A Lion in the House Talkback
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Visit our archived discussion forum to read posts from viewers, the filmmakers and family members from A LION IN THE HOUSE.

People have been asking how they can help or contact the families in A LION IN THE HOUSE. For more information, contact independentlens@pbs.org

This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.

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Robin Debes

As a mother of four children, two of whom have leukemia I was really looking forward to this film. I am so thankful that you took the time to "take a walk in our shoes". I was hoping that friends and family could watch the film to understand what ever day life is like for us. The film did a wonderful job of expressing what hospital life was like. However I feel that so much was left out on our day to day struggles, wit things like not being able to go to stores because of low ANC's, not wanting family friends over with colds because of the fear of infecting our child, all the meds taken at home, ect...I wanted my faimly to see how our life has been totally flipped upside down, how our goals have changed, how siblings suffer... I was hoping to hear how it can happen to your child. I was surprised to see that the film only dealt with blood cancers. I do however am so thankful for you taking the time to bring attention to our children. We need all the help we can get to bring more awarness to childhood cancer.

Calgary, Canada

Having watched both parts of LION I am still crying from it now. After watching part 1 and crying I knew I part 2 would break my heart and it did but I watched it to learn about a taboo subject which is so rarely shared, Surely children don't die suffering terribly? Surely they don't know they are going to die? I watched it so that I would (and I will) always remember Justin, Alex and Tim, I never thought Tim would lose his couragess battle. I have a healthy daughter and another due in a few months, those parents on the show showed strength and courage I don't think I possess, I admire them all so, I could not do what they did. But they should know that their children touched the hearts of so many, they did make a difference in this world, to me and I'm sure to countless others. I will not forget this painful, honest and thoroughly heart wrenching journey I was privaleged to share. To Alex's Dad...I would have done what you did, I can only commend you for never wanting to give up..where ther is life there is hope.

dianna Kreidler
Ashburham, Massachusetts

I am writing before I watch A Lion in the House because we our a family of a childhood cancer survivor. It feels like yesterday and I am not sure what it is going to do to me to see these stories...our story...unfold on television. I know Dr. Arceci. He is the uncle of my good friend and that is how I heard about this documentary. I am nervous,curious,saddened all at once. It makes it so real to even watch the trailer online. My son was 8 1/2 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Two major surgeries and 2 years of chemotherapy later and he is 14 and dealing with issues of puberty and middleschool. I am brought right back to the Children's Hospital, Boston ER when we were waiting for the last bed they had available on a snowy Friday evening. GroundHog Day to be exact. He laid unconcious in the waiting area while my husband screamed at the intake receptionist that his son was in pain and needed a bed. I stood back just watching it all happen. Did this really happen to us?

Roxane Fletcher
Tallahassee FL

I was tremendously touched by this film, and impressed by the unusual skill, compassion, and delicacy of the film-makers. The families were generous and brave to allow such an intimate portrait of the most painful moments of their lives to be made public. When I was trying to imagine what being so sick and then dying was like for the children themselves, though, I was thinking that in the final stages of illness, I would have wanted to be held or at least touched (hand held, etc.), and probably would appreciate family members actually getting in the bed with me. Perhaps this was edited out, of course. It seems to me that this would reassure the child on a visceral level that he or she was not alone, as would having conversations with parents about their ideas of what death might be like. Everybody would have to say, We don't know what it's like, but here's what we think, and our love for you is so deep that there is no way you can be separated from us in spirit. I wonder if, as Americans, we have medicalized death so much that we feel too uncomfortable to embrace it physically. (Or it might be plainly and simply too agonizing for parents.) If this is something that most parents of seriously ill children struggle with, then perhaps assigned "how to talk to your child" counselors could be part of the medical team. Probably lots of us will be discussing this aspect of death as well as many others thanks to your panoramic view of these wonderful children & their wonderful families. Thank you.

Cynthia Gipson
Hawthorne, California

The thing I learned from this documentary is how much we as human beings are more alike than different. Every day living can take that innocence away from you. I was moved by each and every one of the stories. Neither class nor race mattered. Love, family that's all that really matters. Children are so beautiful and pure. Something about Tim really got into my soul. I printed his picture from your site cause I never want to forget him. He was really special. Last I want to say to Alex's father......I admire your determination to try any thing for more time with your baby... you should not feel bad about that. I hope you can make peace with it.

