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Ronan's Lovies

Katie Lund

June 2013

KatieKatie grew up in the Twin Cities and made her way to Arizona seven years ago to attend ASU. After graduating from the W.P. Carey School of Business, Katie worked in "Corporate America" before pursuing her goals in residential real estate. She is a fourth-generation Realtor that is actively working in the Scottsdale and Phoenix market with The MacLean Team, and loving every minute of it!

Katie was introduced to Maya through a mutual friend, and has forever since been given the gift of perspective.

"I was immediately captivated, motivated and driven to help in any way I could. How could I continue to live everyday knowing that kids are being robbed of their lives, robbed of their childhood and robbed of their future? I had to do something! Ronan was a powerful little man during his lifetime. So much so that he has left a legacy that will forever live on. A legacy that will continue to inspire change, and inspire the thought that one day we will live in a world free of that monster we call cancer."

The minute she heard about the Foundation being a selected charity for the Rock N Roll Marathon, Katie was on board! She teamed up with friend Leanne Shearer to put together a day of donation spin classes in Prescott that raised over $1000! After sharing Ro's story with friends, family and strangers alike, Katie raised a total of $2025, and looks forward to doubling that number in 2014!

"Thank you, Maya and Ronan, for forever changing my life. You have inspired me to never take a moment for granted, to keep life in perspective, and to be an advocate for all the kids out there who can't speak for themselves. "

Phoebe Spear

May 2013

PhoebePhoebe just celebrated her 11th birthday and was finishing 5th grade when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. In addition to the grueling chemotherapy treatments, Phoebe also underwent numerous surgeries on her leg. During one of her hospital stays, she was room-mates with Ronan and Maya and both families and friends bonded for life.

Throughout this whole process, Phoebe amazed us with her unwavering positive attitude. Finally, Phoebe’s life was falling back into place.

On March 1st, during her two-year anniversary checkup for being cancer free from osteosarcoma, Phoebe was diagnosed with Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She is currently in treatment and will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant process. Her 12 year old sister, Hallie, a perfect match for Phoebe, is her donor.

Phoebe’s intelligence, kindness and inner strength keep us all going as we take on this new battle. We know that Ronan is constantly watching over her. And we are good hands in NYC with Rachel and the love of all the Rolovies. In Phoebe’s words - “You have a choice. You can be positive, and you can be negative. I’ve decided to be positive.”

Phoebe is very dear to us and we can all learn so much from her strength and bravery. She and Ronan together are forces to be reckoned with. If you would like to keep updated on Phoebe and her fighting spirt, you can do so on her caring bridge site.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/phoebe26

Poppy Ronan Thompson

April 2013

PoppyThe April lovie of the month is our youngest little superstar yet. Poppy Ronan Thompson was born on April 8, 2013 at 5:25 a.m. She weighted 6 lbs 11 oz and was just over 21 inches. We are all over the moon about this new sweet baby girl. We can't wait to watch her grow up and the way she will get to know all about Ronan through all the good that is being done in this world; because of him.

Welcome little Poppy! You are so very loved by us all!

Colleen Fisher

March 2013

ColleenColleen is the mom of four young boys – including twins – ages 4-8, and lives in Chevy Chase, Md., just outside of Washington, DC. It was the summer of 2011 when she stumbled on Maya's blog. She was up til 2 am, in bed, sobbing, hugging her kids when she realized she had a calling. She wanted to help. But, how?

A month in to Colleen's subscription, Maya posted a link to a photo of a woman dancing on her 40th birthday. She looked completely healthy and was having a blast, but the post said she was now in heaven having a dance party with Ro. Who was this woman? Maya didn't go into much detail, but a little research led Colleen to the answer. The woman was Jennifer Goodman Linn, and she had just lost a seven-year battle to a rare cancer. One of the legacies that she had left behind was founding an event called Cycle for Survival (www.cycleforsurvival.org), a national indoor cycling fundraiser that raises money for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

It was the perfect storm. Colleen was a veteran spinning instructor with 13 years of teaching behind her. And she taught at Equinox, which was a co-sponsor of the event. She had lost two other dear friends in their 30s in the last five years to rare cancer — both of whom were treated at MSK — and had been looking for a way to honor them. And then Ronan. Her calling was answered. It was time to stop focusing on what was wrong in the "Cancer World" and to help focus on how to make it right.

