute one up above who walks to the beat of his own drum every single day.
Everyday, 46 Kids are diagnosed with Pediatric Cancer and 7 Kids lose their battle to Pediatric Cancer. Since Prince Liam the brave lost his battle 365 days ago, 2,555 kids have lost their battle and 16,790 kids have started their battle.
Please join the fight for Liam & Ronan, as well as for your kids, your neighbors kids and our future kids.
Do not turn away and pretend pediatric cancer does not exist. Hold a bake sale, make a donation, buy some cookies, order a necklace, make a difference and above all..LOVE LIKE LIAM.