Friday, October 26, 2007
Take THAT cancer!
Jillian Pasley is one of the coolest people I've ever interviewed. I met Jillian, who's funny, smart and sassy, earlier this year as I reported a story about African-Americans, cancer and bone marrow donations. (Full Story) Jillian is one tough cookie. She has beaten cancer THREE times.
Did I mention that Jillian is only nine?
In the short time we spent together, the crew and I really bonded with Jillian and her family. By the time we left, Jillian was planning a trip to visit us in Atlanta. Hugs were exchanged. We headed home, looking forward to the next time we would see Jillian and her family.
Weeks later, an e-mail from her mother, Jessica, popped up on my computer screen.
Jillian had cancer... again.
I closed the door to my office and cried.
Jessica has set up a wonderful blog to update family and friends. Recently, she posted a letter Jillian wrote to "Cancer." Jillian agreed to let me share it with our readers.
You are not very nice.
You are wasting your time because one day you're going to be extinct.
You are definitely wasting your time on me because each time I beat you.
Even if I do feel sick and throw up, I still feel good. I'm still happy because I know I'M winning.
I'm already healing.
You are wasting your time on so many people.
You are not much of a threat anymore.
As I say - you're just a teeny weeny ant and I step on you - SPLAT!
You have taught me that life really is too short.
Learn to LIVE.
Learn to NOT be afraid.
I know kids hate chemo, stinky milk (formula for ng tubes), transplants or even lots of surgeries. But after it all, it's like a new beginning. It's like you're reborn. It's like - WOW - I'm starting over with my life and it's wonderful. That feeling of a new life is wonderful.
Going through all the drama - throwing up, diarrhea, surgeries - when you come through it, it's a miracle.
It's never worth it to have cancer, but once you survive it, it just feels good.
I have had AML 3 times and osteosarcoma just recently.
I have been dealing with cancer since I was 1.
I am 9 years old, have had two transplants and will be 10 in December.
My friend, Jillian:
Keep fighting, continue living life to its fullest.
"Cancer" has no idea who it's messing with.
I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta soon.
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