My dream doesn’t scare me because my dream is you.

I have a dream. A really, really, really, big dream. I’ve been sitting on this dream for a while, trying to figure out when the right time to announce it would be. I’ve been talking to a handful of people about this dream, but for the most part it’s been kept pretty hush-hush. This is one of the reasons, I’ve been so busy Ronan. I’ve been meeting with so many people for months now. Taking so many trips, having so many meetings, phone calls, and lunches. I’ve been chasing this dream of mine, trying to figure out how I can make it a reality. It all came one night, so clearly, out of the blue. Your daddy and I had been to dinner with some friends of ours. It was a magical dinner where we talked a lot about you and how things are just not changing for this disease. It was a dinner filled with, we know we can change things, we feel the power Ronan has to change this, we know our little boy would want us to do something really huge and big, to impact this world in such a big way. We both left the dinner knowing what needed to be done.

The car ride was quiet on the way home. I was trying to wrap my head around the epiphany that I had just had. I was in our bedroom and your daddy looked at me and said, “Let’s build a World Class Neuroblastoma Research/Care Center.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He took the words right out of my mouth. It was one of those moments where you know with every bone in your body, that you are married to your absolute soul mate in life. I teared up and said, “Let’s build World class Neuroblastoma Research/Care Center.” I had no clue how we were going to do it, but I knew that this was our new secret mission and we were going to figure out how to make this happen.

We started talking about ideas. It needs this, this, and this. Who can help us? I reached out to a small group of people. I was fully prepared for the, “This idea is too crazy and big… what in the world are you doing?” I got a lot of those, but they also came with sides of, “If anyone can do this, it’s you and Ronan.” I have been working non-stop on this for a good 8-months now, trying to put all the pieces together like a puzzle. They have slowly been coming together. I have a list. A very big list. I have a vision and a dream of how this center will look. To me, it is so beautiful and safe. I want to create a safe community for these families, where they don’t feel as if they are just another number. Where they know that they matter and they know they have the best doctors/child-life specialist/volunteers/nurses taking care of them. Where they know they are NOT alone. Where they have someone to hold their hand, all the way through this, even if the worst possible outcome happens and a child dies. They will NOT be thrown out into the street like garbage, never to be checked on again. I have a crazy list of crazy things that will be necessities for the care center part of this. A yoga studio! A go beat the shit out of a punching bag area! A quiet area. A movie theatre! A chapel. A theater where kids can put on plays and perform! An Art area! A kick ass play area! A garden! A music room! My list could go on and on. I WILL give these kids the childhood they are being robbed of. I will give them the life they deserve to live, but are having to live it while fighting cancer. I know I can make this world better Ronan. I know I can. I know you can, too.

This is all I have been doing/thinking about. I presented it to my board a few months ago. I think saw their heads start to spin. I quietly told them that I wanted this to be our new mission and although I didn’t know how we were going to get it done, we were going to get it done. I was told by a Master Yoda of mine, to wait to throw this out into the world. How the timing had to be just right. I had dinner with my Master Yoda a couple of weekends ago. I looked at him after our dinner and said, “How will I know when the time is right, to put this out there?” He just looked at me and said, “Maya, you will know.” I left that dinner telling myself to just trust in myself, you, this universe and when the time was right, I would know.

The time is right now. I know this because of the ways the stars have aligned and the way divine intervention is taking place. I know this is all because of you. I am ready to put this out there. I know what it is, we are going to do. I am going to create the best world possible for a child and a family diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, to be taken care of. I can take the pain of losing you, Ronan, and turn it into something beautiful. For a long time, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this. For a long time, I was so scared this pain was going to destroy me and everything I had. It was only after the idea of this center came to me, that I figured out how I could survive this. It is by being able to help others in such a way that only a mother who has experienced such a devastating loss, can do so. I can do this in a way that is so different from others. I can take all of my pain and magically spin it into beauty because of the love that I know from you. I made you a big promise when you died. You left me here, knowing I was not going to do something small. I have always known the things that I do for you, are going be huge. I have always known you would lead me to where it is I needed to go. I have always trusted in you to map out this path for me. This is what we were meant to do. This is what we are going to do. This dream doesn’t even scare me, because I know I have you behind me and you won’t let me fail.

