I received a letter from my friend Rita asking if I could put something on my blog to help bring awareness to Pediatric Cancer and I think the best thing is to share the letter with you.
The letter was originally sent to Rita from Donna Murphy aka “Pickles”. Donna was trying to get people to attend a Locks of Love marathon, and while the event in her letter was a few months ago, their efforts are ongoing and they need everyone’s help.
** I was watching World News Tonight on ABC and saw this very touching story and felt it kinda tied in.
I know a young man who is an absolutely outstanding person and asset to our community and country. His intelligence level is unsurpassed by anyone that I have ever known. He graduated first in his Grade School in a highly competitive district. He was on his way to battle for the number one spot in his High School when he found the need to call his mother to come pick him up from school due to a sudden horrible headache. That night his life and he life of each of his family members came crashing in around them. He went to the doctors and then to the hospital to receive the news that he had 3 malignant brain tumors! He needed surgery within 48 hours with no guarantee of survival from the surgery, or a functional life after recovery.
His family always joked that I would crash his high school graduation party fully dressed as a clown to do a full skit for Jimmy and all of his friends. His mother called and said they were arranging a bedside get together with his closest friends at the hospital that night and requested “the show”.
I walked into his room prepared to do the show of my life, and I was sickened by the look of total devastation and despair on his father’s face. I am crying as I write about it because the awful sight was something that I wish I had the power to prevent from ever happening again to any parent of any child. His mother and sister put on a bit of a strong happy smile which was even more heart wrenching, because anyone with a heart could see right through it. His younger brother never spoke one word; he just watched as if time was not even existing. I trudged on, dishing out my best stuff only looking at the center brim of Jimmy’s hat, trying to look like I was making eye contact with him but not actually doing so; in an attempt to maintain my professional clown persona. I cannot even imagine looking at one of my children knowing they may not be alive or functioning by that weekend. It is incomprehensible to me!
Thanks to pediatric research, Jimmy survived his ordeal and went on to graduate second in his High School class in spite of missing almost a year of school in his junior year during recovery.
Jimmy Topper is currently an honor student at Drexel University and in his 4th year he continues to maintain a 4.0 GPA! I am so proud of him.
I cannot let this opportunity pass that has been presented to me. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I can no longer run or walk the distance of a marathon. I found a marathon that I have been preparing for, for 3 years! It is a head shaving marathon with 100% of the proceeds going to the cause of PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH! I grew my hair so I could have a double hit on the awful effects that pediatric cancer has on the child an the entire family. I will be donating my hair to Locks of Love so a child can have a wig made of my hair and I am having the rest of my hair shaved off in the marathon (of course while being dressed like a clown!)
If you would like to shave your head too, please join us on the day after St. Patrick’s Day at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom or go to St. Baldricks and make a donation. From the home page simply click on Find a participant, type in Donna Murphy, hit Go then press Donate Now. It is just that simple. You can donate by check or credit card.
There is no such thing as a donation that is too big or too small so please decide what is comfortable for you and know that I and so many other people are eternally grateful for this one time request.
Again, thank you for all of your time and effort pertaining to this extremely important matter!
P.S. An “after photo” will be sent in appreciation