And What Followed...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Angels of Hope 2008

Last night I had the pleasure of rejoining my friends at Angels of Hope to raise funds for City of Hope. The last two years I had the honor of being the main speaker at their annual dinner. This year, I got a break and came as a special guest. Tim Scully (left) is also a marrow transplant survivor and remains a staunch advocate for cancer patients.

Angels of Hope is based out of Rancho Palos Verdes and many of its generous members have contributed tremendously to City of Hope's research and treatment in the fight against cancer.

My friend Andy and I got a chance to experience some close-up magic during the silent auction before sitting down to a fine dinner of salmon and filet mignon. Despite the state of the economy, the members were as giving as ever at this year's fundraiser.

It is groups like Angels of Hope that make a profound difference in the world. Contributions to non-profits such as City of Hope benefit not just doctors and researchers but directly effect patients and their families. Angels of Hope proves that a very small group of dedicated people can make a profound difference in countless lives.

It felt good to return healthy to a place where, just two years before I was very sick, bald and uncertain of the future.

We need to remind ourselves each day as we get older, that we are lucky enough to "get older."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Camp Keepsake

Camp Keepsake Promo Video

I just returned from a weekend of volunteering at Camp Keepsake. I've attended this wonderful
camp as a patient and guest in the past. This year I returned as a host (like a camp counselor) to welcome the new campers!

It was a thrill to return healthy and to return to give back to an organization led by a group of the most passionate and authentic people I have met in my cancer journey. Camp Keepsake has done so much for me and my family and friends. I've seen the camp give hope and transform patients into a family of warriors for love and life. I know it may sound a bit overwrought but I guess you have to experience for yourself the beauty and inspiration this single weekend of camp does for so many.

I was lucky to be paired with a
wonderful family group and made quick friends with Sophie and little Lauren. Both their mothers were dealing with health issues so it was a true gift to be able to give these little girls a chance to be little girls; to give them a break from the difficulties and suffering that illness can burden upon a family. Camp Keepsake is the one weekend when families can be "normal"and enjoy life and each other without worrying about chemo, needles and doctor appointments.

Thanks to Chris, Karie, Thomas, Melissa, Kristi, Carmine, Mara, Juli, Jason, Mark, Ryan, Oscar, Rose, Louie, Alon, Kevin, Joe, Dale, Drew, Gary, Emily, and everyone involved with camp. Here is another way that we take tragedy and turn it into something beautiful.

I can't wait to volunteer again next year!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

NAI - USC Marrow Drive

My undergrad Alma Mater is the University of Southern California. One week ago, thanks to my dear friends Tim & Margaret, I was 23 rows from the field at the awesome Ohio State rout. (USC 35, OSU 3). Today, it felt great to return to campus and show my Trojan Pride in a completely different way

The Neighborhood Academic Initiative is a University program designed to help get disadvantaged youth on track towards a college degree. Most of the teens in the program would otherwise not have a chance at a college education. A full-scholarship at USC awaits those who successfully complete the program and pass the application process. I had the pleasure of meeting a "graduate"of the program who is now attaining her Master's degree at USC.

I gave a talk at an intimate auditorium on campus in an effort to sign more donors onto the registry. Jerome Williams was also there to speak and the marrow drive was done in his name. Sadly, Jerome has not found a match yet and a number of the African-Americans in the audience voiced their desire to be his donor.

A majority of the attendees were Latino, which was wonderful because it is not often that I get a chance to reach out to the Hispanic community. There were many parents present who did not speak English, so my words had to be translated by an interpreter. There was still hope for Jerome, as he has some Latino blood in him.

A great discussion ensued after the talk and we dispelled many of the myths of donating marrow while talking about love, community and the miracle of saving a life . In the end, we signed up over 60 new donors. I just know that there will be matches for other patients to be found in that special group. :)

Thanks to Vivian, Maria, Monica and Michelle for a successful drive!



