ImageI blog, I tweet, I stumble, I Pin and I Facebook.  I spend hours ‘connecting’ with the world through my computer.  Friends from yesteryear as well as new ones, the internet has given people an international audience to promote causes, share lives, seek new friendships and reconnect with old ones.  The things I write about have been written about before, there are no new messages that haven’t been spoken already.   The triumphs and struggles of people, the loss of loved ones, the excitement of new things, all part of the human condition.  My words, while to some may be annoying others may find enlightening.  The thing I find most fascinating is it really does not matter where you are people are pretty much the same.  We laugh, we cry, we celebrate, we mourn and we face challenges with the same apprehension.  We have families, friends, colleagues and co-workers.  I was recently asked to write some words to be printed with my book Alicia’s Updates, addressing the people of Japan.  Words of encouragement and hope to families dealing with pediatric cancer.  I thought long and hard trying to find the words that might resonate with people a half a world away.  I came up with the following because we all really are very much the same.

Life is a gift with the hope for tomorrow, but without any guarantees. Cancer can strike anyone at anytime and it knows no international boundaries. Whether in the United State or Japan people are diagnosed with cancer each and every day, for children being diagnosed that is the most devastating.  We all know those who have battled cancer successfully like Alicia, and also know those who did not.  Cancer should never define a person, but how they handle their cancer should.  Determination, strength, unrelenting optimism and a great sense of humor are universal earmarks of a successful cancer experience.  The journey through cancer affects not just the patient, but everyone surrounding them.  Education and inspiration come from everyday people and everyday things; the challenge is to recognize them.  I never would have wanted Alicia to get cancer however, her journey through treatment and beyond, the people we have met, the experiences we have had and the road we have traveled has been an inspiration and motivation to truly embrace and be grateful for the gift of today!

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