Hello again from everyone at the OM@home blog, a blog about children and young people, written for children and young people . . . . For young people just like you, about young people who inspire us here at OM HQ.
Young people like Alice Pyne . . . .
The diagnosis must have been devastating . . .
In 2009, aged just 13, Alice returned from the hospital having been found to be suffering from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer that is found in the blood, and one that tends to prove fatal.
No-one, she admitted later, expected her to live much longer . . .
But live she did, cramming more into the coming months than most people manage in a lifetime.
Having set up her own blog, Alice compiled and published a Bucket List - things that she'd decided she had to do before she died.
Tackling the list one thing at a time, she soon began to tick all the items off, swimming with sharks, visiting Kenya, watching whales and meeting Take That, her favorite pop band.
Given her condition, each thing she did represented a significant achievement on her part . . .
But nothing included on the Bucket List could match her greatest accomplishment.
You see, Alice's indomitable spirit - her infectious personality, her drive, determination, and refusal to be beaten - inspired people. People the Earth over.
Her blunt and brilliant blog, for instance, soon had almost five million followers; she travelled, from her home in the UK, to Downing Street to meet the British Prime Minister; she inspired us, here in our studio in Rhode Island, to create a special OM: it is a great honor that in June 2009, she gave that OM - finished in purple, her favorite color - a home.
It is rare that someone like Alice is encountered in life. Someone who, when suffering so much, made it her mission to set up her own charity, Alice's Escapes, to help other children suffering from serious illnesses. Someone who, through her tireless efforts, inspired 40,000 people - single-handed - to sign up for the Bone Marrow Donor Register.
There must have been dark times, but she never let it show . . .
'In order to be courageous, you have to face a fear,' she once said. She truly led by example.
It saddened us to learn, a little earlier this week, that after fighting her cancer so doggedly, Alice had died. That her spirit lives on is obvious. That our planet is a better place for the 17 years she spent on it cannot be questioned.