This morning an eight year-old girl passed away from a rare form of cancer. I learned about it through Twitter – many of my friends on Twitter were following the story of this young girl and re-tweeted the note that she had passed on. My heart goes out to her family – I can’t even begin to fathom what they are going through (and have been going through). But it’s a sobering reminder that life is a gift and can be taken away at any time.

It’s easy to get caught up in day to day activities, the rat race, goals and the lives of those in the entertainment industry. But when our time to go comes, none of that matters. What matters is whether or not we’ve left the world a better place. While I’m often critical of celebrities, my hat goes off to those who participate in programs such as Make A Wish. I find it tough sometimes to cope with just reading a story about a child with a terminal illness, so I’m sure meeting that child in person would have an even stronger effect on me. I remember seeing an interview with the band Journey about a kid that they met just days before he lost his battle. Decades later, it still had an effect on the band members.

Life isn’t fair and sometimes the good die young. While I consider myself positive and religious, I still can’t understand why children are given such big crosses to bear. Each night I pray for the sick (young & old) but it’s moments like these where a face is put to a name that I realize how tough a world it is out there. I remember sitting the waiting room at Children’s Hospital in Boston on two separate occasions and meeting others that had young family members trying to beat the odds. Some were quiet, some were in tears and some were sad. It didn’t matter if you were CEO of a big company or worked the front counter of a fast food restaurant. It didn’t matter what race or religion you were or where you lived. All you cared about was if a miracle would happen to a child that did nothing to deserve to be in that situation.

While all of us may not possess the ability to cure cancer, there are a number of things that we can do:

  • Donate money for research or to children’s hospitals.
  • Promote awareness via your blog, network or social media.
  • Volunteer to help out in any way you can.
  • Pray for those in need and send them your encouragement.
  • Provide food or lodging for an out of town family with a child that needs specialized treatments.
  • Be a good friend, employer or colleague to those who have family members going through rough times.

I know time (and money) is at a premium for most of us, but if we could each find one hour a week to dedicate to helping these kids, who knows what might happen. Especially if we all spread the word and get others involved, we can make things happen. All it takes is one hour to care each week and your heart will help you find something helpful to do.

A Sobering Reminder of What’s Important in Life

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