I just read on Twitter the heartbreaking news that Avalanna Routh died today.
She was 6.
Avalanna had AT/RT (Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor), a rare brain cancer that is typically diagnosed in children under the age of 2.
Another child lost to a “rare” cancer. No doubt, her death will get a lot of attention, given her connection to Justin Bieber. I have no doubt that this little girl’s death will hit him hard. Back in February of this year, Justin found out about Avalanna and her wish to meet him. He flew to New York and spent an entire day with her. They played games, ate cupcakes, talked, and got “married” for Valentine’s Day. A quick Google search reveals touching photos of Justin hugging and kissing Avalanna, and her utter joy at having her dream of meeting him come true. Thereafter she was known by Justin and his millions of adoring fans as “Mrs. Bieber.” In June, the two appeared together on The Today Show (http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/06/15/justin-bieber-mrs-bieber-avalanna-routh-today-video/), and it was clear that Justin truly cared about this little girl and wanted to see her life a long healthy life.
Sadly, that was not to be.
I’m certain that once Justin and his 28,060,034 Twitter followers get the news of Avalanna’s death, awareness will spread quickly. Avalanna will go from being a cute little girl who captured Justin’s heart to another child killed by cancer. Millions of people who were in the dark before will now see for themselves that cancer plays no favorites and discriminates against no one. Not even Justin Bieber’s “wife.”
Even with his enormous fame, Justin Bieber couldn’t save Avalanna. But maybe, just maybe, this will push him to use his stardom and fame to really have a positive, significant impact. Maybe he will choose to actively join in on the efforts of amazing people like Taylor Swift and Bret Michaels and Katie Couric, who are doing their parts to raise awareness about the horrors of childhood cancer.
When you strip away the fame, the adoring fans, and the way-too-low pants, I believe Justin Bieber is a just good guy who will want to do what he can to raise money for cures for childhood cancer. Not just in memory of Avalanna, but for the millions of children who are still suffering the effects of AT/RT, neuroblastoma, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, medulloblastoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and all the other “rare” cancers that are killing thousands of kids all over the world every single day. He undoubtedly knows he can really do something to raise awareness and get people to stand up for the need for research into cures for these child-killing cancers.
Let’s hope he uses his power for good. Because it will make a huge difference.