Devika Singh
tarpon springs, Florida

I watched both parts of the film and was deeply touched. The courage and strength of the families was unbelivable! I couldn't sleep for two nights. I was thinking of the children who past away and the battle thier families went through. Little Alex, handsome Justin, and Tim. The smiles on thier faces was pure beauty.Their hopes and dreams were taken, which is so sad. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all sickness go away. I hug my three children every day and pray for everyone going through tough times.

Emily Hofmann
Rockville, MD

As my husband and I watched this poignant documentary sitting in our comfortable family room with our two healthy beautiful children sleeping upstairs, I found A LION IN THE HOUSE a painful view into the lives of five brave families.

For me the most difficult moments to watch were Justin's family grappling with how and when to give into the reality of Justin's impending death.

The American medical system (due to the litigious nature of our society) has forced families to have to decide when to give up for their family members. Doctors have relinquished this role because they do not want to be sued if they are wrong. THe doctors only became authoritative with Tim's mom because she had relinquished her role as decision maker. Forcing the families to make these sorts of decisions without the background and knowledge that medical practitioners have puts enormous stress on family members and leaves them with tremendous feelings of guilt to live with afterwards. Alex's Dad was struggling with his decision to try to treat Alex one more time near the end of her life, and Justin's mom wondered why they had dragged it out so long.

The film was courageous and painful to watch and beautifully done. But these families who struggle with sick loved ones can't just change the channel.


Thank you for showing this outstanding film! Like so many other people who have written comments, I was channel-surfing when I came across Part 2 of the program, and was immediately drawn into the story.

The filmmakers managed to convey the courage of the children, the distress of the families, as wll as the empatheitic, idealistic care that the medical personnel provided.

I hope that more people will see this docummentary. Pediatric cancer is a tough subject, but the filmmakers did an outstanding job in portraying the story.

It was good that they ended the film on a positive note. Life does go on, and people profiled in the story managed to pick up the pieces and move forward--even Marietha.

Rhoda Pelliccia
Acra, New York

It is the next day and I am still crying after watching A LION IN THE HOUSE. I was touched by all the stories. Little precious Alex only a bud, not yet blossomed into a beautiful flower was so happy to be going home. Her tears became my tears. Sweet precious child did not know that this was the end of her short life. Justin who fought for 10 long years to suffer so at the end was heartbreaking. And, Tim who just tore my heart apart and I am still crying for him today.
His smile which lit up his beautiful eyes will haunt me for many nights to come. I can only pray that they are all in a beautiful place and know only joy now. There are too many children with this dreadful monster of a disease called CANCER. Children should know only joy in their little lives. I pray for their families and my prayers go out to all families who have children stricken with this monster. We have cancer in our family which is now hitting the third generation, they are all adults. Cancer is devastating but when it hits children it is just NOT FAIR.
May all these families live with the knowledge that they did the best that they could. Alex's Dad did what anyone else would do. He tried one more thing hoping it would give his little girl more time. I would have done the same thing. Thank you so much PBS for this show. I will never forget Justin, Alex and especially Tim. I cannot stop thinking of him. May God hold him in the palm of his hand.

Oliver Hardimon
Evanston, IL

Watching children die was not on my agenda for the evening. I had not planned to watch Ï A Lion in the HouseÓ. I am glad that I did watch it. It was mesmerizing. I was sucked into a world of love and grief by the skillful work of Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar. It was neither maudlin nor morose it was just right. The real depth of the pain and grief of the families impacted me greatly. Reichert and Bognar did a superb job. Knowing at the outset that some would die did not lessen the impact of their actual death. The families handled their grief much better than I would have been able to. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to share this human experience. All smiling children are magnets of delight and bubbling joy. ItĖs selfish to want to hold onto that joyÛI am selfish.

Barbara Kline
Burbank, CA

I just finished watching your incredible 4 hour Independent Lens documentary, "A Lion in the House".
It was one of the most fascinating and moving programs I have ever seen. These families that allowed you to follow them through their ordeals are truly amazing. It gave me such insight into their daily struggles and the heartbreak of making decisions and seeing their children suffer.
I have so much respect for them and for the filmmakers who dedicated six years of their lives to this extraordinary film.
Thank you.