I know how hard this is going to be, but it cannot possibly be as hard as living my life without you. If I can do that, I can do anything.

I sent out an email asking my board if they were o.k. with me announcing our new little mission. Their responses left me with tears pouring down my cheeks. One of my board members responded back with, “Just Do It!,” (taken from Nike). Then she wrote back and said, “Or as my dad says, JFDI!” (just fucking do it!) I was crying and laughing all at the same time. I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH! I love that they are so behind this! It means everything to me. I had Tricia tell me not long ago that she hadn’t seen me so excited about something, in such a very long time, as I was about this. She told me she knew this was going to happen just due to seeing my passion, excitement, and fire behind it. I loved hearing that from her. I am glad people can still see that in me. It takes a lot to bring it out.

You know those days I disappear, and I don’t write? It’s not because I have dug myself into a hole and I am hiding. It’s because in between grieving, being a wife, mama, trying to be a friend again, trying to find myself a little bit again, I’ve been working on this with everything I have. This is what I want to do for you. This is now, my ultimate goal, besides a cure for the thing that killed you and took you away from me. I will fight until I die, with everything I have, for the rest of my life for this and for you and the other kids who deserve better. I am not going to slink away or disappear. This is my life mission. This is what I was meant to do. I will fix this, Ronan. I promise.

I love you baby doll. I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe. Thank you for guiding me in everything I do.


P.S. Dear loviest of lovelies,

I hope you know how much I appreciate all your love and support. I hope you know how much I appreciate you sticking by me through all of this because you knew with all of your hearts Ronan was going to do something amazing. This to me seems pretty amazing. This is why I am so thankful, for every dollar you have sent our way. Every penny counts. Especially now. You humble me. You make me want to shoot for the stars. You give me strength and keep me going, on the darkest of days. Thank you so much for loving me in a way that I never knew strangers could love someone. Thank you for loving my little boy so much that it makes you want to be better people. I love that so much. I know this is a big job, but I also know my Master Yoda was right. If anyone can do this, it’s us. I also know that I could not do any of this without all of you. I will forever be grateful for you all. I love you.

Also, please watch Stand Up 2 Cancer tomorrow night. It’s the one night of the year, where we can all stand up together. They are a great organization, doing amazing things.Things have to change and it’s a very powerful show with a very special message for anyone who has been touched by cancer. Thank you.

47 responses to “My dream doesn’t scare me because my dream is you.”

  1. Wow, wow, wow! This will truly be Romazing!!!!! We are here with you Maya! We love you and we love Ronan!!!!

  2. YESSS! I love it! Fantastic idea and mission. Can’t wait to help.

  3. This is fucking amazing and incredible mamma!!! Tears! Tears! Tears! We all love love love you!!!!!! And of course we all love love love Ro, always Ro!!! It makes me sick how you and your family were treated…you and Ro are changing the world!!!! I am PROUD to be a ducking proud member of your Mafia!!!!!!

    1. Of course I meant to say fucking!!!!!!

  4. Maya, You are always so thankful for the love and support you get from all who read your blog. I just wanted to make sure you know how much your words help so many of us. After reading your post today tears were stinging the backs of my eyes but my spirit felt uplifted. Your words give me hope & strength & clarity. Thank you

    Your New Mission…sounds wonderful. Healing, welcoming, comforting you know….like a Home!

    Lisa Riniolo
    mom to Melina Forever 13

  5. You are a world class super mama and I just know you will deliver this plan and bring comfort to those people who find themselves facing this vile disease. You will be the sparkle they need to brighten their darkness. Such an amazing plan and I wish you every success. We are all behind you and want to help. Go girl and Ronan – whose beauty and preciousness shine on and make change happen. Big hugs. Hilary xx

  6. AMAZING! I have goosebumps just thinking about the difference you will make in these families lives. We all support you and encourage you! Much love! xoxo

  7. Romazing RoMama!!!!

    Jfdi!!! Love that!!! Always RoLove!!!
    Rockstar Ronan Rules!!! RRR!!!

