My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper is a 2009 American drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, and Alec Baldwin. Based on Jodi Picoult’s novel of the same name with screenplay adaptation by Jeremy Leven, the film tells the story of one family’s struggle to cope with a serious disease of one of its members while presenting viewpoints from each family member.

“You dont love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not”

“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.”

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them

“I’m lonely. Why do you think I had to learn to act so independent? I also get mad too quickly, and I hog the covers, and my second toe is longer than my big one. My hair has it’s own zip code. Plus, I get certifiably crazy when I’ve got PMS. You don’t love someone because they’re perfect. You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
“It’s about a girl who is on the cusp of becoming someone.. A girl who may not know what she wants right now, and she may not know who she is right now, but who deserves the chance to find out.”

“It’s disappointing to know that someone can see right through you.”

“I learn from my own daughter that you don’t have to be awake to cry.”

“Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult, I’ve decided, is only a slow sewing shut.”


March 31, 2010 at 9:52 pm 10 comments

A Tribute to Children

March 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm 2 comments

“Letters to God”

Written by Guest Writer Dana  Chaffin

Letters to God is the heartwarming story of a young boy’s battle with cancer and how he touches the lives of those around him. Tyler Doherty (Tanner Maguire) is an 8 year old boy diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. He writes letters to God asking Him to help those around him deal with his cancer. He explains that his letters are like texting your best friend.

Tyler sees the stress his mom, Maddie (Robyn Lively) is under trying to run the family after his father passes away. He unselfishly asks God to help his mom laugh again. He is concerned about what his family and friends will do after he is gone. Not once does he complain or question why he has cancer. The postman Brady McDaniels (Jeffrey Johnson), going through his own battles with alcohol abuse and a bitter divorce, receives the letters. He is confused with what to do with the letters at first, but finds himself on a mission for God.

Letters to God is more than just a movie; it is a movement of hope. The official website,, offers a multitude of information and encouragement. There you can watch the movie’s trailer, find theaters showing the film, preorder the soundtrack, find resources about cancer, and write your own letter to God.

Letters to God is a powerful film of how one boy moves those around him to look to God for answers. It is very well done with an experienced cast and crew. Although the film tackles the issue of a young boy with cancer, the message is of hope. God can use any situation to bring people into a relationship with Him, even a young boy’s letter. See the movie, visit the website, and join the movement of hope!

March 31, 2010 at 8:53 pm 1 comment

Beauty contestants organize princess party for Make-A-Wish

Whitney Potter, 11, wears slippers everywhere she goes to protect the nerves in her bony feet from painful contact with the hard ground.

Weighing in at just 48 pounds, the Clearfield girl is the oldest living human diagnosed with a rare chromosomal disease that’s slowly destroying her organs and nerve endings.

But Wednesday afternoon, the most notable part of the Whitney’s appearance was a smile big enough to show all her teeth and a sparkling, sky blue princess dress.

The frail child was surrounded by beautiful young women competing to be Utah Junior Miss 2010. The 39 contestants were dressed to the nines and on their most gracious behavior, all to treat sick little girls to the princess party of their lives.

Charming princesses from tiny to teen wore shimmery dresses in every conceivable color, from blue and yellow pastel to deep burgundy and gold. Complete with glitter, curled ribbon and pink balloons, the meeting room at Make-A-Wish headquarters could have come straight out of a fairy tale.

The girls were greeted at the door by two “princes” from local high schools.  The teen contestants volunteered their time to be with the Make-A-Wish kids and brought more than $3,000 for the foundation. The funds will pay for a child and her family to visit Disney World to meet “real” princesses.

In between serving cookies and lemonade and posing for fancy photographs, contestant Janelle Petersen boogied with Sarah Loop, 6. The Magna girl has been diagnosed with aplastic anemia but is slowly starting to “get back to normal,” according to her mother.

Petersen, 18, is herself a contemporary dancer and calls the activity her emotional outlet. “It’s kind of an overwhelming experience,” she said. “It makes me realize how blessed I am.”Later, teen beauty Lexi Childs and the ailing but talkative child sang Disney love songs along with the stereo.

