Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our Unravel team.

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the heart of it

January 6, 2015

You ever look back and wonder.. wonder if on some level you knew your whole life story ahead of time?

There are moments since all of this I have done that. I wrote about it here .. about the signs I had seen along the way. Now too. How I look around and Jennifer is all over our home. Not just the new things.. the things we have added since she died, but so many places before she was even sick. Much more than the other kids.. I just never noticed it. But it makes it easier for me now.

I like to make memories with her in the background.

Every conversation I have.. Every new memory I make she is there.. in some way I there is a visual presence of her there.

A recent picture of Charlotte going to town on some yogurt.. above her left shoulder you see just a touch of pink. Fairy wings Jonathan bought for her last birthday that she wanted put up there for some reason.. She was part of this memory for me.

A recent picture of Charlotte going to town on some yogurt.. above her head to the right of her epic bed head you see just a touch of pink. Fairy wings Jonathan bought for her last birthday that she wanted put up there for some reason.. She was part of this memory for me.

And my all time favorite Christmas song. It has always made me pause. Made me stop. Listen. Think and cry. I realize I miss hearing it now.

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun…

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The war is so long
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear”

I read the lyrics and they speak to me so vividly about the fight we are now in. Not for the life of our daughter. That is a war we lost… and I use ‘we’ in a very broad sense.. Those of us that stood by and did nothing in this fight.. we lost

.. she is a casualty of our inaction…

...and so is he...

…and so is he…

A good year without any fear. Thats the goal right? I mean thats ultimately what unraveling pediatric cancer will mean. We can take away fear from kids and their families. We can. We just have to do it. All in. No excuses.

But what gets to me. What lyrics stick in my throat and make me swallow while trying to sing along.. What have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun.

This year. This new years will be the first I can look back and say I truly did something to try and combat the number one disease killer of our kids, more than AIDS, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital abnormalities COMBINED.

How I wish it was different. I will always be burdened with this guilt.. that I did nothing before it was Jennifer. How unfair that was to her.

I am struggling a lot with my guilt. Its a huge portion of our counseling sessions right now. Something our therapist is trying to deflate a little. I don’t think she can. Because it is a simple truth. One that I cannot run from. I would love to see my FB feed the year before Jennifer was diagnosed.. see how many cancer stories my eyes passed over. How many opportunities I had to do something for her before I knew she needed her mommy to help her?

I wish I could have kept her out of all the pain.. I question whether or not I made all the right choices with her treatment.. but most days my legs can hold me up through those thoughts.. Its the simple inactivity that is a daily .. crushing experience.

Fairy is having a baby.. her first baby. This child will be the first I love that I am doing something for before I actually hold him in my arms. That feels good .. something I can whisper a thanks in his ear to Jennifer about. I know she met him before any of us. I know she held him… And I know she is the reason I can say I have done right by him since before he was born.

A year ago at her wedding.

A year ago at her wedding…a year. A whole damned year.. 

thank you baby girl

I look to 2015. With great trepidation.. for the ending of our firsts.. and the beginning of all the rest. But I also have hope. Because this year I will be active in the fight for 365 days. I will find ways.. big and small to make a difference. To get us just a little bit closer to saving kids and unraveling pediatric cancer. I couldn’t do this alone though. Without the help of old friends and new friends and friends I have never even met.

So thank you .. sincerely and from the bottom of my broken heart. I cannot wait to see what Unravel has in store for all in 2015. But I believe it will be great. It will be healing. It will be powerful.

and you my jennifer lynn

our jlk

you will always be

the heart of it


…until there is a cure..

