Today Made My Top 5 ~ Rockstar Mamas, Cancer & Bliss


1/21/12

I can hardly begin to compose myself to write this blog tonight. Today was – simply – one of the TOP 5 BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE. Yup, weddings, babies, then today. That’s how my list would go.

#499 on the invisible, unwritten Bucket List of my heart – completed.

Eleven beautiful, stunning, ROCKSTAR Mamas walked into my life today, and changed me forever. They were in Sedona to be part of Camp Soaring Eagle’s Winter Oncology Retreat, designed specifically for families of children who have cancer.

Ingrid has a 3 year old daughter with ALL Luekemia. She's been in treatment for over a year, and still has 1 yr to go

For three days, dozens of businesses, and an amazing team at Camp Soaring Eagle made it possible for these families, whose lives walk the line of life and death daily, to simply be – family – enjoying one fun-filled weekend of magic, and respite from the traumas of childhood cancer.

Allie Olson of Allie Ollie Boutique participated in giving each one of these women a complete head-to-toe makeover today. It was my pleasure to be there to meet these women, watch their remarkable transformations unfold, and hear their stories of “mini-miracles” and strength.

“I feel like I woke up this morning and went to a fantasy land, and I haven’t left yet!” said Mary, whose 14-year old daughter has been fighting leukemia bravely for the last year plus. I fought back tears when she began to unveil the rest of her story. Her daughter’s name is Hope – and how fitting – because for Mary, Hope is her hero. She just started losing her hair again, but she still gets straight A’s in school. Her Dad had a heart attack just before Christmas, so now both parents are now taking time off work to focus on the health of their little family. But Hope keeps…well, hope. One day her Dad said to her, “Hope, God has a plan for your life!” And Hope replied enthusiastically, “Well, it must be a good one!”

Allie Olson (center) and two ROCKSTAR Mamas

Another ROCKSTAR Mama (whose privacy I suddenly feel a Mama-bear instinct to protect so I’ll just call her Susie) was the face of the day for me. Her story almost seems too shocking to share, too unbelievable to be real and true, and sitting in an arm chair at a boutique across from me. I asked Susie if her husband was here at Camp with her and she replied, “No, my, uh, ex-husband shot me with a shotgun, and now he’s in prison.” Now, her seven-year old son has leukemia, and she must face it alone as a single mother to two young boys.

I’ve handled a lot of pain in my short life, but it doesn’t begin to skim the surface of the daily tragedies these ROCKSTAR MAMAS face. Tragedies of having to explain what cancer is to a two year old, or having to bolster your fourteen-year old daughter’s confidence in the midst of losing her hair again, or helping your seven-year-old son understand why his friends don’t come around to play anymore.

My 4 year old daughter's grief...

I came home from my experience of fussing happily over these ROCKSTAR Mamas, who earn that title for nothing less then simply showing up for every day of their lives, and I looked at my daughter, whose faced so many of her own personal tragedies losing places and people, with new eyes. A simple evening turned profoundly blissful in it. Tickle fests, handstand races, cuddles and giggles with Mommy and Daddy were a mini-miracle for us, because for all the mourning, a perfect evening is a miraculous reprieve. For us, a joyous night that comes not on the heels of any recent tragedy, is a memory worth treasuring.

I’m humbled, though, at imagining the mini-miracles these eleven Moms find each day – theirs could be as simple as “My child didn’t vomit today,” or “My child laughed today,” or, “My child didn’t die today.” It makes my mini-miracle moments more grand in light of theirs, and it made spending a day with these ROCKSTAR MAMAS well…BLISS.

It made today…one of my personal TOP FIVE. Yes, absolutely, one of my TOP FIVE.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this incredible story on how we can KICK CANCER’S ASS!

Honored to stand amongst the ROCKSTAR MAMAS - that's Allie & I in the middle.