  8. Ok, I am in tears. I was just talking to a lady who is going back to college. I was thinking how I could never do that. What I really want, more than anything in the world, is to volunteer at a childhood cancer center. And then you write this! My husband wants to move to Arizona so very bad. I have been fighting him on it. But if you get this going, I will be there to volunteer! You are such an amazing person!

  9. GO MAYA GO MAYA GO!! GO MAYA GO MAYA GO!! Love love love! Love to you and Woody for not being afraid to dream big!

  10. First Poppy now this??? What fabulous news! Maya, I stand beside you (virtually) in this fight. I’m sure Ronan is proud of you!!!!

  11. YOU ARE AMAZING!! I often talk about this blog with friends, family, really anyone who will listen haha, and I often get the same question how can you read something filled with such sadness about a child, and my response is how can you NOT read about this beautiful boy and his amazing mama, his amazing family, friends, and the change this blog will bring to Childhood Cancer. AND THIS, this blog post is why I read because I believe in your mission, your dreams, your spirit and even in those posts that seem filled with sadness I always know you still have such fight left in you from your love for Ronan, I don’t think anyone who reads this blog could feel otherwise. You are honestly an AMAZING mama!!! Keep doing what your doing!!!

  12. Simply put…Amazing! I have followed your blog for over 2 years now and I still look forward to reading what you write every morning, you make me laugh, you make me cry, but today you make me feel incredibly proud to be alive and to know people like you and Ronan are doing things like this! Cancer touches us all in different ways but your passion and determination to change this world are inspiring.

  13. Wow!!!! Big Chills while reading this!! So excited for this!!! Hugs to you always!! Xoxox

  14. aMAYAzing! I have tears running down my face as well as goosebumps all over my body! You are THE most amazing woman I’ve ever “known”. Someday I will meet you sweet Maya. I will finally give you that hug I’ve been wanting to, since the first blog I read about this sweet love story. Ronan is changing lives everywhere. You are an incredible mama! I have no more words. I am in AWE!! Love you, girl!! And that beautiful family of yours. Including you, board members! All my love, hope and prayers!! Keep ROcking!

  15. You should talk with Judy Schubert (Bill) as I believe she was one driving force behind Ryan House. You also might talk with Judy about some funding through the Board of Visitors.

  16. Tears!!!! Go big or go bigger!! Can’t wait to see the final result!!! Woooo!

  17. Maya- I knew from reading your past blogs that you had something like this up your sleeve!! This is absolutely Ro-tastic! I am so happy that you were able to find the light in the darkness…and that light is Ronan leading you to this wonderful idea and vision! If anyone can do it- it’s you and Ronan…..this is Ro-mazing!! You and your family are an inspiration to us all.

  18. I have no doubt you (et al) will make this happen. And it will be absolutely amazing.

  19. So CRAZY proud of you. This is genius!!!!! Amazeballs, I say!!! Yes, yes, yes! Xo Haneen

  20. Absolutely brilliant idea, Ro 🙂
    You guys rock. What a HUGE difference you will make in the memory of the cutest, sharpest, most adorable boy who ever lived….your SON.

  21. (First time commenter, long time reader & believer!) This is SO freaking exciting/genius/a million other adjectives. I’ve read and been touched by many blogs through the years, but none like yours. I believe in you (and Ronan) with every ounce of my being.
    Now I just need to get rich so I can send more than my usual measly amounts, LOL.

  22. P.S. Having never commented before, I didn’t realize you (smartly) have comments go through moderation first. I’ve been in the community manager/moderator business for about a decade now so if you ever need help approving comments or anything else in that area, let me know! I’ll gladly volunteer my services. 🙂

  23. I want to,….I mean I NEED to,volunteer at this world class center! I need to help these babies and children…..even if it is to wash floors or scrub bathrooms, somehow, someway, I will help you!
    You are amazing, Maya!

