Saturday Centus – Wk#109 – Prompt: Photo – 100 words – “for Niamh”

02 Jun

Kalea strode across the dais on her kindergarten graduation day. Tears of joy were in our eyes as we watched.

She was so little when we’d received the news. She had neuroblastoma. The doctors said she was in the low risk category and had a good chance of cure. Our hearts had skipped a beat. Cancer was cancer.

To look at her now, you’d never know. Her hospital friend’s odds were not so good. She was also five when she lost her battle.

Running to us, she said, “This is for Niamh too.”

“She’d be proud of you,” we replied.

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Note: While this is a fictional story, Niahm is not. She was a brave little girl who suffered from neuroblastoma, a very common form of cancer in young children. Her parents had been raising awareness of the cancer. Despite her parents’ efforts to raise funds for the surgery they hoped would save her, she recently lost her battle. She was only five and someone I came to know through Twitter.


Posted by on June 2, 2012 in 2. Saturday Centus


16 responses to “Saturday Centus – Wk#109 – Prompt: Photo – 100 words – “for Niamh”

  1. Judie McEwen

    June 3, 2012 at 01:27

    Ros, once again, you have touched our hearts.

    • Ross Mannell

      June 3, 2012 at 22:28

      Thanks for the comment.

      Little Niamh’s passing was only very recent so was still on my mind when I saw the picture and read it was of a kindergarten graduation.

  2. Sue

    June 3, 2012 at 02:02

    We had friends whose child had neuroblastoma. Thankfully, their child survived. I’m so sorry that Niamh did not.


    • Ross Mannell

      June 3, 2012 at 22:31

      Thanks for the comment.

      At least children are more likely to be in the low and mid risk category and have a good chance. I’m glad to read your friends’ child survived. Until reading about Niamh, I wasn’t aware neuroblastoma was the most common infant cancer.

  3. Viki

    June 3, 2012 at 04:45

    Very touching story. Good way to get the word about this disease.

    • Ross Mannell

      June 3, 2012 at 22:33

      Thanks for the comment.

      Like any health issue, there’s always a need to raise awareness so researchers can continue to have financial support.

  4. Dreaming

    June 3, 2012 at 09:42

    *Goosebumps* What a wonderful post. The loss of a child is so tragic. Thanks for helping to raise awareness.

    • Ross Mannell

      June 3, 2012 at 22:37

      Thanks for the comment.

      My link with the family was only through Twitter and others who personally knew Niamh but I admired the family and their little girl. It was a very sad tweet to read when I learned she had passed. I had also sent a donation to the UK for her. I have a friend who runs a charity to provide princess/pirate parties for very sick children. One of the princesses had been Niamh.

  5. anita

    June 3, 2012 at 10:48

    Ross, I love how you turned what others have found as a distasteful situation of a young girl too dressed up for her age or on parade for her parents’ egos into something sweet and tender. You rocked it. Love your take. Very sad about Niahm and countless others like her.

    • Ross Mannell

      June 3, 2012 at 22:41

      Thanks for the comment.

      The choice of shoes is a little odd for a five year old but I hadn’t thought of the possible negative side of the picture. She reminded me of little Niamh who didn’t get the chance to graduate kindergarten. When I write, I try to be positive even if dealing with a sad theme.

  6. Jo

    June 5, 2012 at 14:46

    Ross, such a sad sad story … you really did well with the prompt …

    • Ross Mannell

      June 11, 2012 at 10:04

      Thanks for the comment.

      Having just heard about little Niamh at the time of the prompt, I thought I would share a little of her story.

  7. jfb57

    June 5, 2012 at 18:09

    Such a sad story attached to this piece Ross. It is good to be able to get these situations into the public domain though where they can get the much needed attention.

    I’m very late with my entry but it is here

    • Ross Mannell

      June 11, 2012 at 10:06

      Thanks for the comment.

      I have found many are active on Twitter and Facebook trying to raise awareness of various diseases and cancers in children. Social media may have some negatives but it is a resource for bringing about change.

  8. Jenny Matlock

    June 11, 2012 at 02:26

    Sadly, this story plays out for so many families…

    It is heartbreaking.

    Would that we could divert 1/10th of the energy from breast cancer to other forms it would be amazing.

    Thank you for sharing your touching and poignant writing.

    • Ross Mannell

      June 11, 2012 at 10:24

      Thanks for the comment.

      A friend who runs a charity for children in England had said May was a sad month because they had lost six young ones for various reasons. It’s sad when we lose adults to cancer or disease but a child is unrealised possibilities.


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