"Ronan" inspires America


Ronan Thompson’s cancer struggle became public with the release of Taylor Swift’s new hit single, “Ronan”.

Ronan Thompson’s cancer struggle became public with the release of Taylor Swift’s new hit single, “Ronan”.
Sarah Jackmauh ’15

A beam of light comes down on stage. The melody of an acoustic guitar begins. The singer takes a deep breath. Looking at the camera, her expression is sad. Taylor Swift begins her song.
“I remember your bare feet, down the hallway, I remember your little laugh,” Taylor sings.
Taylor Swift performed her new single, “Ronan,” in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon on September 7. Her song “Ronan” was written in memory of Ronan Thompson,  a four-year-old boy whose life was cut short by Neuroblastoma.The Huffington Post reported that millions of viewers tuned in to help raise money for cancer research.
According to a PubMed Health article on Neuroblastomathe cancer is a tumor that develops in the sympathetic nervous system of the tissue. The cause of the tumor is unknown, and it is most common in boys under the age of five. In Ronan’s biography on theronanthompsonfoundation.com, his mother, Maya, said that Ronan first developed the tumor in his eye socket, and soon another mass was discovered in his lower abdomen.
Maya further explains that Ronan underwent five rounds of chemotherapy, and responded well. After his fifth round, Maya and Woody, Ronan’s father, decided to take him off of the standard Neuroblastoma treatment and move him to a different hospital. Soon Ronan’s parents were informed that further treatment would be futile. Ronan passed away on May 9, 2011.
Maya created a blog called www.rockstarronan.com as a place to explain her emotions and feelings about losing a child. On a recent post, Maya described a dream she had.
“Your daddy listened and then said, ‘But he didn’t die in pain. He fell asleep in your arms, peacefully.’ I wish I could say that made me feel better, but it only made me miss you more,” Maya said.
All over the world, Swift’s fans bonded over Ronan’s tragic struggle. “Ronan” was the number one single on iTunes starting September 9, two days after the debut, and is still high on the charts five weeks later.
Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore Emma Sapio believes Swift has shown another side of herself through the creation of “Ronan.”
“’Ronan’ gave me a new image of Taylor Swift because instead of singing about breakups and boys, she sang about something a lot more meaningful and serious,” Emma said.
The  Sacred Heart community has also helped children with cancer by raising money to donate to cancer foundations over the years through various clubs and organizations.
“We have the power and the ability to raise a ton of money and awareness for kids like Ronan and that is a great thing to do,” sophomore Ellie Denson said.
To continue Ronan’s legacy, all proceeds from the sale of “Ronan” on iTunes will go toward cancer research. Maya Thompson created the Ronan Thompson Foundation to continue to celebrate the life and memories of Ronan, and to help children with life threatening diseases. Ronan Thompson’s life will be carried on as an inspiration to families around the world.
In Maya’s own words, as sung by Taylor Swift, “I love you to the moon and back.”
– Sarah Jackmauh, Staff Writer