  24. This is amazing, it literally brought me to tears. Your passion and fire and love is so immense that it inspires me to be a better person. I have read your blog from day one and am just so amazed to see how far Ro has brought you. He has made you the strongest person. Just know my thoughts are with you and I think this is an INCREDIBLE and life changing plan, for not only you and your family, but for the world of these innocent children with cancer.

  25. At each and every stop light (Ro was watching over me as he turned lots of lights red!) I read this post…and I cried and cried and cried the happiest tears–that change is coming…and the saddest tears–that Ronan had to be the one to change it all. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, I feel so incredibly blessed to love and support you, your family, and now this Center! ❤ ❤ ❤

  26. You are AWESOME and such a strong woman. Keep fighting for this…you can do it! I’m one of Missy’s friends and I’ve been following your story for awhile now. I don’t know you but I support you and wish you the best!

  27. I read this post much earlier today but now that I am home from work I can actually write about all the things going on in my head. My first thought was “i need to jump on a plane to AZ right now!” Obviously not going to happen but that’s how excited I am about this!
    I have been trying to figure out what the big secret was all week…I should’ve known that I could never conceive of anything this amazing. Only you and Woody would be crazy enough and BRAVE enough to come up with this. After all you have been through, it would be so easy to just try and forget the cancer world. I will never get over how incredible you two are – such a force to be reckoned with.
    I can’t really put into words what you and Ro mean to me…as someone I have only ever spoken to on Twitter, FB and here, the impact you have had on my life is more than most people that I know. You inspire me, you make me want to be the best person that I can be. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about you. I can’t wait to see this plan come to life – it is going to be amazing. And you can be sure I will be there sometime in the future to see it all in person.

  28. Maya
    I read your blog all the time. I’m touched by you, and Ronan. In ways I cannot believe from someone I’ve never met. As a mother I’ve learned to slow down, to love everyday and not take anything for granted! Thank You for helping me do that!!
    All things good truly are wild and free!!
    SU2C!!!! We will be watching here in NYC!!

  29. WOW! This is AMAZING! I cannot wait to see where RO takes this. It is going to be nothing short of incredible! You and Ro are going to change the world for all of those cancer babes! Can’t wait to see it all happen and be apart of whatever I can be!!

  30. And dont forget a giant never-ending super-rad candy cart at your new center!

  31. Maya you are amazing. This idea is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You’ll always have my support in whatever you decide to do. I’m headed for college next year and I’m constantly being told to follow my dreams. Thank you for showing me what that is.

    I really can’t think of a better way to honor Ronan.

  32. Oh Maya… couldn’t put words to this till now. This is just… beautiful. I know and everyone knows you will do this and make it happen. Ronan will be the proudest son that ever was. He will hold your hand, guide you along, just like he always has. You two are a team that have and will continue to do amazing things. And this is HUGE. I love the whole idea. I love every piece of it. I love your family and your board, and especially love you and Ro. I’ll be here to help in any way I can. Always!

  33. You are amazing Maya. I believe in your dream and I believe you can do it. You are going to change the face of this awful disease, and I believe that you are the only one that can. Ronan is probably smiling so big and saying “yep, that’s my mama.”
    I’ve changed as a person, as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, as a daughter, and as a sister all because of you and Ronan. I’m such a better person and I don’t take anything for granted. Ever. I want to help you achieve your dream. How can I help?
    Have you heard the song “Purple” by Pop Evil? Every time I hear it, I think of you and Ronan.
    Tanya Baranoski

  34. Completely, totally and utterly amazing!!!! We are so behind you and wish you all the luck in the world…this place will be beautiful and inspiring just like Ronan 🙂

  35. Maya, you fucking rule! You are doing it and will do it! You are changing this world…you and that beautiful family of yours:) We are all here backing you with love and support…Ronan is leading you where you need to go! I can’t believe all the hits your blog is getting…it’s awesome! Taylor will help spread your word…Romazing…

    Lots of love as always!

