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She could be the first female president
Or be the doctor who's experiment
Finds the cure to what she's in here for
But right now treatments keep her sick in bed
That baseball cap never leaves her head
And while she sleeps I sit and dream
One day I asked her what do you wanna do when you grow up
I soon found out I wasn't dreaming big enough

She said, I'm gonna ride my bike, I'm gonna climb a tree
Gonna fly a kite, score running little league
I'm gonna go to school, make a friend, be able to run again
Braid My Hair
Take off my mask and just breathe in the air
But most of all I'm gonna braid my hair

She could question God, Lord, knows I would
She could just give up, I don't think I could be that strong or fight so long
How can such a little girl have such big faith
And even through the pain she still prays, saying, God will make a way

For me to ride my bike, for me to climb a tree
I'm gonna fly a kite, and score running little league
I'm gonna go to school, make a friend, be able to run again
And take off my mask and just breathe in the air
But most of all I'm gonna braid my hair that's down to my waist
Then I'll get it cut so they can make
Locks of love for some little girl who's just like me
Wonders if she'll ever be

Able to ride her bike, able to climb a tree
Able to fly her kite, and score running little league
Able to go to school, make new friends, be able to run again
Take off her mask and just breathe in the air
And most of all she can braid her hair
She can braid her hair

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  • k
    kpeabeeJan 24, 2012 at 5:12 am
    Donna, i read about your niece. My daughter is currently fighting a battle against pancreatoblastoma and i would like to get in touch with you. I hope you see this¡ thank you and god bless.
  • d
    donnarcobbJun 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    I first heard this song in 2008, which was perfect timing for my family. My 2 year old niece, Katie, was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer: pancreatoblastoma, after what seemed like an eternity of doctors not being able to identify the type of cancer cells. Looking back it turned out it was only 3 weeks, but if you've been in this type of situation, three weeks of no news definitely feels longer than 21 days.

    Doctors found a grapefruit size tumor in her tiny tummy, dozens of quarter sized tumors in her lungs and a Jumbo egg size tumor in her neck, which is actually what brought the sickness to our attention.

    Although we are from Arkansas, my brother, his wife, and Katie had to fly to Boston's Children's Hospital to hopefully find out a plan of action. This included this Boston physician prescribing chemo to be administered at Arkansas Children's Hospital. On the night before her third birthday, Katie started chemo. Nobody ever thinks of chemo as being a birthday present, but our family was so desperate to get the cancer out of her, that I felt like it was the best present she could get that year. Doctors were not hopeful. Katie was only the 21st diagnosis for that cancer in over 80 years and they were doubtful the chemo would work at all because of the differing type of cells in the tumors. We have this big thing in our family called FAITH. We literally had people praying all across the US, and in South America and Africa. In fact, if you are reading this, you may have been just one of the hundreds of people who received an email I sent out regularly about my niece.

    After 3 chemo treatments, many impromptu hospital visits, nose bleeds, CT scans, blood draws, etc., they went back to Boston for the doctor to check her progress. We now had reason to hope because the blood work showed her AFP (alpha fetoprotein) levels had dropped from 21,000 to 8,000 after just 1 treatment (normal level for a child her age is about 5). After her second treatment, it showed equal improvement. The Boston physician was expecting to have the tumor shrunk enough to remove it through a gruelling 18 hour surgery. This of course is not ideal because of the damage of putting a 3 year old child to 'sleep' for that long. When they got there, the tumor had shrunk better than we could imagine. He sent them back to Arkansas with orders to take the last 3 chemos, knowing that was the limit and she'd never be able to take it again. She finished her last chemo on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving in 2008 and started 30 rounds of radiation the next week. She finished chemo at the end of January 2009, just as a huge ice storm wiped out power to Northern Arkansas, Southern Missouri, Kentucky, etc... They were determined to finish radiation with or without the ice!

    There are so many 'feel good' stories we got from this. Including a random stranger in Boston getting back in his vehicle so my brother could follow him to the hospital. I hear Boston's streets are treacherous.
    We even had some funny stories from Katie's point of view, whether it was her perspective on losing her hair or flying to Boston. There were so many people who stepped into our lives during that time that had a profound impact. Some purposefully made their lives better, other people were being kind because they had always been kind. So many stories.

    The next month, February, Katie had another CT scan looking for any remaining tumors. My eyes still burn with tears at the phone call from my sister-in-law. "They're GONE!" she cried, "They're ALL GONE!"

    The first time I heard "Braid My Hair" was when I was in Little Rock for school meetings (I do not live in LR). I think I heard Randy singing "Braid My Hair" on a Little Rock radio show the very week my brother's family found out that Katie's tumor was malignant! How is that for timing? Some time that Fall of 2008, I had searched the internet for "Braid My Hair" and downloaded it. I emailed it to all the members of my family. Another of my sisters-in-law typed the lyrics on pretty paper, framed it in a shadow box, and gave it to Katie's mom at Christmas. Tears fells as she read the lyrics as a smooth headed Katie watched. It has been 2 years and 3 months. She played tee ball the very Spring after she was healed. She loves to ride her bike and Barbie jeep around their yard. Katie's blonde hair is passed her shoulders now and it bounces as she jumps on the trampoline. Her mom braids it for her sometimes.

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