Friday, September 5, 2008


I'm devastated to report that my sister's cancer has relapsed. As most of you know, my brother and I also fought Lymphoma.

When will this end?

Please pray for her health.
And for the strength of her husband, Tony.


ADDENDUM: September 12, 2008 :

It appears that my sister wants her story to remain private at this time. In respect for my sister's wishes, this blog will remain focused on the life-affirming events and people in my healing journey.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Adrian "Baldy" Sudbury passes away

Across oceans and continents, the plight and the courage of Bone Marrow Transplant patients continues. In the UK, a young man who lived his last days dedicated to educating the public and finding other patients a marrow match has passed away. His story was not as known here in the States but his spirit and legacy has changed lives and will likely save the lives of future patients around the world.

Adrian "Baldy" Sudbury's blog chronicles his story.

Here are a few excerpts:

"I can’t beat this leukaemia but I can make a difference, I’m making the most of every breath I have left, I am spending time with some of the most wonderful friends and family anyone could ask to share their lives with; but more importantly I’m going down in style."

"I've led a decent life, seen a lot of the world and been in a job I've enjoyed. As for dying - how can anyone be scared of something that is going to happen to every single one of us?"

"One of the saddest aspects for me is that I hoped Baldy's Blog would shine out as a beacon in the too often tragic world of blood cancers. I honestly thought I had conquered the leukaemia, that I could manage the GvHD, get married and have children. I really wanted that to be the end of this story and show that people can overcome this disease."

"I have one last little mission before I die. I'm determined to try and educate more people about what it is like to be a bone marrow donor. There are still 7,000 people - children and adults in the UK alone - who are waiting to find a match. Without your help they have no hope. At least I was given a chance. The problem is people think it is some horrific procedure and I want to show as many people as possible that it is not like that. Apparently, the Germans have one of the world's best marrow registers. All they do is educate their sixth form students about why it's important to donate blood, bone marrow and how you do it. Why can't we do that here?"

"At this stage I decided the source of the anxiety was a number of factors. Of course the obvious one about a drawn-out death still worries the hell out of me. I explained in the previous post how my friends stepped in. It doesn't sound very cool to have a timetable but we did and it worked really well. Over three days I saw around 32 people. I was so proud of myself because now everyone has had the opportunity to say goodbye properly. I feel like I have said everything too and if I died tomorrow, it would be sad, but there would be no regrets."

Click here to read Adrian "Baldy" Sudbury's blog.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” - Pericles (495-429 B.C.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BONFIRE with mAssKickers & i[2]y

This Saturday, August 23, I will help to host the First Annual "Stupid Cancer" Bonfire in Huntington Beach. This bonfire will bring together the first inaugural group of young adult cancer survivors to celebrate another year of being young and still alive.

All are welcome whose lives have been affected by cancer. We plan on roasting marshmallows and sounding our barbaric yawps across the rooftops of the world.


ADDENDUM - Sept 1, 2008

We had a blast at the bonfire with attendees coming from San Diego,the OC, LA and the SanFernando Valley. Here are a couple photos. Hope you can join us at the next one!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In the NEWS this week!

The surgery went smoothly last Friday and I've been at home recovering
nicely. Went off the powerful pain meds this morning after last
night's hallucinations proved to be TOO creepy for me to handle!

This Thursday, August 14, my story will be on KCBS/KCAl as part of a
larger story for City of Hope and ThinkCure. The segment is scheduled
to air during the newscasts on CBS during the 6A and 5P shows. It
also airs on KCAL during the Noon, 4P, 8P, 10P.

This Saturday somewhere in the 2 o'clock hour (to be confirmed), I
will be on KABC radio as part of a ThinkCure telethon to raise money to fight cancer.

For those who have been patiently waiting (thank you!) I finally set up a separate "college fund" account. I wanted to name it "Christine's College Fund" but for various reasons the checks still have to be made out to my name. "College Fund" should be written in the memo area. After so much uncertainty, I can't describe how wonderful it feels to be making goals for the future. I never realized what a luxury that was before. Thanks again to those who have sent gifts of support! Classes start in two weeks!


much love,

Christine's College Fund
10008 National Blvd. #174
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Story of my life...

