Thursday, 29 January 2009

Light One Little Candle

5/11/2005 - is a charity book drive program for cancer stricken parents and kids that was started by my childhood friend Joelle Pauporte. Joelle is 35 years old; she has a three year old daughter, Halle, and terminal metastatic breast cancer. 

Joelle had spent much of her life studying medicine and was just embarking on a promising career in psychiatry. She and her husband had recently moved to a new home in Connecticut when her diagnosis came. Joelle's life was suddenly turned upside down with radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. 

Amidst all the turmoil, time spent reading with her daughter has been one of Joelle's greatest joys. Joelle believes that reading is a life long pleasure that begins in childhood. Her illness has been terrifying and life-altering; however, even when things are at their worst and she feels exhausted and overwhelmed, Joelle finds comfort sitting together with Halle and reading. Through the time they spend reading, Joelle and Halle will stay bonded and connected forever. 

Joelle started the Light One Little Candle book drive so that other families with cancer could also experience the joy that reading with their children brings. The program seeks to make books available free of charge to families in treatment at cancer hospitals throughout the Northeast USA. Parents may choose books provided by the program to bring home and share with their children; the books are theirs to keep. 

The program gets its name from a lullaby that Joelle has sung to Halle since she was born. It begins, "It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark..." 

Here is a quote from Joelle about the program: 

"I don't know why I have cancer. I don't know why fate had us move to a new place two weeks before being diagnosed and cast me in the role of an ill and needy patient: a strange feeling for me in a new environment. This book drive enables me to continue in my role as a care provider in the broadest and most life-affirming sense. The book drive allows me to care for and bond with patients, patient's families, and my own family both now and after I am gone...hopefully not for another 35 years." 

Anyone who wishes to may donate one or more treasured books to the program. Light One Little Candle is currently accepting books in both English and Spanish. For detailed information on how to donate, please visit the Light One Little Candle website located at 

I will provide updates on Joelle's condition and developments with the Light One Little Candle program whenever I have more news. I know it's a long shot, but won't you all please join me in hoping for a miracle for Joelle and her family? 

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