Belief Beat

I was working in the Bay Area when one of my competitors, the San Francisco Chronicle, began running “Alicia’s Story,” a first-person account from a young copy editor who had been diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma cancer. The compelling 17-part series, which started on the front page in 2005 and transitioned into a blog and a book, raised a lot of awareness (and some funding) for sarcoma and inspired many people — ranging from members of her family’s Lutheran church to agnostics who had never met her — to start praying for her. But most of us lost track of her when she stopped blogging a few years ago.

Today, the SF Chronicle has an update on Alicia Parlette: five years after her diagnosis, with her fiance and dog and lots of friends by her hospital bed, the 28-year-old has started receiving palliative care. People are flying in from all over the world to say goodbye, and in the meantime, “Parlette is enjoying watching episodes of ‘Law & Order’ with friends, eating her favorite frozen yogurt that her brother, Matthew, brought her from Roseville (Placer County), and praying with the hospital chaplain and a deacon from her Lutheran church.”

Alicia’s friends want to protect her privacy, but they are sharing some information on a blog for all the people out there praying for her at this time, linked from Facebook and Twitter accounts. Here’s a link to Beliefnet’s collection of prayers; the blog and Chronicle story also include information on how to help donate to her medical costs.

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