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.

Dear Cancer,
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.

Dear Jillian,
You're a motivation to me and hopefully to many others...God bless your soul and with the will of God to full recovery

Tareq Salameh
Amman, Jordan
Good luck Jillian! =o)
Sending my best wishes to Jillian, god bless her.
Hey Jillian-
I am 17 years old and a cancer survivor just like you! It is great to konw that there are strong kids out there like you fighting cancer as well. I KNOW you will beat it because you sound like one tough cookie! You are not alone in your struggle, and you have many people praying for you each and every day. No matter what happens, hang in there because I know you can beat this AGAIN!
Hi Jen,

Kind greetings from the seaside. I hope you are feeling okay since the fires.

This blog note is so touching. Jillian is a sweetheart. With a strong and wonderful attitude like that it will help her body fight hard – what an inspiration for us all.

Thank you for posting her vibrant poetic words Jen, no doubt it will help others who are battling cancer both young and old. I have dear friends that will enjoy reading the wise words of someone so young. Bravo Jillian.

Hope is so necessary for cancer patients – it can make all the difference in the world.

I keep Jillian in my heartfelt prayers – she has a lot of friends cheering for her! hang in there and keep up the good work!

In caring thoughts, Gina in Canada
I think we all have a lot to learn from Ms. Jillian. What a girl!

Big Al
Jillian.. sending you positive prayer as healed, energetic, busy and strong. Best wishes :)
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Jillian, you are an inspiration to all of us. It is beautiful to see a young lady express her feelings like that. You are an example to all the people that are trying to fight cancer and they end up giving up. But you on the other hand, you keep fighting and that's the attitude! Never give up! You only live life once so you might as well fight for it. And think of it this way. Your fighting is worth it because you get your life in return! Imagine how happy it makes your family and loved ones to know that you keep fighting! That they wake up and they can see you! How happy does it make you that you can be with your family! Remember is worth it so no matter how tough it gets remember God is always there for you! God Bless You!!
Good luck Jillian, you definitely warmed my heart with That! You are a very strong 9 year old. You'll win this battle also.:)
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