“It’s been so good for me,” said Childs, 17, a self-described “princess freak.” “This is what I want to do. I want to work with kids.”

Utah Junior Miss contestants are participating in a week’s worth of activities. Saturday, a winner will be chosen and awarded scholarship money. She will then compete with high school students from across the country.

For more information, visit

March 12, 2010 at 7:56 am 5 comments

Older Pregnancies Increase Risk of Child Cancer

A study out of the University of Minnesota correlates older women getting pregnant with an increased risk of child cancer.

The study indicates that a baby born to an older mother may have a slightly increased risk for many of the cancers that occur during childhood. Their finding show that although the absolute risk is low, advancing maternal age may be a factor and explain why, after other factors are adjusted for, some children get cancer.

The results are published in the July 2009 issue of the journal Epidemiology. Currently, about one in 435 children under the age of 15 in the United States gets cancer. Types of cancers most often affecting children include leukemia, lymphoma, central nervous system tumor, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, bone cancer, and soft tissue sarcoma.

March 11, 2010 at 11:10 am 3 comments

The Impact of Childhood Cancer on Siblings

Did you know…?

April 10 is National Sibling Day


Children whose brother or sister is diagnosed with cancer can react with a wide range of emotions. Those feelings can include jealousy, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, depression and loneliness. In addition to the emotional impact, having a sibling with cancer can affect the well child’s school performance and social relationships. It really does impact their overall life experience, according to Sandra Ring, National Director of Outreach and Education at SuperSibs!

It can sometimes happen that siblings feel like they are to blame, Ring says. For example, Tim got the bump or bruise when he and his brother were playing and now doctors say it’s cancer. The brother may feel like it is his fault. That’s  why she says parents need to  talk to their well children and ask them, “What do you know about cancer?” or “Do
you think you did something to cause this?” and assure them that they did not cause this.

Keeping the lines of communication open are key, Ring says, not only with their children but also with their support communities like the school staff and the medical team.

Ring says it’s important for parents to truly understand how life has changed for their well children. The siblings need to be asked by the parents, “What can I do to let you know that you are important to me? How can I support you?” or “What do you need during this challenging time in our lives?” Let the children tell you what they want and what they need. Remember that each child in the family might want something different.

Siblings can get lost in the shuffle and lose track of who they are. Through interactions with others, they begin to define themselves by their brother or sister who has cancer. They do not want to be known only as “Alyssa’s sister.” This is especially true when well-meaning friends ask them: “How is your sister or brother?” It is important to support each family member’s experiences on the journey by asking, “How are You?”

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the family’s normal life is turned upside down. It’s not always easy but parents should keep the other kids in their normal activities. Make an effort to ask every day about their day and their school work. Make it OK for them to continue to live their lives… to laugh and have fun. Allow them opportunities to interact with their friends. Social activities are an important part of the social development. If kids are taken out of their normal environment, over time, they lose their support.

Some families find it helpful to focus on the positive— and look for the silver lining. This brings families closer and creates a positive and supportive environment. Ring says there can be bright moments on the cancer journey and you and your children can get through the difficulties by communicating and sticking together.

March 5, 2010 at 11:25 am 3 comments

The Love of Children

The Love of Children

Let’s not take for granted,

the life of a child,

whether naughty or nice,

complacent or wild.

Just continue to nurture,

to love and to mold,

for there’s nothing more precious,

to have and to hold.

Just when you feel,

life’s too unruly,

they’ll look up at you, and say,

“I love you truly”.

Then all of your troubles,

somehow melt away,

with those few little words,

which brighten your day.

Then when you think,

you’ve got it all sewn up,

You turn around,

and there stands a grown up.

No more messy rooms,

no more dirty dishes,

No more skinned up knees,

or endless Christmas wishes.

Then all you have left are your fond memories,

of the way they climbed mountains,

and swam cross the seas.

Though you know in your heart,

’twas the sand pile and lake,

what you wouldn’t give for one more double take,

of the children who grew up,

too soon and too fast,

So let’s not take for granted,

and thank God memories last.

Dawn Summit

March 5, 2010 at 10:45 am 3 comments

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