In the fall of 2011, Colleen began to passionately share Ronan's story with everyone she knew. Before long, TEAM ROCKSTAR was born. What started as a group of "I-only-see-you-at-6am-in-gym-clothes" people in DC has since grown to become a dedicated group of friends and friends-of-friends in two East Coast cities (Boston, too!) who have, under Colleen's leadership, raised more than $326,000 over the last 18 months – 100 PERCENT of which goes DIRECTLY to funding research for rare cancers. TEAM ROCKSTAR has finished the event as one of the Top 5 teams nationwide for the last two years and, each year, team members have collected an additional $1,000 for The Ronan Thompson Foundation — on top of the money they've raised for Cycle.

The team motto comes straight from the Urban Dictionary. "Rockstars: People who don't follow the rules, they make up their own. They go out of the way to be extraordinary, different from everyone else."

Colleen believes in starting movements, kicking cancer's ass, and bringing hope to as many people as she can. She crusades against cancer expecting nothing in return, but what she has gotten in return astonishes her – from the people she has met, to the love she has felt, to the hope she has fostered, to the teammates she has empowered. She believes that one person CAN make a difference and is more confident than ever that there WILL be a cure for cancer in her lifetime. She believes, like Jen did, that "without fear, anything is possible."

She thanks Maya and Ronan daily for their shared love of the color purple – but mostly for being the forces of nature that inspire her.

To learn more about Team Rockstar, visit:
http://mskcc.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=cycle_national_team_rockstar

To see our music video, visit: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDmPgaQGXgk

To see event day photos, visit: 
http://mskcc.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=cycle_community_gallery

To read some press about Colleen, visit:
http://www.gazette.net/article/20130220/NEWS/130229986/0/gazette&template=gazette

Amanda Brodsky

January 2013

Amanda

Amanda will be 23 next month, has lived in Arizona since she was nine, and is the oldest of five kids.  Her youngest sibling is 6 and a half years old! Amanda has always been around kids, loves to babysit, and is passionate about helping children.  Amanda was introduced to Maya's blog days after Ronan died by a family she babysits for. Like many of us, the blog changed Amanda's life, perspective, and career goals. Amanda reached out to the Foundation offering to help, and board member Rebecca realized that they had two common facebook friends  - Rebecca's sister and niece!  We put Amanda right to work, and she has been invaluable in helping us read, organize, and answer the thousands of amazing messages we receive.  Amanda has volunteered at all Foundation events, is volunteering at Run Like A Rockstar this month, and is always, always willing to lend a helping hand. 

 

Sheri Barlow

November 2012

Sheri

Sheri Barlow teaches 7th grade Language Arts at South Valley Junior High in Gilbert, AZ. She runs a service club on campus that helps students understand the value of work by contributing their time to run the student store and run concessions for the school during athletics.

She is the mother of three fantastic kids! And... Soon to be grandma for the first time in January ! Helping kids in her community has always been a priority! She lives in Gilbert where she is active in her community and church. In October Sheri's service club spearheaded a fundraiser called Scare Cancer, and throughout the month, the students donated their left over lunch money to vote for the teacher they thought would have the best Halloween costume. The South Valley junior High 7th and 8th grade students raised $2,614.15 for The Ronan Thompson Foundation, that's $2.10 per student! Thank You to Mrs. Barlow's leadership, enthusiasm and her students generosity for helping us fight cancer for kids!

