Remembering on Giving Day

It will be 25 years this November since I lost a childhood friend to cancer. We were in 10th grade and she was days from turning 16 years old when she passed.

Mindy was beautiful. She was a ballet dancer and an honors student. She was so incredibly kind. Her family welcomed me in their home for consecutive weekend sleepovers where we would listen to Depeche Mode in heavy rotation on her CD player. We played with black eyeliner and red lipstick and talked about boys. She introduced me to her obsession with all things Esprit and Star Trek. We saw The Cure at Dodger Stadium together and cried when it was over.

Here’s one of the very few photos I have of the two of us. Big hair and smiles at our middle school graduation party. And by big hair (and forehead) I mean me.

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Her diagnosis was rare and advanced and her death was devastating to many.

I think of her often but especially when I see a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and remember how badly she wanted one for her first car. Or, when I hear “Cherish” by Madonna and I’m taken back to the day we registered for 9th grade and how we danced to that song in an empty Lamppost Pizza. And though it has since been eliminated, I would think fondly of my sweet friend when I sent out holiday cards from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

That Christmas after Mindy died, I stumbled upon a set of brightly colored holiday cards created by young artists fighting cancer. Sales benefited the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and in a very small way, I felt that sending these cards was a way to remember her and support an organization that was helping to improve the care, quality of life and survival rates in kids like my dear friend.

PCRF is one of 350 non-profit organizations hoping to benefit in today’s first-ever Orange County giving day. For 30 hours beginning April 21, 2015, secure, tax-deductible donations will be accepted on The Orange County Community Foundation and their Giving Day partners will super-charge local giving by funding bonus awards and prizes to these 350 deserving organizations.

The goal is to raise $2 million for OC non-profits and keep giving within our community.


Click here to find an organization or please visit to make a donation. I will be making a donation to PCRF in Mindy’s name.

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This post is sponsored by Orange County Community Foundation. All opinions are my own.