Circle of Friends
Speech given by Alicia
Cancer recognizes no ethnic or economic boundaries.  It is an indiscriminate hunter.  Cancer
is a beast that ravages is victims.  As you all know, my daughter, is one of those victims.

Soon after diagnosis - I chose to share our battle as openly and honestly as I could.  We are
not extraordinary people - we’re not special..we’re just like everyone else.  By describing our
journey - I hope that people will find themselves in us - and reach out to their fellow man - as
you are tonight.

I’m going plagiarize myself and read you a few lines from my diagnosis letter.  I want you to
know how very much we parents appreciate what you are doing…

   "
The best that I can tell any of you, is an analogy that I've used to try to explain the basic, core
feelings through this. At that moment of introduction, your heart stops and is replaced by cement. My
chest was so heavy, I didn't think I was actually breathing. You hold your breath, and start an incredible
balancing act, like you are teetering on the edge of a bottomless cliff. We spent hours like that, hoping,
praying... in fact, its almost more than a prayer. Its more like a body wish - your very essence begs the
universe for mercy.

   Then suddenly, wham - someone shoves you off the cliff. There is no going back. Your life, your
dreams, your expectations for your family and your children...are gone. You freefall and can't imagine
how you'll ever survive. In fact, all you can imagine is that its all a bad dream and please God can you
wake up back on firm ground. Then again, you realize that firm ground is gone, and you free fall a little
farther. "

The thing is - you can’t fall forever.  At some point you have to figure out how to survive the
fall.  Each of you here - each corporate sponsor, each in-kind donor, each individual
benefactor..  ALL of you are the hands that reach into the darkness and help the families find
firm ground.  Your gifts to research support the resources that give us back our children.  

Thank you corporate sponsors - thank you for seeing the humanity standing outside your
door.  Thank you in-kind donors.  Thank you for filling a need and helping this good work
continue.   And thank you - to each and every individual here tonight.  By stepping outside of
your own lives and reaching out to these children - you have embraced the best parts of
yourselves.  

Your generosity and commitment to this cause not only give families the strength to go on -
you give us the weapons to fight the beast.  From all of us in the fight…I offer you gratitude,
appreciation, and love.  

Thank you.
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Our Journey:
Avalon's Army of Angels