Nancy DeMarco
Ridgefield Park, NJ

I cannot tell you how moved I was by watching this program. I have 2 small children of my own and cannot imagine what these families have gone through. I bawled like a baby but still could not shut it off (and I watched both episodes). I wish there was something I could do. I felt like I know these people and actually felt their pain. I lost my best friend to Breast Cancer 4 years ago and have been active in a Cancer awareness fund raiser we have but it breaks my heart to see what is "real" in this world.

Parma, OH

I recently watched A Lion In the House and it effected me deeply. My brother had died(5 years ago) from Astrocytoma (cancerous brain tumor) at the age of 13. He was a patient at Rainbows and all 20 children that were on that floor had died one by one. I saw the battle those children went though from the film and the hospital and even though their cancers were different they all suffered the same. I am now 23 years old and I am still effected by what he went through. But at the same time it made me stronger and to live life to the fullest. And now that I am a new mother I have fears that she will one day become ill. I was wondering if perphaps any of the sisters from the show or if you know of anyone needs a penpal. I cannot find anyone else I can relate too that has lost a brother or sister from cancer. I have tried other websites but I never receive a response.

Thank you for showing people what realty is and children do die of cancer too.

Patrick B.
Oakland, CA

Good Day~
I accidentally came upon Part 2 of your 2-part series entitled "A Lion In the House" last evening. I could not stop watching. It was gripping--maybe one of the most moving pieces of television I have ever seen. Thank you so very much for your courage to do this film. I think that I am a changed person for watching this.

Terry Zastre
Winnipeg, Canada

Lion in the House was the most moving, gut wrenching, emotional program I have ever watched. I was captivated from the start to the end.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about Tim. This program showed me that the medical staff are real people and really do care. Thank you for bringing this program to the public

helen Scroggins
columbus, indiana

To keep it brief, I wanted to tell you how moved I was with your film. Now that I read that Julia also is battling the disease, I wish her the best. As one who has had no family member touched by this disease, I feel that should this ever happen, I would be maybe equipped to handle it; certainly better equipped than I would have been.

Thanks so very much for a great film!! And thanks to those families in the film.

Laurie Brodkin
San Francisco, CA

"Lion in the House"--awsome is the only word that, to me, describes this documentary. The strength of the kids, their families, the medical staff and the filmmakers is unbelievable. Thank you for making this documentary. Everyone connected with the film is a role model. You are all people I will not forget.

Christine Johnson
Alsip, Illinois

I watched the show of the children with cancer shown on our pbs station, I really enjoyed it, made me laugh at times, and throughly made me shed tears. One of the best shows I've seen on child cancer. Keep up the good work. My heart goes out to all the families and children on the show. Thank you again for a heartfelt show..


My heart is filled with emotions about the beauty of the Lions in this unbelievable show. I realize Lion is the cancer but in my view the kids were the Lions!!! I write this with tears in my eyes and heavyness in my chest for their courage and always looking for the more time to enjoy life!!! When Dr. Arceci spoke to Maretha about Tim's being in the final days of his life, I was just so impressed with his compassion and gentleness. I wish everyone had doctors and nurses who cared so much. These medical professionals have the privilege and honor of being at the end of a person's life. This film will always be in my heart. Thanks to EVERYONE for allowing director Julia Reichart to create a film that will educate about pediatric cancer survivors for decades.

Linda Marsh
Raleigh, North Carolina

Those of us who provide hospice care are uniquely privileged to share in some of the most intimate moments of life. Short of being physically present through an individualĖs journey of life and death there has not to my knowledge been a better opportunity than this documentary for others to experience the intense emotional, physical and spiritual pain felt by patients and caregivers on this path. My gaze was transfixed to the television through each episode viewing the unique lives of each individual often with tears streaming down my face. It is a remarkable testimony to the courage of all those who allowed themselves to be filmed that they would share with a larger audience their private moments of grief, joy, sadness, confusion, fear, pain and love.
As a hospice care professional I am grateful for the exposure given by the film to the many conflicts created by the continuous development of new medical technologies. The decision making process for pursuing extended treatment modalities has become increasingly agonizing for families and medical professionals alike. Only by trusting that all parties have as their primary interest the patientĖs well being can respectful dialogue occur as to how extensive life prolonging treatments should be. As demonstrated in the documentary the goal of any medical team should be to honestly and gently guide patients and families through the decision process and then support them in whatever decision they make. . Thank you for producing such a powerful, thought-provoking work of film.

