A New Day… Who is Ashley VanDerMark?

People always ask Michael and I who is Ashley VanDerMark. She wrote me an email this morning and she writes it so eloquently that I don’t want to steal her thunder so with her permission I copied it below. I met Ashley at twin club a few months before Cannon was diagnosed. She had a glow about her that just attracts you to her - she spoke at the meeting about a mother who had just had twins and had cancer - I reached out to that mother through Ashley and that was my first encounter with her. The next time I saw Ashley she walked into the fourth floor and saw me with Cannon who 4 days prior was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer . Sometimes God just places people in your life and truly you can’t imagine life without them - that’s how I feel about Miss Ashley and her family. She has taken on a Cannonball Kids’s Cancer like no other and I’m proud to know her. 

Note from Ashley: 


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Telling My Mother Her Grandson Had Cancer…..

I find myself in the hospital chapel daily. I don’t realize I’m going there until I am in it and praying on my knees to God to intervene and save my son, save all these kids… They deserve to be married, have babies experience college. Yet the average age of a kid that dies with cancer is 8. Many are much younger. 

In chapel I can be vulnerable and that’s a nice feeling. Everywhere else I can’t. Cannon can’t see me cry he must know that I am strong and this doesn’t hurt me. Why? I recall an incredible boy with bone cancer told me once ’ the hardest part of having cancer… Is watching my parents in pain, seeing my mum cry’ so from that day I made it my mission to not make this any harder on Cannon than it needs to be. As Abby Lee Miller says ’ leave your tears for your pillow’ or in my case the hospital chapel and the car  

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You won’t beat ME….. You can’t….

You may have taken our life and are trying with all your might to kill my son, my marriage, my soul, my heart, my spirit, my faith… My everything 

You won’t beat me 
You won’t beat my son

Everyone knows the last few miles of a marathon are the hardest ….

It’s true…

It’s the hardest….

Cancer is trying with all it’s might to steal my spirit…..

It’s not right my sons cancer wasn’t caught earlier….

It’s not right that the treatment is what it is…

It isn’t right kids get 4 percent….

What’s anger if it’s not used for a purpose?


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The Calm before the Storm

This day last year Cannon and I stayed home… He wasn’t able to walk anymore… Being heavily pregnant never stopped me ( 37 weeks with twins) I took Cannon everywhere even Disney … People looked at me like I was crazy … I didn’t care … I was determined to enjoy every last minute I had with just me and my buddy Cannonball … I knew life would be forever changed… I didn’t quite know how. I was determined no nanny just me…I could do this … Right?…. I had lots of plans for me and my three boys …. I still do… Just a little later than I planned initially….

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New Members to Team Cannonball Kids’ Cancer


I am conscious of new followers ( I dislike that word - followers) … I prefer, prayer warriors, supporters, people helping spread awareness, team Cannonball members .. I blog here because I believe social media will allow Team Cannonball Kids’ Cancer to create awareness, educate, inspire people to have blood drives, do a presentation, hold a fundraiser for kids’ cancer.. Also maybe another parent who has a child with cancer gets something from it - that would make my heart happy. This blog is a very emotional account of what my son Cannon is going through and what I am as his mother… My husband also writes on here about once a month, but primarily it’s me who writes - mumma-bear or Melissa Wiggins ( I prefer the former)…

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