People have asked, what they can do, besides the obvious which is donate to Childhood Cancer, to help make a difference in this fight. If you want to donate to Ronan’s Foundation, even if it is just a dollar; please do so. I have almost 12 million hits on this blog. Can you imagine if every person that has read this, donated just one dollar? Or five? That could do so many amazing things in our efforts to support research for Childhood Cancer.
I’ve thought up a list. A very unconventional list, because it is not just about bringing awareness to Childhood Cancer. It is also about living a life that Ronan would be proud of. It is about living a life, that Ronan would have given anything for; to LIVE. It is about being the BEST version of yourself, that you can possibly be. This list will grow and I hope it only gets better. I’m still young. I still have A LOT to learn, mistakes to make, things to regret…. but as of now, this is my list. This is a list that has been inspired by losing the life of my son and trying to become a better human being, because of it. I hope someday, that I am able to live my life doing everything I have written below. This list, gives me hope, in my darkest hours.
1) Be thankful for all that you have. No matter how much or how little. If you have kids, be thankful they are healthy. Nothing else matters. If you don’t have kids, be thankful for your health or the health of the loved ones in your life. Just be THANKFUL. Know what that gratitude truly means.
2) If you’re not happy, change your life and become happy. Happy people are the most beautiful people. Become the person you want to be. Life is too short to not be happy. Ronan lived almost 4 years on this earth. I’ve never in my life met a happier person then he was, and look at everything he endured. Cancer never got in the way of his happiness, until the last week of his life when his life was no longer his to live. He was ROBBED of his happiness. You have not been robbed of yours, so stop complaining.
3) Volunteer. At a Homeless Shelter. At an Animal Hospital. At The Ronald McDonald House. Whatever you are passionate about. Just do something to make a difference. Volunteer at a hospital where there are so many sick babies who need people to hold and love them. Get involved. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
4) Donate BLOOD or PLATELETS. It’s not that hard. REGISTER to become a BONE MARROW DONER. You could save someone’s life.
5) Scream with me about Childhood Cancer Awareness until people start to listen. Write to local companies- small companies, big companies, your favorite celebrity, the media, congress, the president, the white house…anyone you can think of, until people start to listen. If there are enough of us screaming, they will have to listen at some point. The lack of awareness and funding is UNFUCKINGACCEPTABLE. Media is very powerful. We have to get them on our side.
6) Educate the people around you and inform them that this can happen to anyone. If you want your child to get a urine test, ask for it. Knowledge is POWER. Learn the FACTS about Childhood Cancer, like it’s your bible. Know what it is you are passionate about, and why. Educate people about this blog. Scream about Ronan’s story to anyone who will listen.
7) Rules were meant to be broken in this life. Break down doors. Don’t give up if you are told “no.” I don’t care if it is a hundred times. Nobody ever made history in this world, by playing by the rules. REBELS RULE. Embrace your inner REBEL. Ronan would love this so freaking much.
8) Question everything and follow your instincts. Listen to you heart as it is more powerful than your mind.
9) Take a holiday, once a year and do something completely selfless. How amazing would it be if everyone stopped worrying about themselves, gifts, fancy clothes, on a holiday and took the time to go to a local hospital to drop off toys or gift cards to the parents who are struggling/sad/lonely/or depressed because their “holiday,” now consists of living in a hospital and fighting for their child’s life? Do away with our self indulgent holidays and instead bring the smile to the face of a child or parent who could use it a thousand more times than you. Take your kids with you and tell them why you are doing this, why it is important.
10) Please stop and enjoy the music in life. Blast the music you love the loudest it will possibly go, while having an insane dance party with yourself or your kids. They will love you more for it.
11) Be inspired and inspire other people around you. Find your inspiration. Move mountains with it. Form an army. JOIN an army. Make something happen.
12) Get off your ass and exercise. It will change your life. It is saving mine. Run for Ronan, because he will never get the chance to run a marathon with me like I often dreamed of. Swim for Ronan. Bike for Ronan. Walk for Ronan. Ski for Ronan. Do it for yourself and for all the other kids who will never be able to, because they are not able to any longer. Be HEALTHY. Eat better. Stop freaking smoking. It’s insulting. Not to mention, just plain gross. YOU are better than that.
13) Get angry. But turn that anger into something positive. Do NOT deal with your anger by hitting the bottle, hurting others, or doing drugs. Let your anger fuel your fire, but in a positive way.
14) Pursue your dreams. If they don’t come true, at least you know you tried. Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid of not trying and never knowing.
15) Continue to talk about Ronan, his story, his fight, his beauty, his life, and his death. Help me honor him by continuing to believe in him the way you do. Take my pain from losing him, and continue on this adventure, with me. I am humbled and so thankful by all of you who continue to want to support and love Ronan. It makes me stronger. It makes me feel as if I can really change the face of Childhood Cancer because of your love and support.
16) Love your family and friends. If people bring drama to your life, cut them out of your life. Stop apologizing except when truly necessary. Be true to yourself, your beliefs, and your life.
17) Never settle. EVER.
18) LOVE with your whole heart, soul, mind and body. Make sure the people in your life are worth your time and love. If they are, give them everything you have.
19) Stop freaking out because your kid colored on the wall with a black Sharpie and then peed all over the carpet. Be glad you have a kid to create such a little creative piece of art for you. Embrace their inner spiciness.
20) Teach your children. Educate them about how lucky they are. Teach them to be kind to others. Don’t lie to them. Let them make mistakes. Guide them, push them, pull them, engage them. Be present. Life is hard. Let them know this without them having to learn it the way kids like Ronan’s brothers have had to learn it.
Alright lovelies. This is my list for tonight. I’ll add more as I think of things. Don’t thank me for it. I had nothing to do with it. Thank Ronan. Kiss your babies. Love yourself for being so beautiful, that you want to be a part of the change.
I love you all. Ronan loves you all. I know he would be proud of this list.