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A Teen’s Bucket List

Yes, you read that correctly.

Please don’t click on to the next post, or check your email, Twitter or Facebook accounts. Or fiddle with the television remote. Don’t pretend you have more pressing matters.

I hope you won’t go get a cup of coffee, or decide to pay your bills online. And if you’re thinking about taking the dog for a walk, don’t. He (or she) can wait 2 minutes.

Please stop whatever it is you’re doing and just think about this:

Alice needs us.

I recently became aware of Alice Pyne on her site Alice’s Bucket List. She lives in Ulverston, Cumbria in northwestern England.

The fact that any teen (child, adult, in fact anyone) needs a bucket list breaks my heart.

She’s fighting terminal cancer, which means she isn’t going to win. But in the time that she has left on this earth, Alice has a few things she’d like to do or experience.

Alice’s list is so simple and heartfelt that you can’t help but feel she’s got her priorities straight and her attention focused.

Entering her beloved dog in a regional competition, and having a nice photo taken with him. A photo shoot with her closest friends. Swimming with sharks (?!), going to Kenya, getting her hair done (‘if they can do anything with it’). Some are doable, others are not; there isn’t enough time or strength left.

Me? The other day a fellow blogger asked me the 3 places I’d like to visit in the world. Without batting an eye, I rattled off Machu Pichu in Peru, the Great Wall of China and Australia/New Zealand.

(I realize that the last entry is technically two places, but hey, if you’re going to spend the money and endure the long flight there, better pack in as much as you possibly can.)

Now I just feel a bit ridiculous. And selfish.

I realize that most people have some sort of bucket list, if only in their mind. Some have fairly elaborate lists of things they’d like to experience or accomplish in their lifetimes. I’m not an exception.

But there are bucket lists, and then there are bucket lists.

I don’t happen to possess the skills needed to perform some of the requests on Alice’s list. Trust me, the girl doesn’t want me mucking around with her hair.

But I sure as h#!l can write (I’m taking literary license on my part here), and you can certainly read. So let’s both do what we’re good at, put our heads together and act.

Top of the list is getting the word out, and I’m doing my part through this blog and social media.

You or I may not be able to help Alice specifically, but we can help spread the word. We can also think about what we each do have to offer: time? money? volunteering?

Please consider checking out sites like the Make A Wish Foundation and the National Marrow Donor Program network that joins more than 450 treatment/donor centers worldwide. In the UK, there’s the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Each of the websites has lots of good ideas about supporting folks like Alice that go beyond monetary donations and signing up as a potential marrow donor (although both of these suggestions are important): donating airline miles, purchasing gift items, volunteering, participating in fundraising events, etc.

Something as simple as posting a banner (I now have a Make a Wish one on my site) can help, if only to gently remind Adventurers.

Unfortunately, there are more Alices out there who need our assistance. Would you please step outside your busy life for a moment and ask yourself what you can do to help someone fulfill a bucket list item?

Because no one makes such a list, I mean really makes a bucket list, unless time is running out…

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