Kids, Cancer, Humanity, and #hashtags

There is so much bad in this world. Every day, it terrifies me to let my 14 year old son leave the house. Yes, I know that it is not realistic to keep him in my sight 24/7/365. Yes, I get that it is not healthy to do so. I didn’t say I did it.

Any of you with kids, and many without, I’m sure can relate. Even in our little town, in Nowheresville, Oregon, there are bad things. It’s the nature of the world today.

I try and live by example for my children. I try and show kindness and fairness and love. I try and teach them to give back, and to care for everyone, even though I am totally honest with them about how hard the whole ‘love your enemies’ thing can really be.

And sometimes it seems futile. I turn on my computer, and am bombarded with Kardashians, and skeevy politics, and shady corporate deals. I love my computer, and social media, and “guilty pleasure” blogs and tv shows. But being able to take it into context is something that even many adults have yet to grasp, nonetheless my children.

So, even though I never give up, sometimes it feels like we can’t make a difference as individuals, and it makes me sad to see the world my children are growing up in.

But then something will come along to make me feel a lot better about it all.

There is a movement happening right now, in our little corner of the world.

Pendleton High School Spanish teacher Kathryn Youngman. My attention was brought to this particular woman this week, via my sister in law, on Facebook. Sis had taken her Spanish class back in the day. Doing a bit of research, I found out that this teacher is, for the third time, battling cancer, this time with stage 2 breast cancer. Despite this, she is still in the classroom, inspiring kids every day that she can possibly make it.

Over the last few days, my feeds on social media have exploded with a new hashtag. Apparently Senora Youngman has a dream of meeting Ellen DeGeneres (whom I adore!). The kids from Pendleton High School began bombarding Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and probably other sites that I don’t use regularly, with the tag #YoungmanOnEllen, hoping to make their beloved teacher dream come true.

Besides the amazing story of this womans fight against cancer (which is a horrible monster that took my stepda from us in 2013), I am SO INSPIRED by the movement these kids have created, thinking beyond themselves, and pouring so much love out to the community and their teacher.

It gives me hope that the kids are turning out okay after all šŸ™‚

For more information about Kathryn Youngman, start with

and make sure you follow the hashtag #youngmanonellen!

My kiddo, wearing a pink Keep Collective bracelet that he put together for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2015


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