Dear Empire State Building, Part 6


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Dear Empire State Building,
My name is Jennifer Garcia and I am a 24 year college student from California. I have been to New York once and I remember feeling like it was the most magical of places, the place where anything could happen. I always aspired to go back one day and I hope when I get the chance that I can know that for one day in September the top of the Empire State Building sparkled gold for our kids. I say ‘our’ kids because it shows how much of a tight knit group of people we are, us activists for childhood cancer awareness.

You think that we are pushy, mean and threatening? We are passionate, angry, devastated and some broken beyond repair by the loss that we face everyday. The loss of a child whether it was our own child, a friends child, a little brother or sister or a beautiful boy with the most sparkling blue eyes that you only know through photographs and the words of a mom who will never stop fighting for him. I was aware that kids get cancer, I saw the St. Jude commercials and I would frown for a moment and then the program I was watching would come back on and I was sucked back into the happy state of ignorance. All that changed when I watched Taylor Swift sing at the Stand Up To Cancer telethon. Before she even finished the song I was sobbing uncontrollably. When i was finally able to compose myself I raced to my laptop and typed “Ronan” into Google. My world changed that day I could no longer just shake my head and think how sad when I saw the St. Jude commercials or the collection jars at the supermarket. I started doing research and was horrified when i found out how underfunded pediatric cancer research is. All the times I donated to American Cancer Society only 1 cent for every dollar went to pediatrics. Our kids are getting swept under the rug like a dirty secret. It seems like the world is whispering, “Shhh, If we don’t talk about it maybe no one will notice.”

Well, we have noticed, it is all around us, the world is full of scary things and we want to protect our children any way we can. Unfortunately, we can’t protect them from this we can kiss away their tears and try to make them smile but this isn’t just a scraped knee or them teased at school. This is the biggest bully they can face and no matter how much we whisper to them “It’ll be okay” we know this is one thing we can’t promise to save them from. There is nothing worse then knowing you can’t protect them. When I read that Maya was trying to get you guys to go gold for ONE day in September, sadly my first thought wasn’t this should be easy. My first thought was this is going to take some work to get noticed. What kind of world are we living in where we have to shout and send out petitions and trend worldwide on twitter to raise awareness for childhood cancer. You light up different colors for the dog shows and the Ninja Turtles movie premier. Are dogs and ninja turtles more important than our kids? In a way that is what it sounds like your saying.

I read the message that you don’t take requests from individuals just organizations. The Ronan Thompson Foundation is an organization and they along with thousands of others are begging, yes begging, you to change your mind and do what is right. Restore our faith in humanity and turn gold for one day. We are not a picky bunch, you choose the day in September. Just please light up gold. I am not one to beg or plead but I want to have kids one day and I don’t want to bring them into this world knowing that Cancer is a possibility for them. I want them to have endless possibilities for happiness and success. I want them to live spicy sparkly lives and I want to know that the possibility is there for all kids. We can’t save them all but we can try. We can try extra hard for those kids that didn’t get to reach their full potential. The one’s that we only saw fleeting glimpses of the outstanding things they were going to do. Help us make their lights continue to glow gold.
Be Bold Go Gold,
Jennifer

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2 Comments

  1. Olivia

     /  August 29, 2014

    I feel an extremely strong connection to your story jennifer, and i wanted to thank you for sharing it. I too would look at the saint Jude programs and collection tins until something else sucked me into the “real world” the “real world” where kids don’t get cancer, the “real world” where every cent i put into the donation tins go to a cure, the one where other people fought so I didn’t have to. All that changed when I saw Taylor Swift sing and I cried till my eyes ran dry. I googled Ronan Thompson and my life changed. Although I adore Taylor more than than the moon and the stars put together, I couldtn believe it took singing about a beautiful, blue eyed, almost for year old dead boy for me to realize how important finding a cure for childhood cancer is. Because I am not directly related to a case of childhood cancer, people always ask why this fight is he one i chose. I tell them how my mind cycles every day through all the kids being pumped with poison while their parents helplessly watch, and ask them, how could it be any other?

    Reply
  2. Olivia, I get the same questions from people.. and it never ceases to shock and anger me what could be a more worthy cause then fighting for our kids??!! and then people ask if i have kids because i keep saying ‘our’ and i don’t but i have gotten to know ronan through mayas blog and i did a story on a local 11 year old boy who dies from AT/RT a form of brain cancer and though i know these boys through their moms it didn’t make me love them less i love them more. Their stories make me brave they make me proud to be bold by going gold!!
    -Jennifer

    Reply

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