A blog. It all happened because I was shown a blog, much like the one I am now writing on. From the moment I finished the first entry, I was already changed.
Maya Thompson began writing a blog documenting every step of her son's life. Why would this add anything to my life? I will tell you. Ronan Thompson was a normal three year old boy who did everything three year old boys are supposed to do; play, explore, fight, get in trouble, go on adventures, learn from his two older brothers, learn, and love...not get diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma.
(Neuroblastoma is type of pediatric cancer affecting 650 children annually. It is the most common extra cranial solid tumor in children, and the most common cancer found in infancy. It is extremely difficult to treat, as there is no known cure. I will post more about this in the future!)
Ronan, the baby boy with the most powerful blue eyes, was fighting a monster. His mother noticed he had been acting strange and that his left eye seemed to be getting swollen. Following her maternal instincts, she took him to several eye doctors before receiving the worst news of her life.
Each and every post Maya writes is brutally honest, saddening, uplifting, real, and inspiring all at once. Although we were total strangers, I came to be captivated by her family's story and willing to do anything I could to help them. After reading Maya's words, I learned more than I had from anyone or anything else.
They were also the most simple things. I realized that appreciating our good health should be done daily, multiple times a day. It is very easy to forget everything our bodies do, day in and day out, without fail. In the end, if you have your health, you have everything. Enjoy the simple things. Although this may sound a bit cliché; it is the truth. Become more honest with yourself, others, and the world. You will feel a whole lot better. Open your mind, think outside of the box. Too often we go through life worrying about trivial things when the real matter is making sure each and every day counts. The second I begin to feel sorry for myself because I got a bad grade on my French quiz or do not have enough money to buy that really cute dress, I immediately think of Ronan, the three year old who never hurt a fly, and his mother, the warrior who will never stop fighting, and suddenly, any problem I am facing is no longer a problem.
Sadly, after an eight-month battle with this monster of a disease, Ronan passed away in his mother's arms on May 9, 2011, three days shy of his fourth birthday. Never in my life have I seen anyone face such a harsh, grim reality with as much grace, dignity, positivity, and love as Maya and Ronan. I also never realized how quickly and simply my outlook on life could be changed by a total stranger, no less. From now on, I can only hope to have such a profound effect on someone, to have changed someone's life for the better. I owe a million thanks to the Thompson family for opening up my eyes and showing me that life is comprised of much more than things you acquire, and to live does not mean your alive. Find your passion, and chase it down. Because of Ronan and Maya, I have learned that there is a constant force of undying love and dedication somewhere within us all.
Thank you for reading, if you have made it this far. I have a lot more to say about this beautiful family, as well as this cruel disease and the lack of awareness surrounding it. I hope everyone continues to check in, and I hope you become the spiciest person you can be! For more information about Ronan and ways to help spread the word, check out: www.rockstarronan.com