If you haven’t seen this video yet, you have to see it. Make sure you have some Kleenexes on hand.
If this made you cry, or brought any emotion to your heart, think about donating to the cause.
Here’s Hoda Kotb’s story on why she brought these two magical women together to create a song to help raise money for childhood cancer research.
You know how your life is perfect on Monday and then on Tuesday it all falls a part? That’s what happened to me seven years ago when a doctor called me and told me I had breast cancer. I needed a mastectomy –and reconstruction. An excruciating time. I thank God that I have wonderful doctors, family, friends and faith that helped me through, but I also had something else — music. Sounds funny but those notes and lyrics soothed me and helped heal me. I am not sure what I would have done without it.
Cancer is difficult to endure as an adult. I can only imagine how tough it would be for a child – it’s such a grown-up disease. It just so happens that several years ago the TODAY Show sent me to a children’s cancer hospital for a series of stories. I was frozen at the door… did not want to walk inside. I guess I was just afraid to see so much pain. But with one glimpse of the first child I saw there, another feeling washed over me. I was feeling hopeful, almost joyful.
An estimated 10,450 new cases and 1,350 cancer deaths are expected to occur among children (ages 0-14) in 2014. I want to do everything I can to prevent cancer from taking these young lives. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nurse, but I want to do what I can. To lift their spirits and help these kids heal, I’m joining forces with Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create a song and concert just for them. Please hear our song and donate to the American Cancer Society by clicking on the “Donate” or “Fundraise” buttons. You can also make a donation by calling the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. When calling, please specify that you’d like to donate to the Shine A Light campaign. All proceeds will go to grants for pediatric cancer research. Together, we can help prevent this disease from taking more young lives.
You can donate money by going to Hoda’s fundraising page by clicking HERE.
One of the little girls in the video (the one in the purple shirt) is NFLer Devon Still’s 4 year old daughter. Today, she went in for surgery to have the tumor, lymph nodes and adrenal gland removed. Her surgery was very successful, but it’s far from over. Part of the cancer is in her bone marrow, so she is still in need of more treatment.
It is heartbreaking to see these little ones with cancer. They should be having the time of their lives, enjoying childhood, not sick in a hospital bed. Like Hoda, I know what it is like to have cancer and live with it as an adult. These little ones with cancer just truly break your heart. Hopefully one day we’ll see an end to childhood cancer.
As I write that, I think of the little boy I met at the pediatric hospital in Ottawa when the NHL introduced the hospital’s new playroom. This one child with cancer, the cutest little guy in the group, had taken a liking to the mascot from the Vancouver Canucks. All throughout the press conference, including Gary Bettman’s speech, he sat there talking to the mascot. It was the cutest little thing ever.
The mascots let me take a photo of all of them with the little boy.
I kept running into the little guy as we went from the cafeteria to the playroom. He was adamant about wanting to push the button on the elevator, so we let him. He just put a smile on everyone’s face. He was so precious. Yet, he is just an example of being Truly Brave. It didn’t matter that he was sick. He was being Brave for all of us.