If you'd like to find out how to organize a Scare Cancer fundraiser at your school, please contact meghan@ronanthompson.org

Meghan Martinez

October 2012

MeghanMeghan grew up in Tennessee, and moved to Arizona in 1995 to attend ASU. She fell in love with the wonderful weather, palm trees, year-round golf, and all of the other things this City in the desert has to offer. She has enjoyed a career working in real estate for 10 years, and in 2010, started her own gift line called Lil’ Basket Case. Meghan is married to a great man, loves being a bonus mom to her eleven-year old step-son, Jacob, and enjoys every second they share as a family.
Meghan says, “I will never forget the day I was introduced to Ronan’s story. I received an email from a client, on May 12, 2011, asking for auction item donations for a fundraiser called the Brightest Star in the Sky. Her email included a brief and heartbreaking snippet about the Thompson family and Rockstar Ronan. I woke up early the next morning, clicked on the link and the very first post I read was “Where is Ronan”. To this day, I get a visceral reaction seeing those words, and with a single blog post, my life changed forever. Ro’s story lit a fire in my soul. I had to get involved, to raise awareness, to raise money and to scream from the rooftops about the dirty little secret that is childhood cancer.” Meghan is invaluable to the Foundation. She is chairing the Rockstar Run, and is the Foundation’s Local Fundraising Chair. Meghan is GOLD!

Michael Dee

September 2012

Michael Dee
Michael Dee is president and publisher of Arizona Foothills Magazine and AZFoothills.com. Michael Dee was born in Chicago, Il, raised by a single mother and attended Robert Morris College. Michael Dee founded Arizona Foothills Magazine back in 1997. Arizona Foothills Magazine mission is to continue to be a leader in publishing, electronic media and social networking, producing the highest quality media in the luxury genre; to be a trusted resource; to speak with our well-established authority and to give back to the community in which we serve.

Michael Dee has been a Valley resident for more than 18 years. He is a proud father of Spencer Dee. He has learned that the greatest is being a father and giving back to the people that make this the AZ the best place to live.

We are so thankful to Michael Dee and our Arizona Foothills family. They have gone above and beyond to show their support for The Ronan Thompson Foundation. Whether it be from recognizing our hard work as a foundation or believing in our cause so much, that they want to help us change the world of pediatric cancer... Michael Dee has a heart of Gold. We will forever be grateful and thankful to have him on our side.

Lauren Clements

August 2012

Lauren ClementsI never knew the impact a single person could have on ones life. I never knew the bravery, strength and beauty a child could portray. I never knew how pure the soul of a mother could be. It was after finding Maya's blog, that I would learn all of these things. It was after seeing Ronan's piercing blue eyes and spicy little spirit, that my life would forever be changed. It's been nearly two years now, that I've known about Ronan. Two years that have molded me into the person I know I am meant to be. Two years that have taught me the importance of love. Although I never met Ronan, I know that he is the last thing from ordinary. He is all things beautiful. He is wiser than most adults. He is powerful. He's simply amazing. A lot of these qualities come from his incredible mother, Maya. The way she writes to him is like nothing I have ever seen before. There are two words to describe the relationship between Maya and her son: love story. A true love story that has captivated the hearts of thousands and continues to do so. I'm eighteen and I have already been taught more about life than most will in a lifetime. This comes from Ronan and Maya. This is something no school can ever teach and no book can ever explain. I have been taught how to love, and love hard. How to be kind, despite the cruelty of this world. How to always be happy, no matter how bad things may seem. Because it could always be worse.

For Ronan, for Maya, for their family and for all of the children fighting cancer, I will forever and always, appreciate what I have and what I am given, I will take each day and live it to the fullest, as every second we are given, is a gift.

Charisma Carpenter

June 2012

Charisma Carpenter

One of Maya's dearest friends for many years now, Charisma embodies as much beauty on the outside as she does on the inside. She loved Ronan and has been a very strong support system for Maya during her darkest hours. Charisma is always looking for ways to spread awareness for Neuroblastoma as she knows the face of this disease has to change. We are so thankful for her passion for childhood cancer and for all she is doing for us personally, and for the face of this awful disease.

You can watch Charisma on her newest show, ABC Families, "The Lying Game." http://abcfamily.go.com/shows/lying-game or catch her on the big screen when "The Expendables 2," hits the big screen on August 3rd. http://screenrant.com/the-expendables-2-release-date-sandy-108633/

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