Even with the upcoming surgery, there is still time to squeeze in and make a difference.

I have an TV interview with CBS this Thursday, the day before surgery, as part of a larger story they are doing about cancer-awareness.

As soon as I am somewhat recovered, the following weekend I will be on KABC radio for a live interview.

And this week, the Aug/Sept issue of Audrey magazine features a story about my cancer journey, written by Jennifer Chen.

I was at City of Hope yesterday for Pre-Op tests and the usual rigamarole. Things are a go. It's hard to believe that I still have to ask for help this far out from treatment. I got sort of depressed about it at first but then realized how lucky I was to have friends who were still there for me.

With love,

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Emergency Surgery?!

I went in for a routine appointment last Friday and next thing you
know, I'm scheduled to have surgery.

I will go in for the procedure this Friday, August 8. It is not
anything life threatening. We are just taking care of a small problem
brought on by the Graft vs. Host before it gets any worse. The surgery
will put me in bed for a week, strung out on painkillers. Yeah, it
stinks but it's a small price to pay for the privilege of still being

This comes at the worst time as I'm prepping for Pepperdine and still
searching for scholarship options. A few of you have asked for an
address to send checks to help. I plan to set up a separate "college
fund" account this week. Thanks so much and I will keep everyone updated.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good News and Bad News

I was at City of Hope today for the official, rare, wondrous moment that all BMT patients pray and hope for: The two-year follow-up appointment. It’s an odd thing to look forward to… a hospital appointment with a doctor... But for someone who is told they would likely NOT see that day, it is a day welcomed indeed.

It took over two years but my blood counts are FINALLY totally normal! Yes, even those stubborn Red Blood Cells are back to regular levels. I’m not anemic anymore. My body can fight a cold. I don’t have to worry about bleeding to death. My brain is getting a decent supply of oxygen. No more excuses. Yay!

In the midst of our mini-celebration, I shared with Dr. Nade about how I have watched too many friends succumb to their disease - Friends who once stood with me, side-by-side. Sometimes it felt like these friends and I were on the battlefield together, holding our ground united. But soon the bullets began to hail and one-by-one they started to fall and all I could do was to keep holding my ground and not give in or give up, lest they die in vain. I thanked Dr. Nade for saving my life. She was the wizard behind the BMT. She was the bulletproof vest that pulled me through. We both teared up and hugged. Then, feeling a need to escape from the emotional vise, we just as quickly broke away and made hasty exits. Funny how we humans can be about emotions.

Well, at this point you’re probably wondering, “What’s the good news and the bad news?” Well…

I am THRILLED to announce that I have been accepted into the Graduate MFA Writing program at Pepperdine University! The program’s focus will be Writing for Screen & TV. Not many of you know that back in 2002, I had been stashing money away and was in the midst of applying to graduate schools when cancer took that all away. Now my dream of attaining a Masters Degree is finally in reach after being put on hold for the six years of my cancer struggle.

The bad news? I applied to Pepperdine enticed by the fact that the department said they would probably be able to give me a full-scholarship. Unfortunately, according to the head of the department, the monies they thought they would be allocating did not come to fruition. So instead, I have a scholarship that will only cover 10% of my tuition and a TA’ship that will cover daily expenses. I’ve already applied to a few outside scholarships and I’m planning to work all weekend to find other sources.

So I’m asking for help. I know we are all busy, but if anyone has any ideas or knows of any resources / foundations / funds / organizations or angels who may be poised to help, please let me know. After coming this far, I don’t want to give up.