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I named these Mamas from today ROCKSTAR Mamas for another ROCKSTAR Mama who moves me. Her son Ronan recently died from Neuroblastoma Cancer at the age of 3. Her blog has received 2.9 million hits for voicing the raw bravery she was must muster every day just to go on without her little boy. She named her website ROCKSTAR Ronan. I name her a ROCKSTAR Mama, among the lovelies I met today.

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Of course, I couldn’t write this without giving you an opportunity to feel what I felt today – if you feel so moved to participate in what Camp Soaring Eagle does in any small way, they host these retreats twice a year and many more camper weekends throughout the year. They are a non-profit organization focused on supporting the whole family, giving them one memorable weekend, or even just a day, away from hospital bills and medical treatments. In many cases, the memories they grant these families are some of the last they have together before a child passes away. It’s nothing short of miraculous what they are doing, and words can hardly begin to convey how deeply I feel that. Here’s their website

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6 thoughts on “Today Made My Top 5 ~ Rockstar Mamas, Cancer & Bliss

    • Alicia! I have heard about you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great things might I add! (STOPS TO INTERJECT FOR MY READERS HERE: THIS WOMAN AND HER HUBBY DONATED THE CHAMPAGNE AND GLASSES FOR THE MOMS ON OUR MAKEOVER DAY – THEY ALSO VOLUNTEER AT THE CAMP REGULARLY. CHECK OUT HER WEBSITE TO SEE WHAT SHE’S DOING TO KICK CANCER’S ASS!) Did you notice in the pic of Ingrid she’s holding your champagne glass? I had no idea you are a BLOGGER too, in addition to everything else amazing that you do. I would have linked to you in the post if I’d known! I’d love to do a blog on you in the future though – you two inspire me! I’ve heard so much about you and wanted to learn more. So we might have to do a little interview or some cross-blogging or something because I’d love to support what you’re doing. Thank you SO much for being part of that day. You guys were silent contributors, but made a big impact! If you want any of the pics I have of the ladies enjoying their champagne, I’d be happy to send them to you. Just let me know! And thanks for stopping by, I feel honored…you’re the kind of “celebrity” I feel star-struck to see here! Celebrities should be people who are celebrated for doing something that gives back, and that’s what you and Kyle do every day. Bravo. Bravo.

  1. Hello Megan, I am Allie’s grandmother, and I have met you at some time in thé last many years. I am so proud of Allie and all of her accomplishements, but her treat of outfitting thé eleven mothers was thé sweetest and dearest of them all. As you know, thé families were all staying at Briar Patch, and that evening we had a sit down, candle lit dinner for thé parents. As each mother arrived at thé lodge, dressed in her Allie attire, we had gréât fun and laughter over all thé glitz and glitter, admiring each little détail, whether a skirt, blouse, jacket, necklace, bracelet or ring. When I admired a jacket, thé mother said “I love it, and told them it was enough, but then they insisted on giving me this wonderful skirt and blouse, and jewelry.”

    As you said, it was one of thé best five days of your life. It is also our favorite time at Briar Patch, To be able to give thèse families a retreat away from their days of hospitals, doctors and medicine has been a rewarding and heartfelt expérience and a highlight of our lives. Thank you for your lovely, meaningful story of your day with thé Rockstar Mamas!

    Jo Ann Olson

    • Hi Joann! Of course, I remember you! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on the article. I was so blessed to be part of the weekend in one small way. What you guys do in giving away your entire property to Camp Soaring Eagle is nothing short of amazing. I’m sure you feel like we did, that you get as much as you give out of the experience. I loved hearing your description of how the ladies arrived for the dinner! We didn’t get to see that part – so lovely, thank you for sharing! I’ve included Briar Patch in all the Press I’m doing for Allie, because this couldn’t have been possible without you!

    • Grandma! ahhh you make my eyes tear up! The example of giving has been deeply instilled in all our family, by you. The joy of giving is mine by your inspiration! I love you

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