Thursday, November 11, 2010

Supporting Layla Grace Marsh

We are excited that we have another Twitterthon to help raise $ & awareness to fight cancer. Today @ShopBellaChes agrees to pay $1 for every new follower of @abolishcancer to the @LaylaGrace Foundation.

We are also thankful to have the backing of ESPN’s @Michael_Smith for today’s Twitterthon. @MrMichael_Smith has been very generous with his tweets of support for our work. Mr. Smith had this to say about supporting today's cause

"I know how much I love my children and how much it would devastate me to see one of them suffer or worse lose a child. It's just heartbreaking to think about how many parents have to watch their children fight this disease or say goodbye to them too early. So I guess this particular charity has special meaning to me because I'm a parent, and my heart goes out to little Layla Grace"

The Sponsor

Our sponsor today is BellaChes and owner Carly Webb. BellaChes provides exquisite gifts for rare occasions. Located out of Ridgeland, Mississippi BellaChes offers unique gifts for the home, baby, men, women, and four legged friends. Please support them by visiting their web site at We are very appreciative of Carly Webb, the owner, and her generosity of sponsorship today. Carly has agreed to pay up to 2,500 followers ($) for today's Twitterthon.

Today’s charity

For those of you who aren’t aware, Layla Grace Marsh passed away in March of 2010 after a long battle with neuroblastoma cancer. Here is her story from the Foundation’s web site (picture courtesy of Christie Lacy Photography )

Layla Grace Marsh had always been a happy child, with a smile that could light up a room and an infectious laugh. Her playful demeanor and sense of humor made her an absolute joy to be around. So at 16 months, when Layla became more irritable and her eating habits changed, her parents, Shanna and Ryan, didn’t think much of the changes in character.

But what started out as normal toddler ailments, quickly escalated into the Marsh family’s worst nightmare.

In the beginning of May 2009, Layla awoke with a swollen eye. She was taken to the doctor and treated for an ear infection. When the problem persisted, they went back for more testing. Thursday, May 7th 2009, the Marsh family’s world was thrown into upheaval. Shanna and Ryan’s biggest fear was realized when they were told that Layla’s doctors had discovered a massive tumor extending from above her left kidney, around her side, over her belly and around her aorta. The disease had also permeated her bones. Layla was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma – cancer.

Treatment started right away, and over 10 months, Layla underwent 7 rounds of chemo, 11 surgeries, multiple blood transfusions, a bone marrow harvest and transplant, radiation and lengthy hospital stays. Through it all, Layla continued to fight. She showed insurmountable strength. Shanna and Ryan started a blog and twitter account to keep family members and friends updated on Layla’s progress, and soon people all over the world were reading about her battle. Well wishes poured in from all across the world as Layla’s friends and family continued to pray fervently for God to rid her body of cancer.

Nevertheless, Friday, January 22, 2010, The Marsh’s received the devastating news that Layla had relapsed.

Despite all of the hope Layla’s doctors had in their treatment plan, the prayers of family, friends and perfect strangers – Layla Grace Marsh gained her eternal wings on March 9, 2010.

In her last moments, Ryan and Shanna swore to Layla that they would carry on her legacy and do great things in her honor. The dire prognosis of children with Layla’s disease, coupled with the awareness brought by her life story created the mission and the means for the Marsh’s to begin on this journey and to carry on Layla’s legacy.

Ryan and Shanna Marsh founded the Layla Grace Children’s Cancer Research Foundation in April 2010 in Layla’s memory. The Layla Grace Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to two major missions. The primary mission is to fund research into new therapies for high-risk childhood cancers with the goal of increasing the survival rate of children diagnosed with these diseases. Secondly, the Foundation strives to positively touch the lives of children and families currently undergoing treatment.

If you would like to volunteer or donate items to the Layla Grace Children’s Cancer Research Foundation, please email

The Marsh family can be reached at or

It’s so apparent that Layla touched so many lives. We are honored to play a small role in assisting her parents by supporting the Layla Grace Foundation. We feel it is imperative to do everything in our power to help children and families battling cancers such as neuroblastoma.

To date, you have helped @abolishcancer raise over $30,500 for various cancer charities -just by tweeting and following us on Twitter. We truly believe that we have the power to unite a global community in this fight to end cancer.

Thank you for your continued support. We start the day with 31,450 followers.

“Power of the People, Through Twitter, to @abolishcancer

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