Linda Marsh, BSN, MHS-CL, CHPN
Vice President of Clinical Operations
Hospice of Wake County
Raleigh, North Carolina

Linda Schmatz-Weaver
Boulder, Colorado

This documentary is incredible! Even though the subject of childhood cancer is difficult and saddening, "Lion" illustrates the courage and strength of each patient, caregiver, family member. These are remarkable people! I was so dazzled by Alex's energy and zest for life. Tim Woods honored life with his humor, his expressive face and eyes. His goal to helps others was truely insprational. Justin was a tower of strength, always wanting to continue life's journey. Al and Jen as survivors give such a positive presence to the documentary. Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert showed such insight in tackling this subject. The doctors and nurses, particularly Dr. Robert Arceci for his conceiving the project, are to be honored for their devotion to pediatric cancer. The "lion's share" of courage and strength go to the parents and family members who continue their children's legacies.

Dan Palmer
Lynnwood, Washington

This film helped me grow. At times it was difficult to watch, but I thank God I did. I am 57 and have seen much in my life.
I am grateful to the makers of this film and to the families of the children.
The dignity of these children, though ravished by cancer, shined through. The love of their parents spoke to my heart.
I will probably forget their names, but I will never forget their faces and what they went through.
Death crosses all lines: racial, economic, and age. These children, who struggled to live, inspires and encourages me, to live.

Philadelphia, Pa

Although this film was extremly difficult to watch, I hope that you will show it again at sometime. There was so much to learn and to process on both sides of the issue -- those fighting cancers and their families facing the possibilty of losing a child. I sat and cried when Tim passed and I cried with Tim's mom. And I promised myself that will never be afraid of death -- not my own or anyone else whose hand I may need to hold. God Bless you all.

San Francisco, CA

Spectacular and heart wrenching!
I found myself thinking of Tim all day today. What a BRAVE soul.. he was a captivating young man.
I too am a cancer survivor as well as a nurse, and have cared for many patients with cancer. Cheers to the staff of this pediatric unit I know how emotional yet rewarding their jobs are. Bless all the children and their families who must endure this disease!
This is what the public needs to see....
Thank you for this exceptional documentary.

Karen Haggarty
Spring Hill, TN

Wow, what can I say. I didn't get much sleep last night and look a little the worse for wear today. I am an R.N. in a Pediatric E.D. and frequently take care of children with cancer but never get the follow-up I would like with the patient or the family. This program just broke my heart both because of the loss of those wonderful children but also because of the unwillingness of the families to say enough is enough. I can't begin to imagine how hard that must be but as a health care worker sometimes I feel so cruel when I continue to "treat" these children because the family isn't ready to let go. Please don't misunderstand me, I don't blame them but I wish there was a better way to make that decision. I firmly believe in "quality over quantity" when making this decision and only pray to God that I would be able to stand by that philosophy if one of my children gets sick. I want all the families to know that I really admire the guts it took to allow this filming. You are all truly special people and I thank you from the bottom of my heart

Terri DuLong
Cedar Key, Florida

I just wanted to also add my thanks for such a powerful and thought-provoking program. My heart went out to all the children and their parents, but especially so for Tim. On Wed. evening I mistakenly thought he would beat it. And his "aloneness" was beyond poignant. I was glad to see the family come together at the end. I have been blessed with 3 healthy children and 7 healthy grandchildren. Shows like this make me realize this fact even more. There can't be anything more tragic than a child and family enduring something like this. Thank you for airing this very important program.

Allen Job
Loma Linda, CA

As a pediatric dentistry resident I routinely treated children with cancer at our children's hospital and dental clinic. This film rekindled my spirit and renewed my faith.

While I was viewing the film, I thought the "lion" was cancer, but I'm confident the "lion" represents the heart of the children who resilently fought the battle!

Canton, Georgia

Thank you! This is what I call Reality TV! I lost my Fairy God Daughter (my Niece) in 1998 after a 5 month fight. She was 14 1/2 years young. She was my best friend. The strength the children show is just amazing. My heart goes out to all the childen, the families and the families that we did not meet but saw in the the hallways of the hospital during taping. I hope that everyone who saw the movie shares the experience with everyone they know. Should they come across ANYONE who is going through this that they do not hide - step up to the plate and help. Please help! Time! That is the most important factor to the families. Be there - give them your time...Again Thank you to the families for sharing - you all will forever be in my prayers.

