May 12, 2014 at 7:21 AM ET
As part of TODAY's Shine a Light series, a campaign to support worthy causes throughout the year, Hoda Kotb has chosen to lift the spirits of children with cancer.
She's teamed up with the American Cancer Society and Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create a song and put on a concert for the kids. If you want to help Hoda fundraise or learn more about her mission, visit Crowdrise.com/Hoda.
You know how your life is perfect on Monday, and then on Tuesday it all falls apart? That's what happened to me seven years ago when a doctor called me and told me I had breast cancer. I needed a mastectomy and reconstruction.
It was an excruciating time. I thank God that I have wonderful doctors, family, friends and faith that helped me though, but I also had something else — music. Sounds funny, but those notes and lyrics soothed me and helped heal me. I am not sure what I would have done without it.
Cancer is difficult to endure as an adult. I can only imagine how tough it would be for a child — it’s such a grown-up disease.
It just so happens that several years ago TODAY sent me to a children’s cancer hospital for a series of stories. I was frozen at the door; I did not want to walk inside. I guess I was just afraid to see so much pain. But with one glimpse of the first child I saw there, another feeling washed over me. I was feeling hopeful, almost joyful.
An estimated 10,450 new cases and 1,350 cancer deaths are expected to occur among children (ages 0-14) in 2014. I want to do everything I can to prevent cancer from taking these young lives. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nurse, but I want to do what I can. To lift their spirits and help these kids heal, I’m joining forces with Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create a song and concert just for them.
Please hear our song and donate to my cause at http://Crowdrise.com/Hoda, which is working closely with The American Cancer Society. All proceeds will go to grants for pediatric cancer research. Together, we can help prevent this disease from taking more young lives.