ROCKSTARJolie vs.Leukemia FundDrive

Hi everyone, it's Carole.
I'm very humbled and grateful for all your support over all this time. Your donations have carried Melanie

and Jolie through the last 20 months, allowing mother and child to be together as much as necessary and possible.

Now we're in the home stretch. Jolie spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, but it will be her last one on chemo. She will be turning 9 in two weeks, and it will be her last birthday scheduled around her clinic. And this Christmas will be the last one with an access port. Sometime next summer, she'll be done and normal life can resume.

The problem is that now her little body is worn out from being sick for so long. She's been in the hospital three times since school started with infections and complications from having been on chemo for so  damn long. Hopefully she won't be hospitalized with such frequency in the months ahead, but your support continues to be so important to them.

Thank you so much for your donations over the past two years. It is so appreciated, but there's still a ways to go and we need your help. I'm going to bump up the goal a little bit to carry them through the next eight months. Melanie has a steady, stable job and works as much as she can, but has had to cut her hours and her income back drastically since Jolie got sick and every little emergency is a calamity. We'll continue to keep you updated on her progress, and I promise that when the day comes and she gets to ring that bell in the clinic signifying her last treatment, you will all be there with us.
Thank you deeply,

On March 15, 2015 Jolie went to the emergency room with a terrible stomach ache and a fever. We were afraid it was her appendix, but it was so much worse and nothing has been the same.

Living with leukemia has changed us so much. It has been months of fear and painful treatments. It has been watching this innocent little sparrow trade her dreams of rock stars and unicorns for an "adult mind". It has taken more than her innocence. In May, a simple and minor accident at school meant the loss of her left hand ring finger, amputated at the top knuckle, because her little body has been so depleted from the year and months of chemo and steroids that her poor finger couldn't withstand a minor trauma.

Her hair has grown back, but it is still all over her pillow when she wakes up.

She has entered the maintenance phase of treatment, which should be the easiest, and it is, but all these months have taken their toll on her. We're back in the hospital now, no real idea for how long, because her liver and her pancreatic functions are poor, her bone marrow isn't cooperating, her blood won't clot, her immune system is shot.

We're hoping for the best, afraid for the worst. But she is done. No more bravado, no more stiff upper lip. She's a scared little girl and she isn't so sure anymore. When she's awake, she's afraid and anxious. She needs me by her side. She needs her mom.

I should have worked 9 hours yesterday but I didn't and without a second thought. I should have worked today too. I should work tomorrow. But I'm not going to leave her side. Your generosity over the last year and half has meant that I was able to take care of my child when she needed me. It held us through the hardest 18 months a parent can imagine. Since we let this campaign trail off, I've been doing my very best as a single mom to keep it together and I've been doing it, but a missed day of work is hard to recover from. Missing a week means choosing the power bill over groceries. More than that is hard to recover from. We don't get food stamps or assistance because we live on the edge of the poverty line. Too much to get help, not enough to survive.

I am grateful beyond telling that you continue to buouy us along. The communities that have come together out of love for our little Sparrow are divers and humbling. Friends and family and strangers. Audiophiles and punk rockers, lovers of music and art, drama club kids, caberet, tattooers, artists, musicians, business people. I love that so much of our support comes from the fringes. We're the weirdos, and we come together like nobody's business.

Until the day I die, I will be grateful beyond telling. This girl is the very best of me. She's everything. I need her like the air in my lungs. I need to be beside her. For as long as I have her, I have to be there.

Meet Jolie...

Sweet Jolie was born and she hit the ground running. From the beginning, she was an unstoppable force of nature.  Always a quirky child, sweet and thoughtful, loving and compassionate, she grew into her own person, and I'm telling you the world has never seen the like. She had a natural gift for math and science, and developed an uncanny interest in time travel. She wanted to learn magic and card tricks and seemed to have a bright future ahead of her as a grifter.

And then one day she discovered rock and roll.  More accurately, she discovered Kiss and other bands she could listen to when she wasn't listening to Kiss.  She amassed a record collection that would make a hipster cry. Dude, she owns Music from the Elder. She waited three long years to be old enough to go to Girls Rock summer camp. She enrolled and was accepted. She was going to be a drummer. She was going to write all her own songs.

But she started getting tired, really tired. Those long arms and legs that were going to serve her so well as a drummer started to ache all the time. Her belly hurt. One night it hurt so bad, her mom and dad took her to the emergency room thinking it was her appendix.

The doctors drew blood to look for infection, but they found something else even more alarming. The hematologist-oncologist was called in to give his opinion.


Her hemoglobin was so low, they were surprised she could sit up and talk.  Somehow her body had adapted to running on about a quarter of the blood it needed to survive. She was admitted to the ICU to be given transfusion after transfusion. Once she was strong enough, a bone marrow biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. This beautiful little rock and roll star has cancer.

Her road ahead is long and winding and not very well lit. Her mom and dad have no idea what is in store for them. Cancer takes a devastating toll on a family, and financially, while not the smallest part of this, is at least the easiest to address.

We're asking for donations for Jolie and her family to help them in the months and years to come as they support Jolie in her war. Her parents need to be there for her, not worrying about missing work and paying bills. This is one small thing we can do for this very small warrior. We owe it to the future of rock and roll.

Donations (0)

  • Marco Soto 
    • $100 
    • 10 d
  • Courtney Chen 
    • $100 
    • 22 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 24 mos
  • Rachel Lewis  
    • $25 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 34 mos

Organizer and beneficiary 

Carole Pierce 
Carrboro, NC
Melanie Helmick 
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