I'm 15 and I have terminal cancer. I've created a bucket list because there are so many things I still want to do in my life ... some are possible, some will remain a dream. My blog is to document this precious time with my family and friends, doing the things I want to do. You only have one life ... live it!
Most of you know that my scan at Alder Hey wasn't very good and that the cancer is now spreading through my body. It's a pain because there's so much stuff that I still want to do. I guess that my particular cancer is made of strong stuff (which is hard because I know I gave it my all and I'm strong and determined too).
Anyway, mum always tells me that life is what we make of it and so I'm going to make the best of what I have and because there were so many things I still wanted to do, mum suggested that I turn my ideas into a bucket list.Her bucket list contains manythings you would expect from a teenager: to have a private cinema party with her best friends, to have a purple Apple iPad, to be a dolphin trainer, to go to Cadbury World and “eat loads of chocolate” (my kinda gal!). But other wishes like “to make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor, to design an Emma Bridgewater Mug to sell for charity, to enter Mabel [her dog] in a regional Labrador show and to have my hair done if they can do anything with it,” are so selfless and simple and altruistic that I couldn't help loving her and feeling a little ashamed of all the things in my life that I take for granted.
People from all over the world wrote to tell Alice what an inspiration she was to them and how they are pulling for her, praying for her and, most of all, how they want to help tick items off her bucket list. Hundreds offered photo shoots, massages, parties, caravans, beauty-shop trips. Even Cadbury wrote to invite her to visit for free. Others, unable to provide help with anything else on the list, vowed to sign up on their local bone-marrow registries and to pass word of Alice’s Bucket List on to friends and families.
On Wednesday, during Prime Minister Cameron’s questions, Parliament member John Woodcock spotlighted Alice’s situation, as well as her bequest that people sign up to be bone marrow donors:
"At the top of [her wish] list is a call to make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor, so will he [Cameron] work with the leader of the opposition and I to address why too few people are currently on this life-saving register?"
Cameron said he "will certainly do that.”This young girl kept me up all night, reading, choking back tears, smiling, mentally jotting down my own bucket list and wondering if I could face death with such hopefulness and courage. I don’t know. But this much is certain; I will contact my local bone marrow donation center and add my name to the list. And I will often think of a girl named Alice and her bucket list.
"I am sorry to hear about the situation facing Alice and what she's going through, and our thoughts go out to her and her family," he said.*
To see Alice’s entire Bucket list, visit her blog at http://alicepyne.blogspot.com/. Alice has also posted a list of her suggested charities on her website. I have listed the primary bone marrow donor programs below:
• U.S. National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) http://www.marrow.org/index.html
• British Bone Marrow Registry: http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/bonemarrow
• Bone Marrow Registries Around the World http://www.givemarrow.net/OtherCountriesRegistry.asp
*Gabbatt, Adam. The Guardian. “Alice's Bucket List: dying girl's blog is internet hit.” June 9, 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/09/alices-bucket-list-blog-internet