Much love,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Two Years. This is for Kristina

Today marks the two-year Anniversary of the day I was admitted to the hospital for my second marrow transplant. I remember entering those doors thinking, "Everyone walks in, but many do not walk out." I know it sounds morbid but as the doors closed behind me, shutting off the sounds, scents and vibrancy of the outside world, my second thought was "In the next few weeks/months, I'm either going to walk through these same doors or be quietly wheeled out the back."

For over a year, I was on a bland diet, unable to eat salads, fruits or outside food because of my condition. I was isolated in a bubble to protect my fragile immune system. I did not have the strength to raise my arms above my head. There were times when we thought I wouldn't make it through the night. My muscles atrophied, the life foundation I had just laid disintegrated, and my life plans evaporated. All that was left was the fight, my family and friends, and God’s will.

In this anniversary two-years later, I am now allowed to do a lot more. I am allowed to work out. I am allowed to travel overseas. I can start making long-term plans. I am allowed to live again.

Today, I shared ice cream and fresh berries with a dear friend. I felt the sun on my face and shared a laugh with a stranger. I punched and kicked in my first Krav Maga class. I told my Mom and Dad that I loved them. Tonight a few friends are taking me out to celebrate with fine food and wine. We will raise our glasses to the blessed lives that we still have to live.

Cancer has taken away too many friends over the last 24 months. All much too soon. All much too young. All beautiful souls who had so much to live for. I am one of the lucky ones. And everyday I live my life in remembrance of them. Everyday Elizabeth, Robin, Joel, Harrison, Cindy, Robert, Joe, Rachel (and many more) remind me that one does not seek one’s purpose in life, one chooses it. You do not need to search for love because it is already inside of you but in order to find it, you need to let it out. And though we may not have control over the end date of our lives, we do have control on how we choose to live beforehand and what legacies we leave behind.

When my cancer relapsed 30 months ago, my sister’s friend Kristina chose to step forward and make a difference. She had never met me but she knew she was blessed to be healthy and strong enough to help another. She rallied everyone to help my sister Jocelyn and made phone calls, organized marrow drives and gave everything she had. I know for certain that because of her efforts, many lives will be saved.

We finally met face to face this last December amongst tears and joy. She beamed “I am so happy it all worked out!” And all I could muster through the flood of emotions was “Thank you so much for all you did”. Kristina’s two children played around her legs as her husband smiled lovingly at his beautiful family.

But less than six weeks ago Kristina was admitted to the hospital for severe headaches. Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer – Cholangio carcinoma . She went blind and lost the ability to hear. 17 terrible days later, she was gone. Kristina was only 37 years old.

Life is precious, yes, but it can also be ruthless.

Today, as I marked the two-year anniversary of my second life-saving marrow transplant, my sister Jocelyn attended Kristina’s funeral. My sister called from Atlanta to tell me that my poem “A Much Lived Life” was printed on the back of the program.

We do not have total control over what happens to us or to the people we love, but we do have control over how we respond to it. We can either feel sorry for ourselves or strive to fight alongside others who are enduring the same trials. We can get angry at the world or love while we still can. We can wallow in grief or we can honor our loved ones by living a fully realized life in their honor.

My sister and her friends created a quilt of love representing the giant hug that all Kristina's friends and family were constantly holding her in. They arrived just minutes too late to wrap her in it before she left us, but the quilt was there to see her on her way.

Kristina was a rare beauty in her smile, her heart, her spirit and her soul. Let her life be an inspiration for us to live a life of generosity and unconditional love.


p.s. If you are interested in donating to a fund to cover the financial hardship incurred by Kristina’s family, please contact me at

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Big C - A Much Lived Life

I had the pleasure of performing my poems in three separate presentations at this year's installment of "The Big C" at Hollywood Presbyterian's National Cancer Survivor Day celebration on Saturday, June 14th. Thank you to Christian Meoli for putting together an incredible show and to Christina Lindhart, my talented and beautiful director. Also congratulations to all the survivors and performers for sharing their stories of strength, humor and healing.

Backstage after the show with fellow writer friends James, Julie and Alex.

