I Want To Talk About Michael

Wow, I cannot believe that Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is finally coming to a close! Most of you know that helping kids with cancer is the passion that fuels every decision I make and action I take. I am years away from (hopefully) becoming a pediatric oncologist, but I have the power to advocate and…

Cancer is a Journey, Not a Battle

I cringe every time I read or hear someone is “fighting cancer or battling cancer”. This language implies a war, which means there is a winner and a loser. I’m betting you know someone who died from cancer and you also know that person was anything but a loser. I realize it’s difficult to know…

When I Think of Michael

When I think of Michael, many of the images I have of him are often frozen in the seventh grade. That school year, by some stroke of luck, he, Bridget and I all had lockers next to each other. Everyday when I got to my locker, I could always count on Michael to greet me…

The Misleading Statistics

When I hear 90% cure rate for childhood cancers I want to scream or possibly throw up!  That stat is SO misleading.  That stat is talking about surviving 5 years.   Living with cancer for five years IS NOT CURING cancer!  Especially if you are 6 years old when you are diagnosed.  This steers research…

Reflections On My Hike

In the summer of 2015, before starting my third year at Pomona College, I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. More specifically, I decided that a long walk along the western geological spine of the continental United States from Mexico to Canada was a goal that could not be left to slowly erode over…

Hands

Looking down at these hands of mine I see calluses rimmed with dirt dotting their landscapes, cuts and scabs joining my mountainous knuckles to the valleys in the topography of my palms, and vast clearing of exposed flesh encircling my nails. I see bloodied skin dangling from my right pointer finger from the time it…

Kira: From Washington to Chile and STILL Making a Difference

Some of you may recall that I spent six weeks in Washington, D.C. last summer as an intern with Kids v. Cancer. Remember all my terribly awkward Facebook Live videos? Well, I for one have tried strenuously to forget them, so maybe we should refresh our memories! I went to D.C. as a pediatric cancer…

For Too Many Kids September Doesn’t Mean Back to School

I can’t believe I’m writing about Childhood Cancer Awareness month again. I can’t believe this is the sixth Sept that Michael is gone.  No Back to School for him or the thousands of other children who have lost their lives to cancer. What a shame…how unjust If you have children grumbling about going back to…

Caitlin’s Experience

Caitlin Holzer was part of a duo who recently shaved their heads and raised over $8,000 for the Swifty Foundation. Not only is her fiscal impact impressive, so is Caitlin herself. Her activism in the causes she cares about accurately exemplifies her remarkable character, and her passion for giving back depicts the inspiration that she…

Making Michael Proud

I start every meeting by opening my padfolio (that frankly took way too long to find at Office Max). In it, I have a few talking points scribbled down that I make sure to cover in every conversation I have about RACE. I try not to make my pitch seem too scripted, but I almost…