Either you, a loved one or someone you know most likely has heard the horrifying words from a doctor: “You have cancer.”

Wouldn’t it be great to find a cure for this terrible monster?Madeleine OBrien

When I was five years old, my mom heard these exact words about me. I had a brain tumor the size of a lemon and a cyst the size of an orange smashing the right side of my brain. was only in kindergarten and without treatment the chance of me living was less than 1 percent. For treatment, I had to have brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. I lived in the hospital for nearly a year. When it was time to go to the hospital, I would hide from my Mom. I am a really good hider. My mom would drag me kicking and screaming into the car because I hated the treatments so much. I used to wear my brother’s clothes and pretend to be a boy because I hated being me. Somedays I felt so terrible, people would bring me presents and I couldn’t even open them.

The doctors didn’t even really know how to treat my cancer. They had to guess because it was so rare. The doctors had to look back over 20 years in the United States to find 100 kids that had the same type of brain cancer. Unless you have been through and survived harsh treatments, you couldn’t know what it is like to be someone like me.

After surviving all this, just last week I heard the very sad news that my neighbor and friend now has brain cancer, too. He is only 13 years old. It is hard for me to even think about because I know what he is going to have to go through.

I was lucky and survived cancer but the treatments were very hard on my body. Because of the treatments, I have to work much harder than other kids to get things done.

When people doubt what I can do, it makes me want to turn into an angry MOB. MOB is what I am often called because my name is Madeleine O’Brien. I have a Relay for Life team called MOB Nation. Last year I had more than 40 kids on my team and we raised more than $7,000.

One way you can help stop harsh treatments and help fight cancer is to join Lake Oswego’s Relay for Life event. Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is a local event held at Lake Oswego High School July 13 and 14, 2013. It raises money to help find cures for cancer patients.

I invite you to come join the effort to fight cancer. Find out how by coming to the LO Relay kick off meeting Thursday, Feb. 7, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Hope Community Church, 14790 Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego.

You can learn about ways you can help participate in the event, join a team or form your own team. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To make a donation or join my team see

Come make a difference. Hope to see you there!

FYI, we never capitalize the word cancer because it does not deserve it.

Madeleine O’Brien is a cancer survivor and a 7th grader at Lake Oswego Junior High School.

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