last week, i discovered a wonderful organization called the curesearch walk happening back in nashville. the curesearch walk celebrates and honors children's lives who have been affected by childhood cancer, while raising funds for clinical trials research.

this is anthony. i met this beautiful boy through my childhood best friend when i was 14. anthony had been diagnosed at 4 months old and went through numerous surgeries and treatments before his first birthday. when i met him, he was celebrating his fifth birthday, something his family was told would never happen. this blue eyed, freckle face stole my heart at first glance. his adventurous spirit was contagious and he had a southern twang to his voice that couldn't help but make you smile. we would often go camping at the lake. taking boat rides and inner-tubing while his cousin and i helped guard his tiny body. we looked for buried treasures on the shore, played catch by the water and watched the sun set over the horizon. he had catch-phrases and funny quirks. and anthony was a litte cuddler. he would snuggle up next to you and just sit for a while. one of my favorite memories was taking him to a local waterpark. he wanted to go on all of the big kid slides and we swam for hours. riding home and exhausted, he gave me a tiny plastic ring with a ruby gem and told me to keep it forever, he then fell asleep with his little hand on mine. i took a picture of his sweet napping face and i will cherish it always. for a few years, he would tell his family and friends back at school that i was his girlfriend... that is until he discovered ms. britney spears and some cute 8 year old classmates :) 
circa 2005 

over the years, i moved away for college and basically lost touch with this family. i would check in periodically to get an update on anthony, hearing about his trip to disney world but never getting the news i wanted to hear. positive progression. anthony fought his fight and with a strong, warrior spirit for a few more years and in late october of 2008, when he was 11 years old, the lord brought him back home. it gives me great comfort to know he is in heaven and free of pain. probably playing baseball with the angels. i still pray for his family, his loving parents and younger brothers. he would have celebrated his sixteenth birthday this year. but he will be there to greet them one day and what a glorious reunion it will be. 

four years later, his family and a huge group of supporters walked in honor of anthony. 

every day, 36 children are diagnosed with children's cancer - 7 of these children will not survive. cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children. although the cure rate is now 78% up bu 40% in the last 20 years, it is not good enough. our goal is a 100% cure rate. 

if you would like to make a donation in honor of anthony, you can do so here.

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