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Michael McClenny, 15

My story…
My name is Michael. I am 15 years old and in February of 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer. Later that year after I was declared cancer free, my grandfather committed suicide. I thought for a while that he may have made a deal with God that if I were to live that he would trade his life for mine. I have since learned that it is not my fault. That took a long time. Less than a year later, my best friend, Mathias, who went through treatment with me died. A month after that another friend who had cancer at the same time as us died, too.  I wondered why I lived and they died. That was hard.  And sometimes it still is. 

A favorite photo of Michael’s grandfather, Joe David.

My favorite memories… 

My favorite memories with Mathias were the Nerf gun fights and the silly string fights we had on the cancer floor at the hospital. He knew how to enjoy every day no matter how bad he felt. My favorite memories with my grandfather are the times we spent in the summer with him fishing and driving the golf cart around his neighborhood. He had a great laugh and gave big hugs.

My time at The WARM Place…

Michael and Mathias at Cook Children's in 2014.
Michael and Mathias at Cook Children’s in 2014.

I attended The WARM Place for two years. I really enjoyed the friendships that I gained.  Listening to everyone else’s stories made me realize I was normal and not alone. The WARM Place gave me the tools that I needed and showed me that I wasn’t alone, and that it as okay to be sad and show my emotions. I think any kid who has had someone close to them die, needs to go to The WARM Place.  It helps.  It really does.

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Shelley Bettis

Shelley Bettis

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