Rest in peace, Alicia

Although I’d known for several days that this development was imminent, it still grieved me to read the news that Alicia Parlette died from cancer today at the tragically young age of 28.

I first wrote about Alicia nearly five years ago, shortly after her blog Alicia’s Story began to appear on SF Gate, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle. At the time, Alicia was 23 years old, and recently employed by the Chronicle as a copyeditor. When she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer — alveolar soft part sarcoma — in March 2005, Alicia’s superiors at the Chron offered her the opportunity to write online about her journey through treatment. Her memoirs were poignant, inspiring, heart-crushing, and real.

By early 2007, Alicia’s health had deteriorated to the point that she was no longer able to maintain her position at the Chronicle. The paper allowed her space to continue her blog, but updates grew infrequent, and stopped altogether in August of that year. Readers were left to wonder how Alicia fared in her ongoing battle with her aggressive disease. From time to time, some blogger would throw out a mention of Alicia, or a public plea for information about her welfare, but for the most part, those of us who had come to care about her through her writing could only speculate… and pray.

Over the past couple of weeks, news surfaced, via the Chronicle and other media, that Alicia had entered hospice care. By all reports, she faced the end of her young life as she had faced the obstacle that would eventually overwhelm her — with courage, determination, laughter, and an indomitable spirit.

Today, shortly before noon, that spirit departed.

If you read this blog often, you know that cancer is a fighting word here at SSTOL. My wife — known in this space as KJ — was first diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2000, and with a metastasized stage of that disease in March 2007. We live daily with the spectre that touches far too many lives.

We never met Alicia Parlette, but we felt as though we did. Thousands of others out there in the electronic ether felt the same. Our hearts beat heavily today.

May those who loved Alicia in life find peace in her memory.

And let’s all do what we can to kill this monster called cancer…

…before we lose many more Alicias.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Breast Cancer Awareness, Celebritiana, Dead People Got No Reason to Live, Good Reads, My Home Town, Ripped From the Headlines, SwanStuff

2 Comments on “Rest in peace, Alicia”

  1. anathea Says:

    this is beautifully written..
    one small correction though, ‘Alicia’s Story’ wasn’t an online blog, it was an actual recurring, front page of the datebook section column that came with big pictures to boot. The online blog through the chronicle was comprised of these articles and i believe some supplementary material. She was a real published writer on a physical piece of paper that she once said made her ‘feel like a writer with a capital W’.


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