Through treatment and the isolation that came with it, I wanted to meet and get to know someone with a similar experience to me, but never did until I was introduced to Esther.
Since 2008, I have been a nerdfighter, (a follower of the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube). The brothers are John and Hank Green. (John is the author of The Fault in Our Stars and several other young adult novels.) In 2010 John was friends with a 16-year-old nerdfighter named Esther Earl who was a cancer patient. He talked about her in several videos and mentioned that she had a YouTube channel of her own.
I had, just days before, finished my final round of chemotherapy when Esther posted a video called "Nothing More Than Feelings," in which she described a lot of feelings related to her illness many of which I also felt. It was an incredibly validating experience watching Esther’s video. She helped me see that I was not alone. Sadly, Esther passed away later that month. My connection to her remained because I could always go back to her videos. I never met her in person or got to know her, but Esther was my first connection on the bridge out of loneliness and isolation.
Esther always wanted to be a published author and she finally became one in 2013 when a book of her collected journals and writings was published. It is called This Star Won't Go Out. Although I was three years out of treatment when I read it, Esther continued to show me that I wasn't alone.
The next thing that helped me feel less alone was my trip to Orlando with the Sunshine Kids, which I will write about in a future post.
Esther's family started a foundation in her honor called This Star Won't Go Out that helps to support kids with cancer and their families. You can learn more at: http://tswgo.org/
Run of Hope Total: $2,145
There is only one week left to contribute to this year's Run of Hope supporting Pediatric Brain Tumor Research!
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