Thompson poem receives recognition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2002

When Childhood Cancer Month rolled around in March of last year, a quilt was commissioned to be made from each state.

The quilt would travel to Washington, D.C., for a march advocating more money for children’s cancer research.

Each one of the 15 squares of the quilt was to come from a child with cancer.

When Robby Thompson found out that one of the squares was going to be his, he thought long and hard about what he wanted his square to look like.

At 14 years old, Robby was the oldest child from Alabama to have a square on the quilt.

Robby and his mother, Dolores, came up with an idea: a poem with Robby’s hand shadowed behind it.

The poem, &uot;Robby’s Prayer,&uot; took Robby about two-and-a-half hours to write.

Now, Robby, at the age of 15, has been recognized by the International Library of Poetry. He won the Editor’s Choice Award for outstanding achievement in poetry. He has also been selected as one of 35 finalists to win a large cash prize.

If Robby wins, he already knows what he will do with the money.

&uot;I’d plan a vacation and get away,&uot; said Robby thoughtfully, &uot;to the Smoky Mountains.&uot;

&uot;Since he’s gotten sick we haven’t been able to go on a vacation together as a family,&uot; Dolores said.

Robby was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in the last months of 2000 and began treatment immediately.

His mother remembers sadly his time in the hospital.

&uot;We almost lost him,&uot; said Dolores. &uot;When he had his first major treatment (of chemotherapy), his weight dropped from 130 to 82 pounds. It shut his organs down, and he was put on a heart monitor and kidney dialysis.&uot;

In May 2001, Robby put on enough weight to begin radiation.

Now, he has been in remission for a year and according to his mother, has kept a positive attitude.

Robby, when first diagnosed told his father that he had gotten sick for a reason.

Dolores said, &uot;He told his daddy that the Lord had to slow him down so the world could catch up with him.&uot;

Robby’s Prayer

Please Lord take hold of my hand

Help me fight this disease the best I can

Childhood Cancer can be very deadly

It has killed thousands of children already

It attacks the big and the small

Lord I pray for a cure for us all

Teach our nation to be more aware

Please show these children people really do care

Help us and our families to find a cure

For these children whose hearts are so pure

I recently came home from Camp Smile-A-Mile

It helped to just get away for a while

But even there you couldn’t forget

That all of us there were very sick

Medicine still had to be taken on schedule

Not to take it wouldn’t be very cool

So please before the next tear starts to fall

Help to find a cure for us all

Robby Thompson

Acute Lymphocytic leukemia