Since the performance I have had many requests for the poem that was performed by the entire cast during the grand finale. Here is the performance version of "A Much Lived Life"

- - - - -

A Much Lived Life

If you were told you had less than 10 years to live, what would you do?
Would you mourn the loss of the Life you thought you could have had,
Or would you finally live the Life you’ve always dreamed of?

If you were told you had less than five years to live,
Would you spend your days in grief and anger,
Or would you live 50 years worth of Life in five?

If you were told you had less than a year to live,
Would you isolate and be consumed with the sorrow of your impending death,
Or would you reach out, make a difference while you still can,
take advantage of every sunrise,
making every moment, every word, every touch and every relationship
meaningful, pure, Loving and fully alive?

If you were told you only had one month left to live,
Would you curse, weep and lament your fate,
Or would you spend those last precious days
sharing Love with your family & friends,
remembering and laughing at the memories of your crazy beautiful luscious Life,
thus creating new memories for your loved ones to cherish
and carry on in their hearts?

If you were told you only had one day left to live,
Would you look back at your Life with regret,
Or would you look back with Peace?

The truth is, each one of us will die someday.
And whether that day comes tomorrow or in 50 years,
The question is:
What will you do with the time you have left?
It is not too late.

For what truly matters is not how long you live,
but how much.
And the greatest moments in Life
are the little ones.

Christine Pechera


Monday, June 9, 2008

BMT Reunion/Press Conference Photos

I've been so busy lately, but I was FINALLY able to get some photos from the BMT Reunion from April 25th up on Flickr. It was the biggest turn-out for the press conference in the history of City of Hope! I'm still working on the captions and such but for those who missed the day, enjoy...

By the way, a reporter at the event talked to my parents and wrote a nice post on his blog.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Midnight of Hope - City of Hope

I've had quite a few requests to repost the poem I read last month at the City of Hope BMT Celebration of Life Event. Even with the 6000+ people in attendance, it was like a sharing in a wonderful family reunion. Thank you everyone again for making it such an unforgettable day.

This photo is just a small fraction of all the survivors who attended!

- - - - - - - - - -

The Midnight of Hope

Spent last New Year’s Eve at City of Hope
Alone in my room, didn’t know how I’d cope
Thinking of the all the champagne, the confetti, the cheers
Of others feasting and singing to welcome New Year’s

Friends came to visit but left before ten
I didn’t want friends to miss the parties and joy offered to them
Around the world people danced in the streets to celebrate the night
And here I was tethered, alone, fighting for my life

Broken and sobbing in my bed
Uncertainty and fear swirling in my head
Brooding about the fun at midnight I’d miss
Realizing… I had no one to kiss

Hearing the medical clicks from my IV pole
I remember….. I began to cry into my pillow
Holding on to Hope and not wanting to believe
That I probably wouldn’t see next New Year’s Eve

But now it’s a year later and I’m cancer-free
This year Times Square is waiting for me
I have City of Hope doctors and nurses to thank for this
And this year, I look forward to that sweet kiss

With my family and friends, we shall dance to celebrate this life
A second chance to live and laugh after so much strife
My dearest one who ever stood by my side
We’ll raise our glasses and sing to auld lang syne


But thinking again, I realize I am wrong
"January 1st" only sings a small part of the song
For if Midnight can bring Hope, about Life Anew,
Of Joy, of Freedom and of Gratitude

If in the coldest of winter, at the darkest of night
We can still find in ourselves, our own Ball of Light
Then I don’t need Dick Clark or a Fireworks display
For the anniversary of my marrow transplant is my New Year’s Day


Saturday, May 17, 2008

BrittiCares (In Honor of Francis Rex)

Today would have been my brother, Francis Rex's 34th Birthday. In his memory I participated in the annual BrittiCares "Smile for Life" 5K in Pacific Palisades.

