Star Dream and Post-Traumatic Growth


My authentic self walks around constantly in a flowing sundress, free and spirited.

The reality is I am scrambling up some drainage ditch holding onto roots to pull up my more than ideal weight because I’ve lost the trail and it’s the only path I can find.  A kind stranger asks, “Do you need a hand?”  I proudly say “No, I’m fine,” as I gasp for breath and take another step.

My star dream is to raise over $100,000 for pediatric cancer research in my lifetime. That’s a 10th of the million it takes an average research laboratory to run a new project for a year.

Over the past 8 years I raised $3500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through various events.  And almost 1/4 million dollars for the Ronald McDonald House Charities after a 5-minute speech I wrote and gave in 2005. While these groups positively impact the lives of families with children facing cancer, only 7% of LLS funds actually go directly to pediatric cancers. Only 3 pennies out of every $100 federal research dollars go toward kids cancer.

I do not know why I was chosen for this dream, I only know it lives in me like something with its own beating heart for nearly the past decade.  Is it the dream of children I met who are no longer in this physical realm?

I heard the term “post-traumatic growth” for the first time last week, and this is what I am thrilled is happening to me. Time (and therapy and other parents) have helped me let go of some of the trauma of watching my own child go through what she did. It’s no longer about her, except in gratitude for the most profound awakening I could have been gifted.

My star dream has the energy of 36 kids a day in the US and countless around the world. It keeps waking me from my otherwise small life, because I have a visceral knowledge of what it is like to be a parent of a child facing cancer treatment in the hospital right this moment.

Please help make my dream a reality by securely donating to this page:

My Ultimate Hike – 26 Miles in 1 Day



About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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