Darryl L.Calhoun
Peoria, IL

I went to work very upset at my wife(expecting child) After watching A Lion In The House I realize how minor my problem was. This show and the fight of these courageous kids put me to shame. These kids have redefined my outlook on my life and my marriage. GOD bless every family, doctor, nurse and film crew for changing my life.

Barbara Kline
Burbank, CA

This is one of the most fascinating and moving documentaries I have ever watched.
These families were so generous to allow themselves to be filmed throughout the most emotional times of their lives.
The unconditional love that all of these parents had for their children shone through. The heartbreak of every decision they had to make was agonizing.
Each of those kids fought so hard to live....it was humbling. I also couldn't help but be awed by all of the caring medical professionals who love these families.
It was truly a great film.

Jody Strickland
Marysville, CA

As I sat and watched this film last night it took me back to the month I spent at UC Davis Childrens hospital with my 3 yr old son. My son has tumors in his lymph nodes and dispite 3 attempts and biospies they are still unablt to determine the nature of the tumors. Tim Woods' story touched my heart particulary, watching the his tremendous streghth I never once saw his shed a tear, he is a hero in my eyes that will never be forgotten. Its ironic because today was the funeral of my daughter's friend who is only 13 yrs old who passed from brain tumors. These stories have driven to to pursue a career in the health care, I am determined to help find a cure for this evil we call CANCER.


I know it's only been a few hours, but I have a gut feeling that I've just witnessed something that has left me a different person. I feel privileged to have been invited into people's lives in such times of intimacy. I feel compassion for the families that lost a part of themselves, and I feel like the world I live in is a lesser place for not having Tim, Alex, and Justin amongst us anymore.

I hope for those left behind that they can take solace in the fact that they did their best in the face of an unimaginable test. Those of us who have watched the film surely cannot pass judgment on anyone whose only motivation was love. All the parents and siblings were magnificent and I salute you.

I have one small favor to ask. Remember that life truly is short, and in honor of those you lost, find a way to live life again, and to the fullest. Tim, Alex, and Justin would hope for nothing less. Jen and Al can show us the way.

Megan Mullaney
Columbia, SC

Absolutely gripping. The strength and courage portrayed by those families was overwhelming. As a single mother of a vivacious six year old daughter I could not imagine going through this ordeal. I kept thinking to myself, how absolutely devastating to watch your child, your heart, lying there, suffering in such an unimaginable way.

The spirit that those children posess, despite their affiliction. I can only hope that when a crisis strikes my family I will be able to handle it with such grace and dignity.

Dixon, IL

This was an absolutely extraordinary film that touched emotions that have not been tapped since we left Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL, 11 years ago. We entered with our 7 year old son, our only child, who had relapsed after completion of treatment for ALL. We left a month later, alone with our grief. The film does an outstanding job of depicting the emotions of the patients, the parents and the medical staff. Our children can teach us so much about life and it is our dying child that teaches us to continue on in their spirit, not in their shadow. Thank you, for this courageous film about life, death, strength and hope.

Muriel Moore
Lacassine, LA

I flipped through the channels and came across a young man that a tube was being put inside his nose and he had thrown up. I could see in his eyes how humiliating that was to him, poor baby. I cried not even knowing what the show was about. Seeing Tim go through his trials was heartbreaking but I smiled when he said he would go out and drink. The drinking was for all the wrong reasons and did nothing for his health but it was something that he could control and rebel against. He was a fighter no matter what. He may have lost the war but there was hell to pay for that victory. It is heartbreaking to see these kids but it make you smile to see their courage no matter what is happening. We all question his mom's actions towards the end but we don't know what was going through her mind.

"When you've walked a mile in my shoes,..."

I LOVE PBS!!! and this program was GREAT!

Mary Ellen
Orlando, Florida

I came to love those 3 kids in part 1, and when they died, I cried for them....It's especially important for there to be resources for families like Tim's. I'm dealing with my own medical situation, not cancer, but it can quickly turn deadly, and I've not been able to get any social services yet....Tim was my favorite of all the kids...I felt the devastation I saw on his face at times....I really can identify with Tim...I hope that now he is experiencing something a thousand million times more spectacular than Disney World....blessings to all the families in this film....

marty neltner
independence ky

This was a great story. i wisk i could tell each one of the parents how brave they were. I lost a child due to an accident and often wish i had that extra time they had to be with them when they passed. You tell them that they are special in God's eyes and he will bless them for caring for one of his children.

