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An inspiration of music and community

I went to a Sarah McLachlan concert last night in my home, Asheville, NC. It was a fundraiser for the Green Side Up Foundation, another foundation in support of children with pediatric cancer. I actually didn’t know this foundation was part of the concert until I was pressing the button to make the final purchase on the tickets. Right away, I wrote to the foundation ahead of time, excited about what they were doing and asking how Blankets for Cancer could help.

Last night, as my wife, Emily, and I were sitting in the last row at the very top waiting for the concert to start, a man spoke on the microphone about a boy named Jordan, who lost his life to pediatric cancer. Emily and I froze and then looked at each other in shock. 3 years ago, we were sitting in the same nosebleed section, that section closest to the vast sky, watching a different concert. During that first concert all I could think about was Jordan, who had passed away almost 2 years prior. After that same concert, Emily told me that she kept having visions of Jordan soaring over the crowd. We hadn’t been talking about Jordan beforehand. It was quite a beautiful alignment and the mention of another Jordan at the beginning of last night’s concert was uncanny.

Then a couple stood up in front of this giant crowd and told their story of their son passing from cancer ten years ago. The room felt every word. I was crying… a lot. As Emily fished in her purse for a tissue for me, she pulled out a pair of my 7 year olds underwear, which she says were clean. Yes, you heard me right. She offered me children’s underwear. I was grateful for them. Grateful for the health of my two daughters and every healthy child.

When in a room with Sarah McLachlan playing, it summons your deepest emotion. It summons things that are already inside you. As I heard the music, I knew that we are all here together to do this thing together and experience this thing together. The man sitting next to us during this concert represented this sense of us being in it together. When the crowd cheered after a song he would say “Go, Sarah!” -like he was encouraging a teammate. He had binoculars and without even glancing at us he handed them over, like “ Here your turn.”- like he was our teammate, too.

Pediatric cancer is somewhere we can show up together. Nobody is alone. Let’s remember this. Let’s remind the families going through the difficulties and the rollercoaster of pediatric cancer about this.

The truth is that most of us have had a family member or someone very close go through cancer. Sarah told us that her mother, father, and brother all passed away from cancer. Both of my own parents are cancer survivors, having been diagnosed with cancer 18 months apart. The family that created the Green Side Up Foundation lost their father/husband one month ago to pancreatic cancer. Our dear Jordan lost his life 4.5 years ago to cancer at the age of 6. The journey that Jordan and his family went through, and the journey of Jordan’s community, is the inspiration for Blankets for Cancer.

We are in this together. Please donate to show your support for families going through pediatric cancer treatment.

-Dr. Leslie Meyers


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