BrittiCares was founded by Britti Henderson, a beautiful and bright and talented girl who enjoyed life to the fullest. At the age of ten, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. During her treatment and remission, she and her parents founded the non-profit organization dedicated to "embracing children diagnosed with cancer through the power of love." Sadly, a year later the cancer returned, this time in the form of Leukemia. Britti was only 13 years old when she passed away but her spirit and legacy live on in her BrittiCares foundation.

I met Britti's mother at the Pan-African Film Festival Marrow Drive for Jerome Williams a few months ago. She is an amazing woman. We talked about Britti and Francis Rex and the joys and sorrows of their memories. Imagine the shock and delight we both shared when it was discovered that the BrittiCare's annual 5K was scheduled on the same day as my brother's birthday! We had one of those "It was meant to be" moments.

Today my friend Frances M joined me in the Run/Walk. I pinned Rex's photo on my shirt and carried his photo with me.

Chris Tucker, most famous for his role opposite Jackie Chan in the "Rush Hour" movies, stayed all day to show his support. We had a chance to meet before kicking off the 5K with a "Survivor's Lap", honoring all cancer survivor's in attendance. Chris Tucker supports efforts to sign up more minorities onto the marrow registry, especially black Americans of African, Caribbean and mixed descent.

It was an inspiring day. Even the Goodyear blimp showed up and sent greetings down to all the participants on its huge electronic marquee.

The icing on the cake was being able to meet David Joyner, the guy who is THE guy who played Barney the purple dinosaur! And yes, "Barney" supports the cancer fight as well! That's him in the picture on the lower right. (That's also him as "Hip Hop Harry" in the picture in the upper right, doing the Survivor's lap with Chris Tucker and me.)

Britti will always be remembered as a brave and remarkable girl. To a great extent, I believe it is because she has the most loving and inspiring parents the world has ever seen.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I am honored to be profiled this week on the mAssKickers' website.

mAssKickers is dedicated to support young adult cancer patients between the ages of 16 and 39. Founded by brain tumor survivor Eric Galvez, mAssKickers provides information, support and a community for the newly diagnosed.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FOX – KCOP Channel 13

Here is the FOX - KCOP Channel 13 News Segment:

Thanks again to all who came to share in the moment!


CW - KTLA 5 News Segment

Here is the CW – KTLA Ch 5 News Segment regarding the Marrow Transplant Reunion at City of Hope, April 25, 2008.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

San Gabriel Valley News

My friend Tim found this local article on the internet from the San Gabriel Valley News.

KABC Channel 7 News

Family is still in town, otherwise I would write more but here is the link to the ABC News Story by Denise Dador who covered the momentous event on Friday.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Live Like You were Dying

Fly now dear one
to your new home above
though my arms ache to hold you
I know you are safe in the loving arms of our Father
I lay my hand on my heart
and say another prayer

though I cry out for the pain you endured
I know that you are no longer suffering
and when I look up at the stars tonight
May you lay your hand on your heart
and smile down upon us all
and love like sunshine moonbeams
will still rush between us

The best way to remember those who've left us too soon is to live life fully, to dance while on this earth, as we carry their spirits within us.

Looking back on all the friends lost to cancer too soon, remembering, crying, praying, questioning and eventually accepting- what soon happens inside is a resolve. A resolve that is heart-strong and love-fierce.

Cancer may kill the body and while that is already devastating, if we allow it to also kill our soul, that is tragic.

I’ve seen people whose bodies survived cancer but whose souls did not. And yet others, such as Britti, who did not survive her cancer but whose soul and spirit lives on. Cancer can be tenacious, but so can we.

Whenever I am in a place where I hesitate out of fear (such as shyness or uncertainty) I remember. I remember the fighting spirits of those before and think to myself “If they were given the chance to live just one more day and were right here at this very moment… what would they do?"

Remembering Robin and her amazing spirit and love of life. Remembering how she lived fully, with grace and beauty even as she knew she was slowly dying. Living for her daughter and continuing to love and be there for her husband and family. Remembering that no matter how dire the circumstances, she always took the bull by the horns…

And remembering that Tim McGraw song that goes…

“I went Skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named FuManchu…”

And happening to be at a Western-style cowboy bar recently….

