June 25, 2007, 12:28 am



In five minutes, my Grand Rounds submission will be late.

I’m tired. Sad. Home after two days of caregiving.


“Things that inspire me.”

That’s the topic for this week.

Except I can’t think of a thing. Notre Dame football, the Cleveland Browns, NASCAR, rock and roll…

Dear Lord, am I that shallow?

What about family? Why can’t I bring up patients or nursing or the fact that my daughter gets married in six days?

The mind is as dry as the ducts that won’t produce the tears that so desperately want to flow.

I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself.

It’s a regular pity-party and the only person invited is me.


So… I’m wandering around the blogosphere and I clicked on Sam over at Blog, MD. Haven’t been over there for awhile. Sam hasn’t been posting much.

But this caught my eye. It’s a photo from a Pulitzer Prize winning series by Renee C. Byer.

The boy is Derek. Mom is Donna.

Derek has neuroblastoma.


This is a great photo.

You need to see them all.

Take a box of Kleenex.

Here is the link: 2007 Pulitzer Prize

Go ahead and look at the photos. Be sure to read the captions. Then come back here.

I’ll wait.


Sam is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist.

Every year he rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise money to help kids with cancer and their families. Last year he raised over $83,000.

He’d like to surpass that this year.

Sam rides for real patients so they and their families can get real, tangible help. You can read about his patients – the reason he rides – at Ride For Them.

Information on donating is here.


Sam has no idea this post is going up. No idea that late on a Sunday evening he provided the impetus for inspiration.

Football, racing, music.

They’re just leisure activities.

Inspiration is defined by women like Donna who find strength when they don’t think they can handle much more.

By patients like Derek.

And by docs like Sam, who care for these patients.


Inspiration is something that hits you when you least expect it.

I think I was meant to stumble on that site tonight.

The tears are flowing, and they are theraputic.

The pity-party is over, and those are never theraputic.


This isn’t the first time that a blogger has been an inspiration to me.

It won’t be the last.


  • Susan

    June 25, 2007 at 6:07 am

    Thanks for posting this! I am watching this progression happen before my eyes to my son right now as he dies from this awful disease. It’s great that breast cancer get some many funds and attention now, but what about our kids who have cancer – don’t they deserve the same?? or more?

  • La Bellota, SN

    June 25, 2007 at 10:20 am

    my God, my God. That surely works. That surely works. I have no words but I can imagine how you felt and imagine that you know how I feel. My God, My God. Angels are among us.

  • Leigh

    June 26, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for one of the most inspiring and heart-rendering posts I have ever read. Donna, and every mother like her, are the true heroes. We need to be reminded of that more often.

  • […] So for now, I’ll be blogging very sporadically and cycling more regularly. If you could please visit my PMC website, http://www.rideforthem.com, I’d appreciate it. There you can read the stories of the children that I ride in honor and in memory of. If you are interested in making a gift to this important effort, please click here. Finally, if you have a blog or other website, would you consider posting a little blurb about my effort, and perhaps a link to the Ride For Them website ? I think it would be absolutely terrific if the physician- and nurse-blogging community could help me make a concerted effort this year to spread the word! I appreciate the kind words and the link provided by Kim over at Emergiblog. […]

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

Continue reading »

Find Me On...
Twitter     Technorati

Subscribe to Emergiblog

Office of the National Nurse

Zippy Was Here

Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics

  • Perspective
  • Confidentiality
  • Disclosure
  • Reliability
  • Courtesy