Friday, December 2, 2011

ELLEN -- are you hearing us?

My niece, who lost her daughter Tamarra to cancer last year, has started a "tweet" campaign to try to get Ellen Degeneres' attention for the charitable foundation that she has founded in her daughter's honour.  Following is the letter she recently wrote to Ellen:


May 28, 2009, a large tumor was found of substantial size growing on my daughter’s spine and brain stem.  Our life was turned upside down from that day on.  Once it was confirmed to be cancer, surgery to remove the tumor was not an option due to the location of her tumor.  But surgery did occur to place a shunt in her brain to drain the fluid building pressure on her skull and brain.  Tamarra underwent 7 weeks of radiation and after completion, began an aggressive chemo protocol.  Her treatments were given as an inpatient at our Children’s Hospital in Toronto and then McMaster in Hamilton.  She was in the hospital for 3-7 days every 2 weeks for 6 months and every single day we watched the ELLEN show faithfully.  Your show always cheered her up with your energy and fun; we looked forward to that 1 hour of escape.  Sometimes the nurses would sneak in for a few minutes to watch with her and see who was on your show.  Tamarra would always comment and wish, “Mom, imagine how cool it would be if ELLEN came to visit at our hospital.”  Then you started your Canadian campaign and we emailed you, trying to get you to visit our local children’s hospital but we received no answer.  Tamarra watched an episode where a young girl had to get dental work and waking up from her anesthetic, was talking about you.  You aired the video.  Shortly after she had to receive a lumbar puncture and waking up from her anesthetic, was calling on you to have her on your show.  Tamarra was granted a wish from the The Children’s Wish Foundation and she was trying to decide between your show and a family trip to Jamaica.  It was a tough choice, but she decided on the trip so that we could enjoy a week away as a family since our last year was spent in the hospital.  Her wish was approved and we enjoyed a wonderful week in Jamaica.  After returning home (May 2009) Tamarra immediately started another round of radiation as the cancer had spread to her spinal fluids.  During the same time my dad was receiving treatment for his lung cancer.  June 2009 we learned that his treatments were ineffective and had only a few months to live.  He passed away August 27, 2010.  His memorial service after cremation was held September 18 and 3 days later we found out that Tamarra’s cancer was now also terminal with only a few months, if that , to live.  Tamarra was very open and accepting of her fate.  At the time, I wasn’t aware but she was writing letters for friends and family.  She was full of life but dying.  In an attempt to enhance her quality of life we started Holistic cancer treatments.  She immediately started to show signs of life.  She was sleeping better, getting her appetite back, color in her face, energy and most of all – hope.  We drove to the Naturopathic Doctors office every 2nd day, 35 minutes away.  We have a wonderful health care system in Canada but our ND’s professional services are not covered and patients must pay out of pocket.  The cost was too high for our financial predicament so a fundraiser was arranged through family and friends.  In the process of the fundraiser being set up, Tam’s ND had to go away for a week and her treatments were missed and she started to deteriorate and the cost was becoming an issue.  Daily she was getting worse and it was finally determined she had only days remaining.  She was admitted to a wonderful hospice in our hometown and 7 days later on November 23, 2010 she passed away surrounded by many people who love and adore her.  Immediately I started working on founding an organization that financially supports holistic cancer treatments in children/young adults.  Families needed to have a choice regarding enhancing quality of life when their child is diagnosed with cancer.  Traditional therapies – chemo and radiation typically reduce quality of life, making the sick person sicker.  Holistic cancer therapies such as Poly-MVA, IPT and IV vitamin C can be very beneficial when coupled with traditional therapies and can even hold their own in the fight against the disease. 
Cancer is a disease that has affected life on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years.  Following the diagnosis of cancer, there is crucial decision that needs to be made regarding the method of treatment; however, there are an enormous amount of choices concerning treatment from which the patient must choose which best suits him/her.  The best choices for this fight are ones that aim for quality of life and comfort.  TCF is attempting to make that an option for children and their families as well as create awareness on the benefits.
The reason for aggressively “tweeting” YOU is because I want to continue the effort in Tamarra’s honour to get your attention, but now, urging YOUR help to create awareness for our children’s charity affectionately named The Tamarra Cherryholme Foundation!  ELLEN we NEED your voice and your help.  Please answer us!!
Love from your Canadian fans!"
So, in my own little way, I am putting this out there for Ellen to see.
I too watch her show faithfully and I know that she trolls the internet.
Perhaps she'll stumble upon my humble blog and see this plea for her attention.
For information about the Tamarra Cherryholme Foundation and to find out how to make donations to help support this very worthwhile charity, visit
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