Our Class of 2020

In the past, May always meant tulips, breaking out the lawn furniture and graduations. Covid-19 hasn’t stopped the tulips or kept us from sitting outside (albeit 6 feet apart), but for the Class of 2020 graduations have been cancelled or hopefully, only postponed. In the meantime, there is a lot of sadness, disappointment and uncertainty…

Light That Seeps Through a Broken Heart

I can’t tell you how often people are dumbfounded on how I can so enjoy working with a pediatric brain cancer foundation, especially one focused on post-mortem tissue donation. I guess they imagine the sadness and loss that these families endure and assume it permeates their lives and my work. That couldn’t be further from…

Growing During Isolation – And the smell of fresh baked bread!

Fear, uncertainty, disruption, crisis these are the words swirling around us these days. It’s hard not give in to despair. I can’t stop this virus, however I can share what I learned while caring for my son, Michael when he was stuck at home sick with cancer.

Love and Comfort in the Final Days

If I had a choice, I would be an “expert” on how the brain works, American history or songs from the 70’s. Unfortunately, I have just a little knowledge of those interesting topics. I do however have experience in losing a child to cancer, not a topic anyone would ever sign up to learn about….

Dear Silas

Dear Silas, I want you to know your very last wish is happening right now. There is a team of researchers, doctors, and specialists who have assembled. They are working to make a difference in the world of brain cancer. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the impact your donation will have….

Saying Goodbye to Normal

by Rachael Kittleson Kelsey’s Mom www.KelseysPromise.org As normal goes, we were a normal family…two daughters, two dogs, a neighborhood full of kids, family dinners, carpools, homework, and messy rooms. Our oldest daughter Kelsey was a great kid. At 14, she was a high honors student, athlete, musician, and volunteer who loved Journey and Queen, The…

She Did Not Lose Her Battle

We recently shared this blog from Libby Kranz on our Gift from a Child website.  Libby Kranz is one of our partners in Gift from a Child. She was kind enough to share her thoughts and and the recording of an emotional interview she granted to a local TV station about the loss of her…

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…