Avery’s Poem Inspires Hope for Children with Cancer

In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, On the Pulse is sharing a powerful poem written by Avery Berg. Diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumor when she was 10 years old, Avery knows all too well about the realities of the insidious disease, but she’s also hopeful for the future – a world without cancer.

Today, Avery is 14 years old. She just started high school, and she has no sign of disease.

Her family’s fight is not over though. They are champions for a brighter future for children like Avery – for hope, care and cures.

Avery, a patient ambassador for It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s, read the below poem in front of 1,700 people at T-Mobile Park on Aug. 18. The event, hosted by the Friends of Costco Guild, raised a record $10.4 million for uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s.


I don’t mean to be blunt but
Too many kids have died
So that I can stand here on this stage
They have held their parents’ hands
And said goodbye
I cry for the lingering angels
Butterflies of the never forgotten
That are never coming back
We never think this could happen to us
A surplus of ideas from a security blanket with holes in it
Seductive and allusive, hiding in a corner
We shy away from what we never understand
We can’t shy away if we need this to change
1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer
You could be part of the 285, thriving, living a life consumed by silly things
Or you could be the one – dumbfounded with nowhere to run
Willing your kid to stay alive
As they lie on a hospital bed
Dreading whatever comes next
I was the one
Millions of kids were and are the one
And too many of them have died
I didn’t get to say goodbye
But they left me all the same
Nothing will ever be the same
But we can try to make it better
That build Beautiful things
Saving lives with possibility
That is all we need – hope
Today someone walked into Seattle Children’s and learned they have cancer
Let them come out
And rejoice in health
And let the hope that one day getting cancer will be like the flu
Be true
And we will all rejoice