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let’s make shannon foster — ava’s mom — woman of the year

Ava flower

I met Shannon Foster a couple of years ago at a media event at the Hotel La Jolla, where she was General Manager. We spent a lot of time talking and laughing, and she is a doll.

She needs some help now, so I want to share her story.

Shannon’s daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2012 when she was 17 months old. She spent almost six months in the hospital before going into remission.

A year later, though, her cancer returned and Ava underwent high dose chemo, radiation and, eventually, a bone marrow transplant using stem cells from an umbilical cord bank. According to Shannon, Ava is doing well today but, because her cancer returned once, there’s a chance it will return again.


Shannon has been nominated for Woman of the Year with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in San Diego, and I want to help her win. “To say the nomination is an honor would be an understatement,” says Shannon.

The Man and Woman of the Year campaign is a way for everyone to help fund research to defeat the number one cancer killing children. Every dollar raised counts as one vote, and the winners are the two people who have raised the most money.  According to Shannon, LLS is an organization that is doing the right things with the dollars it raises.

“I’m proud to be associated with LLS,” she says. “They’re so close to finding a cure for cancer and that is why I’m running for Woman of the Year.”

Ava - park

The fundraising race began on March 31 and runs for 10 weeks, ending on June 13. Shannon’s goal is to raise $50,000 because when she does, her family will be aligned with an AML Research Portfolio, giving them firsthand updates on the research, progress and new treatments for the disease.

Let’s help Shannon — and Ava. Please visit Shannon’s fundraising page and, if you can, make a donation. Every single dollar makes a big impact. You can also check out the Prayers for Ava Facebook page for information on upcoming events and to follow both Ava and Shannon’s journey.

I hope you’ll share their story with your friends and on social media.

I know there is nothing stronger than the power of mothers. And I believe, together, we can work miracles.

Let’s make one happen for Ava and all the kids fighting blood cancer.

Thanks for your generosity. xo


  1. Wow I can’t believe she was diagnosed at such a young age. I’m so glad she is doing well right now.

  2. I love it when we have the opportunity to support other mammas. Parenting is one of the toughest gigs ever and only made more difficult when issues like this arise. Praying for this strong family!

  3. Sending my best wishes to that sweet little girl.

  4. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    What a sad story. She sounds like an amazing mom. Thanks for sharing her story.

  5. It breaks my heart to read that someone is ill, especially a child. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. How sad. Thanks for sharing her story. What a heartbreaking story to read. Shannon sounds like an amazing woman and mama.

  7. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Cancer sucks, especially when it happens to kids. Shannon sounds like an amazing mom and advocate. I hope and pray Ava stays healthy and in remission.

  8. What a horrible thing to be diagnosed with at such a young age, my prayers go to to both her and her mother.

  9. Tonya C says:

    Thanks for sharing her story. There is surely power in Moms uniting especially for such a great cause.

  10. I am happy to hear the child is doing well…it is such a tragedy when young children become ill. I hope that cure is found soon.

  11. It is so hard to see young children afflicted with cancer… Thank you for sharing Ava and Shannon’s story with us, Lois. I am happy to share. I hope Shannon will be recognized as WOTY too.

  12. What a beautiful baby and a strong, brave mother. I hate cancer!! I will do what I can to help Shannon become the WOTY!

  13. Why oh why cant we find a cure? I hate cancer so much. I am happy to help Shannon.

  14. You know how much I hate cancer. I’ve spent too much time over the past 2 years at Sloan Kettering, with waiting rooms that were standing room only, including teens and children. Breaks my heart each time. The children? I shake my head and cry inwardly.

    Good for you for writing this, Lois. You are an angel, as is this little girl and her mom. Bless them always.

  15. this is awesome that you are raising awareness for this little one!

  16. What a little fighter. I so hope it never returns.

  17. Such a beautiful little one. Praying a cure is found soon.

  18. Carissa Bonham says:

    Childhood cancer is so heart breaking. I’m glad Ava it’s doing better. Thanks for spreading the word about this contest

  19. I hope it never, never, never comes back again. I’m happy to share the story. Good luck to your friend!

  20. I’m so happy to hear that she’s in remission and her mom is doing an amazing job helping to raise awareness. She truly deserves the award. Will be sharing.

  21. Such a beautiful girl! I hope she stays in remission and has finished her battle. I will definitely be sharing this cause.

  22. Amazing story – she was so young when she became ill. Sharing their story.

  23. Thank you for sharing her heartbreaking story. I will pray she stays in remission. What a beautiful spirit she has. I will be sure to visit the links too.

  24. She has got to be a strong woman to be able to handle these issues with her baby girl. Thank you for sharing her story!

  25. This is so awesome that you are promoting your friend. More stories like this are around with the use of the internet. Hope she wins.

  26. What a noble and special cause, the photos are so endearing! What a lucky mama! Sending positive thoughts!

  27. SO awful to hear a story like this. Praying for this family and sharing this story

  28. I visited her page and will be making a donation at a later date. Shannon truly deserves to be mother of the year

  29. What a sweet girl. I hope she gets the help she needs.

  30. This is such a wonderful cause. I hope she stays cancer free for the rest of her life.

  31. What a sweetheart! I have such empathy for moms going through battles like this. She definitely deserves some recognition!

  32. What a sweet little girl! Mothers make the best advocates and the best fighters! There is nothing we won’t do for our kids!

  33. Thank you so much for sharing their story with us. I hope Shannon makes WOTY!

  34. Debbie Denny says:

    What a spectacular woman. Wonderful cause. Will check out their page.

  35. Wow she has to raise $50,000 to have exclusive access to research. I hope she does it. Childhood cancer is the least funded research with a high mortality rate. Good luck!

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