  36. Oh Maya!! Your “Poppy”, Taylor Swift’s Ronan song, a Neuroblastoma center, ROmazing!!!! So, so, so happy for you! Such gifts these things! Inspiring! Love to you! 🙂 xoxo

  37. I am in tears. You are so brilliant and strong; I know Ronan is proud of his mama. Keep going! I can’t wait for the mission to come through.

    1. I just discovered your blog today because of the song Taylor swift sang about your little boy Ronan. And instantly I just had this sensation of looking for your blog. Once i had found it i just couldn’t help but to read and cry for all the pain you have gone thru. I have to comend you for how strong you are I couldn’t imagine going thru any of that, but I also want to congratulate you for the new comings of poppy. I really feel you’re an inspiration to so many people and you were definitely put on this earth to bring awareness to childhood cancer and help save so many children. So for that I want to thank you for all those feelings and emotions you put into fighting this horrible disease.
      Thank you

  38. I love every single bit of this post. I watched S up 2 C last night and was in tears when Taylor sang. I bought the song the 1st second I could. It’s beautiful. Go get em tiger!

  39. Hello, my name is Kaylee Shepherd. I’m a 16 year old that has never known the pain you and your family has known. I’ve never been more touched by something or inspired to be a better person then I have been by this story. To me it’s a story, to you it’s more of a nightmare. But you are so strongly looking t the bright side of it and because of that you are the strongest woman, mother, and wife I know. I think that your situation has touched me so much because I have a three year old little brother who will be 4 in October. He is my whole families pride and joy and the thought of losing him in unbearable. So I will continue to pray, and I will continue to support you and your family through this. I would love to have some information on how to be more involved.. I know at 16 there isn’t much I can do, but I would glady do anything. Please know that you and precious Ronan will be in my prayers always. God bless.

  40. I have been reading all about you and Ronan for the past week. I have laughed and cried and hoped while reading your intensely real posts. I live in Gilbert and would like to help with your research and care facility. I believe you will have this glorious place up and running In record time. I will be ready to volunteer with crafts, story time and theatrical productions the kids wish to put on. I spent 2 years on a pediatric enology floor from 1977-1979 watching my older brother valiantly battle Acute Mylecitic Leukemia. When he died our family splintered in countless crazy ways. The sibling experience is one I would like to help with. Let me know if you are ever looking for a good brain-stormer! Love what you are doing.

  41. An amazing dream. You will get it. Your mom rocks, Ronan. ❤

  42. I will move there. I will go there, i will give you my time, my life for this dream of yours.

  43. Hey. Persevere kay? I’m just a normal 12 year old kid from Singapore, and “Ronan” by Taylor Swift has inspired me and my friends so much, we have decided to carry out a fund-raising project after our end-of-year exams:) the money shall be donated to a cancer charity. We are always beside you, Maya<3
    R.I.P to our LOVELIEST baby boy, Ronan<333

  44. Maya, I cant imagine the agony you went through losing your beautiful son, and it just brings tears to my eyes everytime I read your blogs. Please find comfort knowing that God has Ronan in a better place and you have a blue-eyed angel watching you. You are a terrific mom and congratulations on your pregnancy. I will pray for Ronan, and your family.

  45. Hello my name is Shandee, I ran across your blog through the Huffington Post where I have not been able to stop reading your beautiful thoughts and raw emotion, a mothers love for their child, I was blown away by your grief, and how you are now taking that grief and turning it into something needed and truly wonderful! I will be praying for you, I pray that God draws you close in the best ways possible to prepare you for whatever the future hold for you and your family, I pray that you succeed in everything you set your mind to do! As I read your post I see how you take your loss one day at a time you have strength inside you like no one else, a determination that will see you through … you are a Mother with an Angel! I do wish you the very best of luck and may God hold your hand every step of the way! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and dreams with the world.

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