Alese Coco's Journey through Hodgkins Disease

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Public Service Announcement

It's been a while since we posted anything and so much has happened in the last several months...

On July 1, 2009, the first ever Public Service Announcement (PSA) for Hodgkin's disease was filmed at Paramount Studio's in Hollywood.

This was made possible through the efforts of Taco Bell, DraftFCB and Paramount Studios. This would have never been possible without the sincere effort and dedication of Greg Creed and Karen Walters. Thank you.

The PSA will begin airing this weekend on FOX Broadcasting and in the coming weeks on Turner Broadcasting stations, Viacom stations along with ESPN. The PSA will run throughout the rest of 2009.

Our hope and prayer is this will raise awareness for Hodgkin's disease and money to fund research grants.

Father, thank you for this opportunity, may the efforts of this campaign make a difference in the lives of so many people suffering from this horrible cancer. Lord, bring comfort to the families of friends who've lost loved ones to Hodgkin's in the recent weeks.


Blessing,

The Coco's

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May 7th… Two Years Later.

It is hard for us to comprehend that two years have passed since our Alese died.

We are planning to spend Thursday together as a family. We will not be going to work or school. We will mourn, reminisce and remember our beloved Alese. We will laugh, cry and celebrate the 23 years we shared with her.

The flame atop the fountain in Alese’s Memory Garden has been burning continuously since Sunday, May 2nd at 8:00 am. It will continue to burn continuously throughout the month of May.

On May 7th, we agreed to take part in a meeting for Alese’s Hodgkin’s foundation. We were initially apprehensive about this date. Our family discussed it and we each felt that Alese would want us to help make a difference for other patients with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. If all goes well, the outcome of this meeting will raise Hodgkin’s awareness on a national level in the next several months. Alese would be proud.

May 7th is also National Day of Prayer. Alese had many friends from many faiths and whether you are Christian, Jewish, Catholic or Muslim, we ask that you take time out of your day to pray.

Pray for God’s protection over this great nation. Pray for our leaders, for our economy, for our troops overseas and for their families that are missing them. Pray for the safety and welfare of your own friends and family.

Also, please remember the family of Jessica Wentz (www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessicawentz). Jessica lost her battle last week to Hodgkin’s Disease. She leaves behind a husband and two very young children. The fabric of Jessica’s close knit family has been stretched to the limit and we ask for God’s comfort in their lives.

Lastly, we would like to thank our family, close friends, Journey of Faith and Honeywell for their continued and unwavering support. We would not have been able to make it through the last two years without your love and prayers.

Father, thank you for allowing us to live in a country in which we freely worship you as our Creator, Savior and Lord. May our lives reflect your desire and may our heart always be sensitive to the moving of your spirit. Thank you for the 23 years that we were able to spend with Alese; may the efforts of this foundation increase cure rates for Hodgkin’s Disease and make a difference in the lives of so many patients suffering today.


Blessings,

The Coco

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Easter Nears…

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted on Alese’s website; we’ve received a lot of e-mail requesting communication and I apologize for not posting sooner. We found a reliable webmaster to update this site; our plan is to keep all the data in place as it’s currently viewed. This was Alese’s site and it will be preserved as she designed it.

There is a new guestbook, the previous guestbook had some corrupt files and anyone with using a PC was unable to make entries, only MAC users were able to access the guestbook. The webmaster archived all previous entries and the new guestbook is fully operable.

In the coming weeks there will be many additions and revisions to the Fight 2 Win website, along with several announcements that will be happening to raise awareness and resources.

As Easter nears, we’re reminded of this special time of the year when we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus. The resurrection of the Jesus is the basis of our faith and promise of heaven and eternal life.

In a few weeks will be May 7th… We will mourn, remember and reflect the second anniversary of Alese’s passing. Although we celebrate her life and the influence and impact that she had on so many with fondness, there is no masking the toll her loss has taken on our family.

Her memory is always at the forefront of our thoughts and as we converse with many friends who have lost children to Hodgkin’s and other cancers, they too share this same challenge. I’m not sure this ever goes away. It always seems as though she died yesterday and it’s a collective ache we’ve learned to live with.

On April 8th, many of our Jewish friends will celebrate the beginning of Passover and also a special moment in time called “Blessing of the Sun”. The Sun has a 28 year solar cycle known as Machzor Gadol; according to the Jewish calendar the earth is 5768 years old. There are only two other times in history the new cycle has begun on the first day of Passover. We pray for God’s blessings in your life.

I’d like to ask you to keep several families in prayer… Alese’s friend Ryan Vodicka died on March 11th, after a five year battle with cancer, he was 29; also the family of Nicholas Benum lost their dear 19 year old son to Hodgkin’s in January. These were both wonderful young men, whose lives were cut far too short. Please pray for God’s comfort in their lives.

Father, in all things and in all seasons you are our place of refuge. We seek your guidance in our life in all that we do and we ask that you lead us in every step we take. May we remain in your will always and may our lives reflect your glory to those we come in contact with everyday.

Blessings,

The Coco’s

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Memories…

This has been a busy summer…

On July 17th, Paul was in New York for a day of meetings, he was on the ground for ten hours and in the air for eleven… The following day, the Board of Directors convened in Torrance for event planning and fund raising activity. Although things are going a little slower than we anticipated, progress is taking place and the Fight 2 Win Campaign continues moves forward in a positive direction.

Last night, Shallyn left for New York, she’s going to take part in several meetings and will be on the east coast for just under a week.

We were going through our closet a few nights ago and we found a video camera with a tape inside. The battery was dead, so, we charged it and to our surprise the entire thirty minute tape was of Alese and her friend Rebecca driving from New Jersey to New York City in May 2006. It was amazing to see her feeling good and full of life just a year prior to her untimely passing. It was good for all of us to see that even when she was seriously ill, she lived life to the fullest and suffered very little.

