With chills and tears in my eyes, I read this article in The Fall River Herald News by Marc Munroe Dion and immediately knew what I had to speak about on my next episode of The Silva Lining. The beautifully written and poetic piece encompasses how powerfully our community's hearts and hopes were captured by this 17 year old's spirit, courage and vitality.
Almost 20,000 people on Facebook - friends, family, community members, strangers; plus countless children and their families, fellow patients battling cancer alongside Nelly, inspired and comforted by her caring, positive and vibrant spirit; to the hundreds of friends, teachers and families she amazed as an active, funny and lovable cheerleader and student - she touched so many lives before, since and after that fateful day when she woke up almost two years ago and simply could not walk.
The support Nelly and her family have received during this journey of testing and figuring out "the Unkown" and surgeries and intense treatments has been taxing and tumultuous. Along every step, Nelly has been aware and included in every decision - and as a family, the decision was made to seek alternative treatments. Research, serendipity and the power of connection through support networks led them to medicinal marijuana and a new understanding of CBD, THC and the added help of a natural over-the-counter supplement called Citicoline - it inhibits the absorption of THC so that the patient can intake more CBD without the mental effects of the higher levels of THC.
Nelly's parents, Laura and Joshua Eaton joined me in the studio for this week's episode of The Silva Lining. These two amazing people, in the midst of their "title wave" of grief are being fueled by a mission. They are committed to helping as many families as they can to NOT have to someday say, "I wish we would have known," or "I wish we would have known sooner". They are the epitome of Grief Into Action, like my past guest, Mrs. Rose Grant, author of "I Left My Memory on a Bus Somewhere" coins in her book.
Like Rose, they plan to write a book about Nelly's Journey, hoping to help inspire other families and raise awareness to alternative treatments, aiming to also advocate for these treatments to become more readily and financially available to families while also pushing for more thorough research and support of these remedies from the medical communities and the government. This inspiration doesn't just come from them, it was a direct calling from Nelly herself. It is her wish that other kids, other families are spared the pain she went through.
Nelly herself. She was the source of peace and strength in her final weeks. Her spirituality was her guide and she gave strength to her family and friends at a time when they were so worried about her. Nelly wanted them to be at peace. Nelly wanted them to take on this mission. Nelly wanted them to check on her fellow patients and make sure they weren't scared. Nelly was and will always be the inspiration for love, generosity, peace and action.
Her parents spoke a lot about some of the remedies they found that greatly improved Nelly's quality of life in her last few months. I want to share some of the links to what we talked about here:
Here is the Clinic that Nelly so desperately wanted to get to in Texas:
Laura and Joshua are very committed to helping as many families as they can - especially families battling pediatric cancer. They are working on a book and a website. In the meantime, you can email me with any questions you may have and I will connect you with Laura and Joshua at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also "like" the Facebook page Pray For Nelly for updates as they arise.
UPDATE 3/24/2016 - The Nelly Strong Foundation, 501(c)3 Non-Profit is being formed right now. Nelly's spirit and courageous battle brought our disconnected community together. This foundation, inspired by her spirit, will continue her legacy, help people receive alternative treatments for more than just cancer and ultimately unite a community for generations to come. Keep updated by joining the Pray For Nelly Facebook page, and I'll be sure to have Laura and Josh back on the show when everything is official. #TeamNelly
The Silva Lining is thankful for our wonderful sponsor, St. Anthony of Padua Credit Union. We are proud to be sponsored by such an incredible bank, that in an age of conglomerate banks treating people like numbers, maintains a relationship with its members based on trust, friendly service and loyalty. With competitive rates for savings accounts and various loans, St. Anthony of Padua can handle all of your financial needs. Convenient online banking and more information at www.stanthonyofpaduafcu.com