  1. Esther McKee says:

    Unravel is going to do AMAZING things in 2015! I just know it. Look at what it already has done! Thank you again for sharing. Your words always get me to think about what else I can do! I also hope you find peace and not feel so guilty. Congrats to Fairy. So much love 4 JLK always

  2. Linda Blundo says:

    This year will bring so much more. Because Jennifer and because of you. Jennifer will be there with you all the way. Until you see her again. I hope you feel her when you need her the most. Im sorry. I will try my damdest to spread the glitter. And to help fight this awful disease. Till im blue in the face. Thankyou for opening my eyes. For making me a bettee mommy. For them because of her. Thankyou Libby. Thankyou sweet sweet Jennifer. Until there is a cure. LOVE4JLK♡

  3. Bridget says:

    That is my favorite Christmas song too! And now I will forever hear it differently. In a good way. A reminder to go into the next year challenging myself to answer the question “what have I done?” I hope I can be proud if and inspired by my answers. You certainly help in the inspiration department. Thank you.

  4. Janis says:


    Thank you for sharing your love, thoughts, pain, regrets, and your heart felt stories and memories of Angel Jennifer. You are an amazing Mom. God Bless.


  5. Emily says:

    Thank you, for opening my eyes to these realities that way too many people face, for giving me a reason to fundraise and be a better mother to my own kids. Flittering with my girls, the for them because of her and no into yes moments have made us have a stronger bond. I will continue to do what I can to raise money and spread glitter!

  6. krista says:

    2015 will be full of glitter! i am excited and thankful to be a part of it. sending lots of hugs!!

  7. Becky says:

    Thank you for exposing the truth. Like you, I know it was always there, I just didn’t look. I hope I can find ways to inspire others to join all of us and be active.

    Stay strong – there are many loving arms here to help hold you up

  8. Jody says:

    Beautiful post and pics of Jennifer. Congrats to Fairy!

  9. Melissa R says:

    Yes Libby, JLK will ALWAYS be the heart of it all. I give you my promise to fight this fight with you. …all 365 days! I truly mean it!

  10. Debbie says:

    So many times when I share information people say, that’s morbid, or it scares them. My reply? Well it should scare you! We are losing our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers, sisters to these diseases! I was blessed to raise four healthy children, and I have two angel babies that I never met. I have an angel grand-baby I have never met.

    I do not know what made me stop and take a closer look. Perhaps someone shared with me, and I remembered my grandmother telling me about my Uncle Glenn who is forever 5 because of Leukemia. And then to realize so little has changed since his passing and that of Jennifer’s and so many other angels gone far far too soon. It does have to stop, and if I offend by sharing, I honestly don’t care. If it reaches one person, like I was reached that is progress. Here is to 2015 and a great year of progress! <3

  11. Kristina says:

    I hope there are ways in which I can help more this year. I spread the glitter but I’d like to do more. I hope to participate more this year and help save our children.

    Thank you for opening my eyes, Libby. Thank you for showing me the way.


  12. Jess says:

    Thank YOU for all you’ve done Libby, and all you are going to do. I always donate what I can now and spread glitter… for her! for sweet Jennifer.

  13. EMailman says:

    I am so grateful for Unravel for providing all of us a way to move forward and upward to fight cancer. It’s real and genuine action, and thank you for your posts about what Dr. Olsen and others are doing with the funding to make real discoveries.

    I’m so happy Fairy is having a baby.

    Finally, one thought I had about your guilt about not taking action about cancer while Jennifer was alive and healthy. Cancer IS the number one foe we have to fight … but there are many other ways Jennifer could have left this earth, and there’s no possible way you could’ve been involved in all of the different proactive causes. We know now what we know, and we will join you to help other families. Please be good to yourself–you are so good to others.

  14. jennifer says:

    Total chills reading this post…the picture of Jennifer- she looks like such an angel with Fairy. The fact that she already knows the baby is somewhat amazing yet also heartbreaking at the same time. I pray for all of you every night Libby….many many more prayers your way. LOVE4JLK

  15. Greta says:

    Such magical pictures to start the year! Thank you!!!!yes, I would like 3 fluttering kits for this year. All for me. Glitter will fly around 4 counties in Southern California , we will unravel pediatric cancer LIBBY, all because of a truly magical 6 year old little girl.

  16. Kristen says:

    Love this picture of Jennifer! 2015 will be a great year for unravel, I can feel it!!! xoxoxoxooxoxox

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