Sunday, October 27, 2013


October 27, 2013

When I go through old photos of Erin, I'm hard pressed to find any with her alone--maybe the occasional school pic or a candid working on a homework project.  More often they look like these:

Trick or treating as POTUS:

Group Chemo--we very rarely traveled to the hospital alone, though this was definitely a bigger than normal group.

Impromptu swimming at the Burchills, with Ayesha borrowing a suit from Erin.

Watching the Aggie Soccer team, en masse (what better way to keep warm than to travel in a pack)?

Heading out for a hike--always use the buddy system.

Even to the point of having your brother silk-screen matching branded shirts for everyone.

And we all know it takes a team to build a robot.

More than anything I can think of, Erin wanted her friends to get along--to love and support each other.  And it wasn't just a "Pollyanna-ish" desire for everything to be bright and shiny.  She would work on understanding the source of problems or hard feelings among her friend.  She would have them talk it out.  She would make peace.  She would get people together and find their common interests.  

It is with that inspiration that I started working with some like-minded folks a couple of years ago.  This summer we launched the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, a collaborative network of organizations and individuals supporting and serving the childhood cancer community.

We had our initial member drive with 55 organizations and 15 individuals joining so far.  We had elected our initial board of directors this month, and Friday the board elected me as the President.

You can not imagine how humbling this entire experience has been and continues to be.


  1. Vickie - this post brought tears to my eyes - not only because of Erin, but because you are president of this organization. Of course I think that they were completely right in voting you president. Of course I am biased too. I'm going to email you - I'd like to get involved. I have skills, and access to an online library. Unemployment does have it's benefits.

  2. Brooke,

    I thought of you as I created a myriad of technical problems as I posted this to the blogger. I think I have corrected them all now (let me know if it is still wonky), but I probably did it the hard way.

    I'll answer your email now. Thanks for your vote of confidence. You would be so light in that compliment if you knew the giants of the childhood cancer world that I am working with.


  3. Vickie: I am as always and even more so proud of my childhood friend. Your many skills and talents will be put to good use in your new elected position.

  4. I have lots of time and energy to dedicate to your cause. If you need anything, just let me know. You are the perfect elected leader for this coalition because with your "gusto" and "let's do it" mindset..."a change is gonna come, oh yes it will"!

  5. Dear Vickie, it doesn't surprise me that you were elected as president. Your compassion and commitment to this cause has been unwavering. Erin is remembered for so many, many things and one of those occurring so often was her love of others regardless of their position in her life. She drew people to herself with that quick smile, quick mind and unending passion for people. Love that girl.

  6. Love looking at all these photos of Erin. A true beauty she was. It's wonderful the work you've done. It's incredible this organization and fitting that you are in the lead.

  7. Vickie - I’m so glad you are doing the good work. I’m so grateful for the parents like you that do on behalf of us parents who don’t have that same strength! I also loved seeing all the pictures of Erin!

  8. I was so pleased to read this! If you ever need any outside scientific advice or help with anything that involves anything my "connections" might be able to help with, you know where to find me - I would be more than happy to help!

  9. :) congrats! Erin would be so proud!