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Prisana Nuechterlein (Prisana)

Joined 6 years ago from Thailand and Colorado




Please visit my new blog at http://travelthailandandbeyond.blogspot.com/

September 22, 2011

Roundabouts in Paradise

I was born in Switzerland and have traveled nearly since birth. Since my family is scattered all over the world; in Brazil, Switzerland, the U.S. and Thailand, I have often circumnavigated the earth, thus doing extended roundabouts.

For years, I wrote about my travels in numerous publications until my son was diagnosed with aggressive leukemia in 1998. At the time we were living in Phuket, Thailand. He was 15, when he was diagnosed, and we immediately flew back home for his treatment in the U.S.. Thanks to an amazing team of doctors, and a cord marrow transplant, my son survived and is now working with the team of doctors who saved his life.

I don't think there is a word to describe how proud I am of both of my children. In the face of great suffering and unimaginable pain, they showed courage beyond anything that I have seen.

It would seem natural that after he survived and regained his health, that I would have been inspired to write more, but in fact the exact opposite happened. I went through bouts of inspiration but struggled with making sense of our mysterious world.

I don't believe there is a god, choosing which children will die, or live. So is it just random? I doubt that as well. When I was in the hospital with my son, one night I went to the chapel to pray to all the powers that be. I prayed to God, Allah, Buddha and to the great Universal Power, but I felt strange in this foreign place of worship. My "church" had always been within Nature, outside under a million stars.

My prayer for humankind is that we strive for peace. Within ourselves, within our families, our society and our world. This doesn't mean we can't disagree, it just means that we respect our differences and try to create less suffering.

Last night my son mentioned that I had changed. That I had given up my mission to save the world. I told him that nothing that I did really mattered. The tigers are nearly extinct, the Hmong refugees were sent back to Laos, the coral reefs are dying, the list is endless. He then asked me if I had watched The Cove yet. I told him that it would make me cry too much.

But I will watch it. Soon. And I will cry, I'm sure. Tonight we are going on a walk called Light The Night, to raise funds to help leukemia patients and research.

Our humble mission continues, and yes it does matter. And no, I haven't given up. I'm just trying a different route.



An amazingly touching note from my son Brandon on April 14, 2013, emailed from Denver to Thailand, where I was when I received his email:

"Yes I remember this talk, but I was praising that you had changed, not faulting you for giving up :) For you had realized that one person alone cannot change the world... the task is too monumental, but a group now that is an entirely different matter all together, which is why we were doing Light the Night.

Each of us can make a small impact on our friends and families and ultimately these ripples will spread outwards like a stone thrown into a pond and they will change the world. As opposed to a single person trying to change the flow of a river, it just isn't possible and those who try end up being destroyed in the process.

The most important thing I learned from being sick is that nothing but your health and the health of your family really matters. All the money and fame in the world couldn't have saved me, but the love from you and dad and Amber and the tireless work of Roger, Ralph and Brian, was more than enough and has allowed me to extend their gift in my own small way.

Roger just got an endowed chair at the hospital so I had a plaque made to honor him. I had the research assistant pull some data for me to put on the plaque. He has saved over 300 lives and given us over 2,000 birthdays we never would have had, which I find to be incredibly amazing and humbling. So I guess the point of my rambling is take care of those around you and you can truly create something amazing lol.

PS. ...Bridgette and I had an amazing day boarding at Copper for closing day with 13 inches of fresh powder! Wish you guys could have been here to play with us!!!

Love Brandon"

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