Ann Gearhart
Lutherville MD

A Lion In The House - riveting, compelling, wonderful and terrible, inspirational and tragic at the same time. A testiment to what the world of film is suppose to be for us as a mirror in our world. The cascade of thoughts and emotions that ran through me as the film revealed the liives of the children, families and staff was overwhelming. As an adult with 2 types of cancer much of this was familiar to me - not easy, but in reliving the experience I was captivated with the honesty that was captured in the taping of the events. I can not help but wonder about what was left on the cutting room floor. You were able to portray with great accuracy and sensetivity the decision making which is very difficult in the process. I believe the film should be required viewing for all students-young students in school as well as medical students, social workers and the like in college. The image of Justin, Alex and Tim are burned into my mind as if I had shared a hospital room with them. Through your film their struggle, their courage and their spirit is now a part of my journey. I would not have met these wonderful people were it not for your film and the insight of Public Television to share it with us. Watching this documentary was a raw and wrenching experience as well as a mission of the heart. Thank you for bringing to the eye of the public the reality of cancer for children and adults as well.
Thank you for giving voice to this illness that is honest, accurate and alive with the spirit of hope - especially as portrayed in the faces of the families and support staff of A Lion In The House.

Rochester, Minnesota

I left for a while after the first hour of Part II. When I came back, I was horrified by what I saw. Before I left, Tim had just started his new job and was having a great time riding roller coasters. When I came back, Tim's funeral was taking place. All the children moved me but Tim inspired me. I was devastated. Today, I still feel raw with emotion.

In talking to co-workers about this film, I find myself feeling angry. Angry because I witnessed this beautiful film but feel absolutely helpless with its outcome. Through the lens of the camera, I was able to have an intimate look into the lives of these children and their families and caretakers.

A lion in the house, indeed. Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes. Thank you for yours to air this amazing film.


My heart is so full- it is difficult to put into words my feelings. Justin and his family were neighbors prior to his diagnosis of cancer. I had no idea how difficult things were for him and his family. I am in awe at the courage, strength and determination his family showed. My life was touched by the beautiful Alex, Tim and all the other children. We as a caring nation should resolve that no child should ever die alone! God Bless the wonderful staff at Children's Hosital!

Lynn Duellman
Fountain City, Wisconsin

All different families, all different backgrounds- cancer reveals that they are amazingly the same. They all love and hurt, struggle with day to day living, and the money issues.

Watching the oncologists fight for their children in finding new ways to treat cancer-wow. Hopeful? Indeed. 0 white blood cells to 2000 on a "mad doctor's" suggestion-truly maddening people change the world.

Our cousin's 2 1/2 year old has neuroblastoma and the more I read the more I want to know. The movie was a novel, and a great one at that.


As i'm sitting here i'm crying. I cry not only for those who are battling this illness, but those who've won. I watched a very close friend of mine die of breast cancer in 2003. I pushed her so hard to get treatments and she turned to me one day and said: I'm Tired.As a parent when it comes to your child the words can't and won't are no longer in your vocabulary.All of these children we're fighters and they faught to the very end... Courage is something that is within everybody, it's just sometimes we're not aware of it. Being a parent myself I sympathize,but I don't understand. Everyday is a struggle and yet these kids showed me that giving up is a struggle. To the parents of these children, any parent for that matter I believe that: IF THERE IS ANYTHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR THEN YOU GO TO WAR! and I believe that each and everyone of you have won the battle.

Karen Quick
Atlanta, Georgia

After watching A Lion in the House, I woke up today still totally absorbed in the lives of these children and their families.

I can't get Tim's beautiful eyes out of my mind. They seemed to always tell his feelings even when he wouldn't speak them. I really thought he would make it and it was devastating to watch him go from a hopeful and vibrant teenage boy to his final moments struggling to breath.

I hurt for Alex's dad and his final comments about his decision to go through another round of treatments. Who can fault a father who is desperately seeking to save a child from premature death? I pray that he can forgive himself.

My eyes have been opened to a world I know very little about. I have hope knowing that there are caring and courageous caregivers out there willing to go the distance for these families.

Thank you.