As you all know (or if you're new around here you don't),
I'm a huge fan of reality tv (Just kidding!). You all know that A) my daughter was born with hearing loss and uses hearing aids to hear, and B) my niece Rosemarie has been fighting Neuroblastoma (a form of childhood cancer) for the past four years.
|Rosemarie and Allie|
If you aren't a big tv/reality tv watcher/country music fanatic then you may not know that the finale of Celebrity Apprentice was on tonight. The two finalists? Marley Matlin and John Rich. Their charities? Marley was representing the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and John was representing St Jude Children's Hospital. My vote (as if I had one) for John Rich. Without intending to stir up any debates, as I certainly know this could be a touchy issue, the kids Marley is working to help will still be alive next year. Hearing loss typically doesn't mean the end of a life. Childhood cancer does.
|Allie, the first day with her Aids. She looks surprised you think?|
I wish I could really convey how much it touched me to see the footage of her in Africa giving those children their first hearing aids - and the experience of witnessing someone hear for the first time. I can't even put it into words. Allie got her aids when she was just months old. But still there were no promises. When she was diagnosed the thoughts went through my head, "I'll never hear her say Mama, or I love you." Those words were not guaranteed. Thankfully for Allie's case, those words did come and right on track with normal hearing kids. I could tell you how amazing it was to hear her make her first noises. I definitely cried watching that part of the Apprentice show tonight, where the little girl said "Mama" for the first time. That's powerful stuff.
More powerful? St. Jude has "developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today." (this and more powerful statistics here). St Jude is currently working on research related specifically to the treatment of Neuroblastoma. You can read more here
Please make a donation to St. Jude's Research Hospital. Send in even a dollar for Rosemarie.
(I recommend being on their mailing list. They are persistent, but even if once a month I get their flier and I send in a few bucks - whatever I have. It's nice to have that little reminder.)
|Allie and Rosemarie a year and a half ago.|