Alese & Rebecca in New York

I’ll share a humorous related story to their trip… Alese and Rebecca flew home from New York to Los Angeles with a large pharmaceutical company. At the time, the CEO was a man named Dr. Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada. When she boarded the plane, Alese was herself, full of life, love and laughter. After the introductions Dr. Yamada look at them and says; “Which one of you is sick?” Alese responds; “I am.” He looks back at her and says; “You don’t look sick.” Alese responds: “Really!! That means so much to me, thank you.” However, his thoughts and her thoughts were going two different directions. Alese is thinking I’m so glad I look normal and not like the typical cancer patient. Dr. Yamada is thinking this girl isn’t sick and I’m concerned that she’s trying to get a free ride to California on the companies Gulfstream. Prior to departure, he invites her to sit down and begins asking her about her condition. A few seconds into the conversation, Alese realizes his trepidation and she began sharing her story with him, which included showing him her “battle wounds” (surgery scars) He finally asked; “Who treats you and where are you being treated?” She replies; “I’m treated by Owen O’Connor at Sloan Kettering.” With that, he was satisfied and his doubt resolved. A few weeks after that flight, Dr. Yamada left his position and became the President for the Global Health Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a position he currently maintains.

This website is going to have a minor overhaul in mid August, the content will remain in tact; we’re going to make some minor changes and updates.

The Fight 2 Win site will also be going through some changes; additional buttons will be added and detailed information about research and upcoming events will be included.

Father, we are in awe of your faithfulness and how you care for our every need. Thank you for loving us and for the gift of salvation when you sent your Son to save a dying world. Lord, today, may we make a difference in someone’s life. Touch the lives and hearts of many who are hurting, fill their hearts with hope and give them joy knowing our eternal reward is near.

Blessings,

The Coco’s

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Community Remembers...

I received a lot of emails over the past two weeks from people asking if we were going to update the journal…

A Community Remembers

I apologize for not posting sooner, but life has been full. About three weeks ago, Mark came home from a birthday party complaining of stomach pains… In short, he had his appendix removed. It’s kind of a funny story, so I’ll share what happened. Paul took Mark to the ER around midnight on a Saturday evening, doctors wanted to observe Mark and admitted him, Paul spent the night with him at Torrance Memorial and in the morning we switched, Paul went home to catch up on some much needed sleep and I came in to stay with Mark. Ten minutes after I arrived, the surgeon walks in… He’s looking at me like…”I know you…” I’m looking at him thinking the same thing. Then it dawns on me, this is the same surgeon that I told six years prior that I did not want him operating on Alese… It was not that he had a bad reputation, in fact he was well respected, but at the time Alese was newly diagnosed and I was not used to the bedside manners of many surgeons. I looked at him and said… “Do you remember me?” Without missing a beat he says… “Yes, Mrs. Coco.” Ten minutes later Mark was in the operating room, he spent another night in the hospital and he was released on Monday. He was sore for a few weeks, but now life is back to normal. After going through cancer, everything seems trivial.

Paul’s father Eddie had his appendix removed when he was 14, Paul had a severe appendicitis when he was 13, but they did not remove them and Mark is a few weeks away from his thirteenth birthday… Genetic.

My dear friend Deborah Ames died last Wednesday… She was a wonderful and incredibly friend to so many people. Deborah had ovarian cancer. She leaves behind her husband Cliff, daughter Nadine, and son Cliff Jr. Deborah will be dearly missed, please join me in praying for her family during these difficult days.

There are many things going on right now with the Fight 2 Win Campaign… Paul is in New York on July 17th and there is a Board meeting in Torrance on the 18th. A lot of good things are happening and there will be several wonderful announcements that will be made in the coming weeks. I ask for your continued prayer as this campaign moves forward.

Father, thank you for guiding our steps and leading our paths as we journey through life… Lord, I ask that you bring the Ames family comfort during these difficult days and fill their sorrowed hearts with peace knowing that Deborah's eternally rests in your arms. Father, we ask that you continue to guide this campaign and touch the lives of so many battling Hodgkin’s Disease.

Blessings,

The Coco’s

Monday, May 05, 2008

One Year Later…

Without question, this has been a difficult twelve months and it’s hard to fathom that a year has passed…


There is not a day, not an hour, not a span of five or ten minutes that goes by that we do not think about her.

I should clarify, by no means is there a 24 hour crying fest going on in the Coco household. Ninety percent of the time our thoughts are positive as we reflect on Alese’s life with joy. However, she’s always at the forefront of our thoughts and we miss her more than words can say.

May 7th will be spent quietly, we’re staying together as a family, no one is going to work or school… We’ve asked our family and some friends to join at her graveside for a private service. This is the first time any one from our family has been to her graveside since her burial.

We request your prayers during through this difficult day.

The Fight 2 Win campaign has begun… We’ve received formal written notification from the IRS, awareness and fundraising activities will begin shortly. The site will officially be launched and active on May 7th, if you have a moment, please visit www.fight2win.org, on or after May 7, 2008

We have many, many friends who continue to battle Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and we ask you to pray from them and their families. We understand what these families continue to endure and we ask for God’s healing hand and mercy to touch their lives.

Blessings,

The Coco’s

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blood Drive…

Alese’s dear friend Krissy Baird has organized the Alese Coco Memorial Blood Drive... All donors will receive a coupon for a pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream. If your available, please join us for this worthy cause.


Alese & Krissy Baird

The drive will be held at:

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Journey of Faith 1243 Artesia Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
9:00 am – 3:00 pm


If you have any questions, or to book a specific time, please contact Krissy Baird at: k.baird@yahoo.com.

Blessings,

The Coco's