Taylor Swift’s New Single ‘Ronan’ Shares Story of Childhood Cancer

by Jill Taylor on September 20, 2012

in Community Information

Childhood cancer is filled with tender moments. Some moments are of triumph, others of intense fear or pain. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and a time to share the stories the children and families who are forever changed by this terrible disease.

Taylor Swift recently released a hit single, “Ronan” to share the story of a small boy who lost his life to cancer just three days before he would have turned four.  Watching this emotional tribute is sure to touch a special place in your heart.

For over a year, Swift followed Ronan’s story on his mother’s blog “Rockstar Ronan,” where Maya Thompson writes to her son in an honest, vulnerable way.  Swift was touched by Thompson’s words, and even credits her as a co-writer of the song. All of the proceeds of Swift’s new single now available on iTunes will go to cancer charities. The day the single was released, September 7, 2012, the single had already climbed to number two on iTunes.

Now that Thompson’s blog has over six million hits, Ronan’s story is on the rise. Thompson refers to Swift as an angel with a beautiful heart and explains her complete shock when she received a personal voicemail from the artist. Thompson feels blessed to use Ronan’s story so that other’s suffering from this disease can be heard.

Someone asked Thompson what it was like to be famous, now that her son’s story is highlighted by Taylor Swift and covered by top news outlets like The New York Times and MSN Music News. Thompson writes in her blog, “No I’m not [famous.] I’m just a sad mom who lost her son and who would do anything to have him back…I’m not sure quite what to do with all this attention. I just want it to all go to the awareness that childhood cancer needs, deserves and wants.”

Thompson is a strong advocate to spread awareness about childhood cancer, having lost her own son to neuroblastoma, an often deadly childhood cancer. She explains that childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, and the second cause of childhood death, behind accidents. Despite this alarming number, pediatric cancer receives only 3 to 4 percent of national cancer research funds.  The Thompson family founded The Ronan Thompson Foundation to help spread awareness and gain funds for cancer research and to keep Ronan’s story alive.

Thompson writes of what she hopes Ronan’s story will do:

  • “I want our story to inspire kids to become doctors, who will do everything they can, to change the awful statistics, outcomes and treatments of childhood cancer.
  • I want our story to inspire nurses to go into pediatric oncology, because these kids deserve to have the best people taking care of them with the biggest hearts.
  • I want our story to inspire people to become Child Life specialists who really will make a difference in bringing a smile to a child’s face.
  • I want our story to impact people in such a way that they follow their hearts and listen to their dreams no matter how many people try to stop them or hold them back.
  • I want all this “fame,” to go to where it deserves to go to. To the real heroes of this story, the kids battling cancer. That is what I want. This spotlight is not for me, but them. This scary world where childhood cancer gets such little support and funding.”

McLane Children’s Scott & White is a special place where this hope is alive every day. Designed as a tailored treatment center for children with cancer, McLane Children’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department benefits a number of children in the Central Texas area.

For children fighting cancer, it is vital to have advanced care to provide honest options and real hope for every child. Our pediatric hematologist-oncologists are not only specially trained experts, but have the compassion and the heart to make a lasting impact.

Scott & White is just one place trying to make a difference for the 30 to 40 thousand children currently undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S. and the 3,000 children who do not survive cancer each year.

“I think a big part of why nothing gets done with childhood cancer is that everybody wants to wrap it in a cute little bow with cute little bald kids,” Thompson told The New York Times, “But it’s so sad. The statistics are so awful.”

If you’d like to learn more about McLane Children’s Scott & White and how you can donate to help childhood cancer research in your community, visit the Scott & White Healthcare Foundation page. Your efforts in spreading awareness about childhood cancer and Ronan’s story will help thousands of young children be heard.

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