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Sending Strength and Inspiration via the Seattle’s Children’s Hospital

My friend Cassie was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in February. Since then, she and her family have been living through what most would describe as hell. But you wouldn’t know it from speaking with them — they are dealing with a brutal treatment regime one day at a time, and finding moments of joy where ever they can.  Just recently, she shared how her and her mother are supporting each other:

Our motto together has become “If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry, so let’s laugh instead.”

This approach to life — to choose the shared joy of  laughter — is also articulated beautifully in this piece, titled Joan of Arc, by Kelle Hampton. Kelle has a young daughter with Down Syndrome and her writing expresses anger with those who want to dismiss the good, and instead push her face in the bad.

It’s not that she doesn’t acknowledge the bad:

Here’s the thing–this person is completely right in the fact that it’s going to get worse–more hardship, far more difficult challenges […].

You think I don’t know what’s ahead? You think I don’t have moments where I put myself there–ten years from now, thirty years from now, fifty years from now? You know what statistics say? I know damn well it’s a hard, hard road and there will be tears. But I trudge forward. Like Joan of freaking Arc, and I embrace the challenges and choose to be happy. Knock me down, Waves. I’ll get back up.

It’s just that she is working really, really damn hard to focus on all the reasons she has to be happy. In fact, I’m sure that “working hard” and even “really damn hard” are embarrassingly inadequate means of describing how people face the very difficult challenges that life throws around. And I know there must be days when it is utterly overwhelming.

So this video is for all of you that are trying hard to choose joy, but might just be having a bad day and need an extra injection of inspiration. From Cassie, to all you.



  1. Chantal says:

    omg that video had me crying at my desk. The 7yo son of a high school friend of mine was recently diagnosed with Cancer and I have been crying a whole lot about that lately. GAH WHY GOD WHY???

    I read the article by Kelly Hampton after you posted it on FB this morning. I remember when Nella was born (I had an infant and cried along with Kelly’s posts about her grief). I hadn’t read her stuff for a long time and I am so happy to see they are all so happy.  I am particularly fond of all the photos where everyone is laughing. Pure happiness, there is nothing better.

    • Actually, I happened to come across the Joan of Arc post today and it wasn’t until I clicked over to the “About” section that I realized I had read Nella’s birth story as well. Oh, I bawled and bawled. It was so heart-felt, and so honest, and so full of grace.

    • Coffee with Julie says:

      7 years old? Terrible, terrible news … thinking of your friend and her family.

  2. Laura T says:

    Wow. Awesome! I need a tissue, dammit! 

  3. can’t seem to get the video to play but will try again later for sure!

    kelly hampton is one of my favorite bloggers!  (and a great photographer too!) like so many of us, I started following her blog after Nella was born.   she has a new book out , BLOOM is anybody is interested


  4.  it worked this time! omg- so awesome ! i love the kid with the missing teeth who sings so enthusiastically! very inspiring. thanks for sharing it!

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