Knowing how fun-loving she was, I imagined that Robin was there with me and I thought "If Robin was right here at this very moment… what would she do?"

And then a smile came to my face.

"Alright Robin, this one is for you..."

Skydiving will be happening in some weeks, but for now, I decided to tackle Fu Manchu... at least a mechanical one.

"Love Deeper
Speak Sweeter
Give forgiveness you've been denying
Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.

In fierce remembrance and love,

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I hope that by posting this video a small miracle will happen and Robin's husband Jason will have her things returned.

Here is the story as reported by NBC 11, San Francisco.

Robin Groff died Friday after a long battle with Leukemia. She'd fought to prolong her life so that she could spend more time with her 4-year-old daughter and her husband. But her life ended Friday in a Texas hospital, where she'd gone for treatment.Her husband, Jason, stopped in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury area on his way home to Sacramento to break the news of her death to friends. But at about 2 p.m. on Sunday, someone broke into the family car.The thieves took a black leather satchel containing the last mementos of Robin's life. Inside were her wallet, funeral preparations, her final notes, and a cherished piece of jewelry -- her wedding ring. The ring was to be given to her daughter.The family said they know it's unlikely the items will be returned, but they remain hopeful.Anyone with information in the case is asked to call San Francisco police.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Angel in Heaven

Robin Rozier Groff April 4th, 1977- April 11th, 2008

I have been sitting here trying to find the right words to say. When we lost Robin, we lost a beautiful daughter, a loving mother, a loyal sister, a dear wife and an amazing friend. Robin and I both went through two marrow transplants and we planned on surviving this ordeal together. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. She was full of life. I am too heartbroken to write anything more.

Here is the message from the updates on Robin Groff’s website .

- - - - - - - - - -

Family and Friends- after a courageous battle, Robin went home to live with our Heavenly Father tonight. None of us ever wanted this day to come, but we find peace knowing that she is free of this terrible illness and surrounded by family and friends who have preceded her in death. Thank you so much for all of the love, prayers, thoughts, cards, emails, etc. over the past 2 1/2 years that have meant so much to Robin, Jason, Hailey, and our extended family. I will update the website as funeral arrangements are finalized.

- - - - - - - - - -

Please pray for Robin and her family, especially for her little girl, Hailey.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wonderful News!!!!!

I have some wonderful news to share!

Each year, City of Hope nominates and then selects two "exemplary" Bone Marrow Transplant survivors for the Press Conference at their annual "HCT Reunion - Celebration of Life" event. I just recently found out that I am one of the lucky two! There will be interviews and speeches but all that pales in comparison to the fact that City of Hope is flying out my donor ALL THE WAY FROM CHINA! My donor and I will meet face to face for the very first time in front of TV News cameras. I can't even imagine... meeting the man who gave me my life back and whose marrow is in my bones and whose very blood flows through my veins.

The event occurs in three weeks (Friday, April 25th) from 10am to 2pm on the City of Hope grounds. In addition to the press conference, there will be thousands of survivors and families in attendance. The event is like a picnic gone wild, with food, games, music and inspirational speeches from survivors and City of Hope doctors. It is a very positive, life-affirming experience. Imagine being surrounded by thousands of people who are grateful to be alive. :)

My parents are flying in from New York to meet Kent (my donor). A small entourage is already assembling who want to meet (and HUG!) the man who was my only hope.

These are photos from previous reunions. I like to think of this one as the grand finale, the final chapter, the end shot of a film. A Happy Hollywood ending to this Lifetime movie drama. I hope this will be my last appearance on TV as a "cancer survivor". (Frankly, if I were to be on TV again, I'd rather it be for other reasons!)

This is the moment we had been praying for all along.
Miracles DO happen.

Much Love,