Today we’d like to introduce you to Melody Lomboy-Lowe. Them and their team share their story with us below:
Melody was born and raised in Southern California in the small town of Sierra Madre. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age six and has been a cancer warrior ever since. She was given a 50% chance of survival and was treated at City of Hope for three years until age nine. Being a survivor at a time when not many survived set Melody on a course to help newly diagnosed cancer patients.
Melody is a graduate of UC Irvine, where she was awarded a scholarship as a collegiate swimmer. She graduated with a double major in sociology and art history. Motivated by her cancer experience, she and her niece, Gracelyn Bateman, co-founded the nonprofit Luna Peak Foundation Inc.
They focus on creating books and products that inspire and celebrate life. They are passionate about elevating the stories of survivors in the cancer and grief communities and strive to inspire others to embrace life with the same vigor. Together they also founded Luna Peak Publishing in order to make books that elevate survivor stories, celebrate life, and give back. This family run non-profit foundation is dedicated to inspiring others.
Through social media, Gracelyn and Melody have been able to bring a large community of survivors together. Their first book, “Beyond Remission,” features many cancer survivors from this community. “Beyond Remission” features photographs of over 100 cancer survivors and their quotes for living a full life after cancer. In her newest book, Melody takes childhood cancer fighters on a journey through her own battle. “Follow Me, Cancer Free” is the children’s book that every new pediatric fighter needs.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Fighting cancer and fighting for your life as a young child was my first obstacle. No child should have to endure the pain of chemotherapy and treatments associated with a cancer battle and no child should be faced with their own mortality. The battle with cancer and having to see many friends die from the same disease I was fighting was my inspiration to create a nonprofit to help those going through what I went through. The fear that patients and their families face is very unfair and any glimmer of hope or positivity will help them with the long road of recovery that they have.
Starting a nonprofit on our own with little guidance was a struggle. Finding funding to provide the books to cancer patients has been difficult as well. We love what we do and plan on continuing no matter what, but we do need constant support to make this possible for fighters. Unfortunately, many are kids and adults diagnosed daily and our nonprofit needs the support of generous donors to continue to make this impact for the cancer community.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have authored many books to inspire the cancer community. My specialty is uplifting diverse voices in the cancer community. I am proud of these books and what they have done for newly diagnosed patients. Below find descriptions of our publications, including “Beyond Remission” in Spanish, “Mas Alla de Remision”
About Follow Me, Cancer Free –
Follow along with little Melody in her journey to become cancer-free. Walk with her and her teddy bear through her cancer diagnosis, treatment, and remission. Celebrate life every step of the way, through the highs and the lows. This book was written by a childhood cancer survivor, Melody Lomboy-Lowe who survived leukemia at age 6. This book is illustrated by another childhood cancer survivor, Graciela Eastridge. This book can be a resource for young fighters, survivors, their care teams, and their friends and classmates who want to know a bit more about the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
About Kicking Cancer –
We also have our “Kicking Cancer” workbook. Kicking Cancer is a memory book for young cancer fighters, also created by our cofounder Melody who is a childhood cancer survivor. This workbook includes fun word games, mad libs, journal prompts, and pages to write about memories. This book can be filled out with support teams as an activity during active treatment.
About Beyond Remission –
Beyond Remission: Words of Advice for Thriving is a photography book of cancer survivors and their wisdom from their cancer journey. The purpose of this book is to give hope to those that have just received a cancer diagnosis. Their photos capture the success of survivors from all walks of life with all types of cancer. Gracelyn and Melody, authors and co-founders of Luna Peak Foundation, photographed and interviewed over one hundred cancer survivors to create this book. The visualization of diverse cancer survivors humanizes cancer and helps cancer fighters visualize their own remission as well. This book is made by cancer survivors and is meant for cancer fighters, though anyone touched by cancer will find a community in this book including families, doctors, caregivers, and support teams. Through Luna Peak Foundation, many of these books will be donated to newly diagnosed patients, their families, oncology offices, and hospitals.
About Mas Alla de Remision –
Melody y Gracelyn son un equipo de tías y sobrinas que tienen la misión de ayudar a otros a celebrar la vida en tiempos de adversidad. Melody y Gracelyn nacieron y se criaron en el sur de California en una gran familia multicultural y amorosa. A toda la familia se le dio una nueva perspectiva de la vida cuando a Melody le diagnosticaron leucemia linfoblástica a los 6 años. La actitud positiva de Melody influyó en quienes la rodeaban para que siempre hicieran lo mejor que pudieran, fueran amables y atesorasen cada momento juntos. Su familia adoptó la mentalidad de celebrar todos los momentos de la vida y viven según el lema de que somos ricos en familia. La lucha de Melody por su propia vida a una edad temprana fue el catalizador para que ella encontrara aventuras en la vida e inspirara a otros. Se graduó de UC Irvine como Académica-Atleta con un título en sociología e historia del arte. Melody cría a sus tres hijos con su maravilloso esposo, Tom, quien escribió el prólogo de este libro. Gracelyn creció sabiendo que la vida es preciosa, lo que le dio un sentido de compasión y empatía por las historias y experiencias de los demás. Gracelyn se graduó de la Universidad de Santa Clara y la Universidad de Columbia. Tiene una maestría en sociología y disfruta resaltando a los sobrevivientes que tienen historias impactantes y sabiduría para compartir. Melody y Gracelyn continúan el legado de donaciones de su familia al establecer la fundación sin fines de lucro Luna Peak Foundation, con la intención de elevar las historias de sobrevivientes dentro de las comunidades de cáncer y duelo.
Any big plans?
We are putting together care packages for pediatric cancer wards across Southern California. We would love to expand Nationally to provide for more organizations.
We are expanding to help the grief community and have a lineup of books offered to those suffering from life-changing loss. Grief is often not talked about and we are starting that conversation. Our grief publications include “The Grief Workbook” and “Beyond Grief, Snapshots of Life After Loss.”
Below find info on these books.
About Beyond Grief –
Beyond Grief explores what life after loss looks like. This is a book filled with 80 conversations about grief, survivor to survivor. Through portraits, mementos, stories and advice, we explore how a diverse array of grievers navigates and rebuilds after a life-changing loss. Beyond Grief doesn’t just tell you that you’re not alone – it shows you that you’re not alone.
About the Grief Workbook –
The Grief Workbook is a fun way to unpack a serious experience: grief. It has something for everyone – dark humor, some word games, opportunities to share memories of your loved one(s), and reflective prompts. It includes pages such as “Funeral Week Bingo,” a “Loss-Word Puzzle” (crossword puzzle), and pages to unpack how grief is truly a mixed bag of emotions. This workbook can be used as a resource for individual reflection, for families to fill out and share about a mutual loss, for grief support groups, or for grievers to share with their supporters to shed some light on their grief process. It can also be used in correlation with therapy and for educating on grief.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.lunapeakfoundation.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunapeakfoundation/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunapeakfoundation/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/lunapeakfamily
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXbschWGoqJvS7g1OBppylg/featured?view_as=subscriber
Gracelyn Bateman, Luna Peak Foundation