Truly Brave

If you haven’t heard about this latest song/music video then you’ve possibly been living under a rock for the past two days, or perhaps you’re just out of touch. In this world, when we’re constantly inundated with so much negativity and miserable things within our society, two of the pop music world’s most prolific singer/songwriters have gotten together to mesh their two remarkable songs into a new anthem for children suffering from cancer. Sara Bareille’s “Brave” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”.

I first saw the segment on the Today Show yesterday. I usually have the program on in the mornings while I’m getting me and the boys ready. All year, the anchors and reporters have participated in a “Shine the Light” project which serves to highlight or bring recognition to the programs and charities nearest and dearest to them. Hoda Kotb, a cancer survivor, decided to highlight the plight of children who are diagnosed with cancer and to find a way to cheer them up.

Being a mom with two small boys and the sister of a young man who died from leukemia, I am immediately drawn to anything that brings attention to the suffering, the cures, the laughters, the heartaches, and the all around love and support of anyone who is or has suffered from cancer. So, yesterday I dropped what I was doing to watch the segment and then to watch the video. It was poignant. It was beautiful. It was emotional and heart wrenching, but mostly it was magical.

I watched these children, heads shaven, tubes in their noses, ports in their chests, hooked to machines giving chemo. I listened to them talked and watched them smile. I didn’t see a single tear, nor did I ever once hear, “why me?” A lump formed in my throat and tears slowly began falling down my cheeks. I was immediately transported back to 10 years ago when my younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia. He wasn’t a child, but he was my mother’s child, her youngest, her baby. I thought about his diagnosis, watching him day in and day out as he fought the horrible disease, and how he did it with his head held high. In his final four years on this earth, he only asked once, “why me?”

No child, especially the smallest and youngest of the world, should ever have to face such an ugly disease. It breaks my heart when I see them going through things that most adults wouldn’t be able to handle. I’m sick at my stomach as I think about what they should be doing with life, out playing with their friends, getting into mischief, participating in school and sports, anything other than being in a hospital bed. As a parent, I’m terrified of my one of my children suffering with the disease. While I have faith both boys would handle it well, it tears me up to think this is something I really can’t protect them from, nor can I take it away from them.

It’s always saddened me to see anyone who suffers with cancer, but never hit me quite so hard until my brother was diagnosed with it. It hit home. It became real. And all of those years of me protecting him, were completely changed when he became my protector the day he told me, “it will all be alright. We’ll make it through somehow.” A child shouldn’t go through that and neither should a parent have to see their child suffer through it. Unfortunately, it’s a reality and the fact that so many are eager to find a way to not just cure the disease, but to also ease the suffering of those who are stricken with it, just helps to restore my faith in humanity.

If you haven’t seen the video, please go to this website and watch it.

And give thanks for the healthy children in your life and find a way to give to those less fortunate. – Marlo Thomas, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

This was my brother, 8 days before he died.
This was my brother, 8 days before he died.

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