You Above ALL: Rally Kid Ava Paige’s Songwriting Story

You Above ALL: Rally Kid Ava Paige’s Songwriting Story

A PATH TO SUCCESS Rally Kid Ava Paige has been writing songs and playing guitar for most of her life. She always dreamed of becoming a successful songwriter, and her natural talents put her well on her way at a young age. Ava has played live shows in Nashville for many years, even holding a standing gig at The George Jones since age 13. She has played iconic venues such as The Listening Room and The Bluebird Cafe and frequently participates in songwriter shows around town that include some major hitmakers. She earned several music industry awards and was named Best Singer/Songwriter in the 2019 Nashville Scene Readers Poll. A SHOCKING DIAGNOSIS With her music career traveling in the fast lane, Ava was delivered a blow just before her 15th birthday—she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL for short. Gigs and songwriting were put on hold and replaced by hospital stays...

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Dear William

Dear William

Dear William, There are so many memories. So many. You were the inspiration for Rally. The first Rally Kid. Your driveway was the prayer circle driveway. The driveway where, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 9:30, God took a minimum of six to as many as 15 women on an unbelievable journey to pray you and your family through your first relapse with medulloblastoma—a pediatric brain tumor. We were an interesting crew made up mainly of baseball moms from all different faiths, denominations, neighborhoods and schools. We had ladies who “named it and claimed it” and ladies who said, “This is God’s will” and ladies who said, “We just don’t get it, Lord” and ladies who never said a word but faithfully showed up. Where Rally Started From your driveway to your hospital room, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research was birthed. Rally was never about one kid, one type of...

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Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

17 BOTTLES A few weeks ago, I cleaned out the medicine cabinet. That doesn’t sound super exciting, I know, but I threw away 17 bottles of expired chemotherapy and cancer related medications. Last year, these bottles were strung out across our counter at all times ready to be administered to my daughter Lexy every 4-12 hours. A lot has changed in a year. BACK TO “THAT” PLACE I’ve been reminded that fear can strike at any time. I had tried to clean the medicine cabinet after Lexy’s port removal surgery. That was months ago. These bottles were something I just couldn’t get rid of. Like some kind of crazy cancer superstition. But then I noticed seeing the bottles was hard—not only for me, but for Lexy. They took us back to “that” place. A piece of it always stays with you. You never forget seeing your child gasp for air or the sound of the alarm notifying everyone she is in distress. You...

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Building a Bridge: Expediating and Advancing Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

Building a Bridge: Expediating and Advancing Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

When to Build a New Bridge I love Rally. I love all the unique opportunities it provides—like building a bridge. Who knew? But first, a little background. A few weeks ago, my husband Reid and his good friend Marty built a bridge across the creek in our backyard. The landscape and topography around the creek changed through the years, and our low-profile bridge had washed away. So, to get to the other side of the creek, Reid would put on his waders and trudge across the water. It wasn’t very efficient, but it worked. The new bridge is higher, sturdier and stronger. It makes crossing to the other side much easier. And now that we can get to the other side of the creek, guess what? There is more work to be done in that part of the yard. Today at Rally, we have a unique opportunity to build a bridge together, so some very important work can be done on the other side. How cool is that?...

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What is an Astrocytoma?

What is an Astrocytoma?

An astrocytoma is a brain tumor that begins in astrocytes—a type of glial cell that supports nerve cells in the brain. Astrocytomas can be benign or malignant and typically occur in the brainstem, cerebellum, cerebrum, hypothalamus or optic nerves. Tumors that start in glial cells are called gliomas and are named for the specific kind of glial cell in which they originate: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or ependymocytes. Astrocytomas are the most common form of gliomas found in children—accounting for nearly half of all pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. Like all gliomas, astrocytomas are divided into four grades based on factors including the rate of tumor growth, level of cell abnormality and effects on surrounding healthy tissue. Low-grade astrocytomas (grades I and II) are often localized to one area and typically behave less aggressively. While considered benign, these tumors...

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Happiness & Heartbreak: Life as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse

Happiness & Heartbreak: Life as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse

FINDING A HOME IN NURSING For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to work in pediatric oncology and help kids with cancer. When I started my freshman year of college, I had my sights set on becoming a pediatric oncologist. My head was filled with visions of helping little warriors fight big battles. It wasn’t long before I realized those visions and dreams in my head were more focused on the job a nurse does rather than a doctor. So, I found my home in nursing and still dreamed of working with the same population. Fast forward to present day and I’m doing just that! HEARTBREAK AND HAPPINESS In honor of National Nurses Day, I was asked to write this blog about what it’s like to be a pediatric oncology nurse. Most people would say my job is sad. They would be right some days. Others would say it’s inspiring. They would also be right some days. I would say, if you ever felt...

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You Above ALL: Rally Kid Ava Paige’s Songwriting Story

You Above ALL: Rally Kid Ava Paige’s Songwriting Story

A PATH TO SUCCESS Rally Kid Ava Paige has been writing songs and playing guitar for most of her life. She always dreamed of becoming a successful songwriter, and her natural talents put her well on her way at a young age. Ava has played live shows in Nashville for many years, even holding a standing gig at The George Jones since age 13. She has played iconic venues such as The Listening Room and The Bluebird Cafe and frequently participates in songwriter shows around town that include some...

read more
Dear William

Dear William

Dear William, There are so many memories. So many. You were the inspiration for Rally. The first Rally Kid. Your driveway was the prayer circle driveway. The driveway where, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 9:30, God took a minimum of six to as many as 15 women on an unbelievable journey to pray you and your family through your first relapse with medulloblastoma—a pediatric brain tumor. We were an interesting crew made up mainly of baseball moms from all different faiths,...

read more
Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

17 BOTTLES A few weeks ago, I cleaned out the medicine cabinet. That doesn’t sound super exciting, I know, but I threw away 17 bottles of expired chemotherapy and cancer related medications. Last year, these bottles were strung out across our counter at all times ready to be administered to my daughter Lexy every 4-12 hours. A lot has changed in a year. BACK TO “THAT” PLACE I’ve been reminded that fear can strike at any time. I had tried to clean the medicine cabinet after Lexy’s port removal...

read more
Building a Bridge: Expediating and Advancing Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

Building a Bridge: Expediating and Advancing Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

When to Build a New Bridge I love Rally. I love all the unique opportunities it provides—like building a bridge. Who knew? But first, a little background. A few weeks ago, my husband Reid and his good friend Marty built a bridge across the creek in our backyard. The landscape and topography around the creek changed through the years, and our low-profile bridge had washed away. So, to get to the other side of the creek, Reid would put on his waders and trudge across the water. It wasn’t very...

read more
What is an Astrocytoma?

What is an Astrocytoma?

An astrocytoma is a brain tumor that begins in astrocytes—a type of glial cell that supports nerve cells in the brain. Astrocytomas can be benign or malignant and typically occur in the brainstem, cerebellum, cerebrum, hypothalamus or optic nerves. Tumors that start in glial cells are called gliomas and are named for the specific kind of glial cell in which they originate: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or ependymocytes. Astrocytomas are the most common form of gliomas found in...

read more
Happiness & Heartbreak: Life as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse

Happiness & Heartbreak: Life as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse

FINDING A HOME IN NURSING For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to work in pediatric oncology and help kids with cancer. When I started my freshman year of college, I had my sights set on becoming a pediatric oncologist. My head was filled with visions of helping little warriors fight big battles. It wasn’t long before I realized those visions and dreams in my head were more focused on the job a nurse does rather than a doctor. So, I found my home in nursing and still dreamed of working...

read more

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