[Update] The inspiring author of this poem, Alyssa Babineaux, passed away early this morning. From all  of us at 97.3 The Dawg, we extend our deepest sympathy to Alyssa's family. Alyssa your time with us was far too short, but the lessons you taught will stay with us forever.  Thank you for touching my life with your kindness and courage.



My friend Alyssa Babineaux knows more about being brave than I will ever know. Alyssa, who is 13 years old, has been in treatment at St. Jude Hospital since 2007.

The road for Alyssa hasn't always been an easy one, but she doesn't let the journey take her mind and heart off of her final destination. That destination is living the life of a normal girl, free of cancer.

Here is a beautiful poem Alyssa wrote last year while she was in school - see the original draft and read the poem below.

Caring Bridge

I am Brave.

I hear a voice inside my head saying hang in there, everything will be OK.

I see myself being a normal girl again.

I want cancer to go away forever.

I am Brave.

I pretend like I don’t hurt inside.

I feel like God gave me cancer to inspire others.

I touch people’s hearts the first time they see me.

I worry if I will have cancer forever.

I cry knowing and seeing all the children suffering.

I am Brave.

I understand what it is like to be made fun of.

I say in my head “anything is possible”.

I dream that the world would not be full of violence and illness.

I hope for all the St. Jude kids.

I am Brave.

Alyssa, thank you for sharing your strength with me and all of us at 97.3 The Dawg. You inspire us to continue to make a difference by supporting the life saving research of St. Jude Hospital.