Valerie Sobel
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Entries by Valerie Sobel

55 Years Between Two Outbreaks of Petite Fame

(2) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 6:00 PM

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When I was 15, I found myself in the Canada, as if teleported from another planet. Communist Hungary's Revolution in 1956 left the borders open for a sliver of time, and my parents were among those who took one inconspicuous suitcase in...

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55 Years Between Two Outbreaks of Petit Fame

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2016 | 11:36 PM

When I was 15, I found myself in the Canada, as if teleported from another planet. Communist Hungary's Revolution in 1956 left the borders open for a sliver of time, and my parents were among those who took one inconspicuous suitcase in the middle of the night and escaped with...

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Fill the Vessel of Your Heart This New Year

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 10:10 AM

My resolution for the new year is one that I have strived to achieve each new year for the last many decades.

In many traditions, from the Kabbalah to mystical Christianity, there is a belief that how we behave and go about the first 12 days of the new year...

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5 Ways + 1 You can Help a Caregiver this Month

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 10:57 PM

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers.

Day in and day out, 90 million family caregivers in the United States fulfill a vital role on their loved one's care team. No one else is in a better position to provide...

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The Letter I Wish I had Received... from Boyfriends

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 1:17 AM

Sixteen years ago our foundation awarded the first Andre Sobel Award, named for my son who died of a malignant brain tumor at 19.

The award honors teens who have survived catastrophic illness and bravely revisit the darkest hours of illness to share their stories.

This year we invited...

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The Day I Was Terrorized By Virtual Kidnappers

(13) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 6:44 PM

Two days ago (August 24, 2015) at 12:49 pm Pacific time, I received a phone call, "This is a kidnap ransom demand call," that for a fleeting second I considered a joke. After my light response it was immediately made clear to me that I either "listen up!" or my...

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It's Lonely at the Top

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 1:38 AM

Let me EntertainYou

Dear Reader,

After I finish an art piece, it wants to say something.

It's hard enough to get to the point with any creation where you feel that no more revisions are necessary, nothing needs adding or removing. So what is this disturbing, surprising, unfinished...

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Goodbye and Hello

(1) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 11:55 AM

Would you like to know what it feels like closing your very first month-long solo art show?

It's a bit like a death and a birth on the same day... or a friendlier analogy would be like giving a dinner party. You invite, shop, arrange, cook, clean the silver, place...

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Just When You Believe It's Over, in Fact It Can Just Begin

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 4:26 PM

At 73, art hit me like a piece of the Eiffel Tower. I was in a state of "philanthropic burn out" at the time, a phrase often used by unrelentingly working founders of a charitable organization. I decided that I needed the oxygen of a sabbatical, and went to Istanbul...

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OK, Take a Moment... Breathe...

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 1:15 PM

Continuing our series featuring the submissions of winners of the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation's annual Andre Sobel Award, this week we share the essay of Micah Moskoff, the Third Placer Winner of our 2011 Andre Sobel Award.

For the next few weeks, we will...

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All Pains Aren't Physical

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 5:22 PM

Continuing our series featuring the submissions of winners of the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation's annual Andre Sobel Award, this week we share the Second Place winner's essay, "All Pains Aren't Physical." In respect to their privacy, we are respecting the wishes of this entrant to remain...

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Two Best Friends Share the Journey of Battling Cancer Together

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2011 | 2:28 PM

Each year, the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation, offers an annual Essay Award to young survivors of a catastrophic illness as a chance to express the reality of their experiences.

 We get the opportunity to read some amazing stories of survival and triumph from what are the creative group...

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Young People Share Their Stories of Survival From Life-Threatening Illness

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 12:25 PM

Young people who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness experience a journey that is both extraordinary and isolating.

In recognition of Andre Sobel's struggle with this challenge, and realizing that this is often a common story among others, the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation offers an annual Essay Award...

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Bringing the Dream Full Circle

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2010 | 11:31 PM

After my child died, I sat alone for months trying to assimilate emotions I had never felt before and deciding how to move forward. The result was the establishment of a foundation that bears my teenage son's name.

The Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation's mission is to help...

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Putting School Lessons to Practice: The Spirit of Giving

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2010 | 2:44 PM

Natalie Carpenter, a senior at Cal State University San Bernardino, started her shift at TGI-Friday thinking about her public relations campaigns class and how to raise money for the class' client--the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation (www.andreriveroflife.org). The class worked on a fundraiser for the foundation in...

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Christmas Light Can Be a Cruel Light

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2010 | 4:03 PM

Christmas light can be a cruel light... to some. I see the holidays from the perspective of one without an intact family. Having lost my child, my mother and husband in one year opened my eyes to the multitude of merrymakers who would rather flip the calendar forward from November...

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A Story of Real Love and Compassion

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2010 | 2:30 PM

On a rainy afternoon, a young man of 19 was driving home from work. His car slid, then went out of control and landed on an embankment. There was no other car involved, and he was trapped for some time on the country road before someone went for help. Each...

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Obama Administration Recognizes Heroes During National Family Caregivers Month

(1) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 7:29 PM

Practically invisible single parent caregivers head 75 percent of the households where there is a critically ill child. These are the families aided by the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation, those with few emotional or financial resources and little to no support.

We at the Foundation were delighted to...

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Andre Sobel Essay Winner: Cancer Isn't a Battle you Fight by Yourself

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2010 | 2:37 PM

I am just a mother, and as such, I don't know much more than other mothers do. However, there is a part of me that experienced a loss so savage that is thankfully only the plight of a few. Losing a child gives you a membership in a sorority; this...

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The Untold Truths of a Teen With Cancer

(1) Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 4:10 PM

You will find that the third place winner of the Andre Sobel Essay contest, Arianna Elnes, could have easily been the first. She could be first for the special reason that all the courageous young people who enter this contest could; it is with no ordinary yardstick that our judges...

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