March 19, 2008

Making a difference

I have a wonderful story for you about the softie side of Simon Cowell from American Idol who made a difference in a little girl's life and her family. If you think he is Mr. Nasty, think again, he is not so nasty after all. Long before this, he has actually constantly involved in a number of children's and animal's charities, but they go mostly unnoticed because as they say ... good news makes poor headlines.

In January 2008, Amy Stoen and her husband, Randy, noticed a cyst inside their 3-year-old daughter's nose. Doctors in their small Minnesota community were unable to determine a cause, so they referred Madelaine and her parents to the Mayo Clinic, an internationally renowned medical center.

Less than two months later, doctors diagnosed Madelaine with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that had spread to the left side of her face. To try to save her life, doctors started chemotherapy right away. "It's hard because I can't do anything for her to take that pain away," Amy says. "She's going to have to do this for a year, and it's going to be a long year."

To get the treatments she needs to survive, Madelaine's parents drive her more than 100 miles a day to Saint Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Amy says her daughter has already lost almost 10 pounds since her diagnosis. The side effects of the chemo are also starting to show. Madelaine is now losing her hair. "Once she loses her hair, it's really going to set in that she has cancer," Amy says.

Amy can barely discuss her daughter's diagnosis without crying. Now, in addition to the emotional toll, the Stoen family is also facing a financial crisis.

Both parents used to bring home paychecks, but these days, they spend every moment caring for Madelaine. "The house payment is sitting there and the medical bills on top of that," Amy says. "We're only three weeks into it. We have 41 weeks to go. … My job covers the insurance, and his paycheck covers the mortgage. We want at least one parent here, so that means we only have one paycheck coming in versus two."

Randy and Amy say they're desperate to find a way to stay with their daughter during treatments without losing their home. "Our main priority is making sure that she gets the medical care she needs to get over this cancer and to be cured," Amy says.

Wanting to get into the giving spirit, Simon has a surprise for Randy and Amy.

I didn't know what to do in this situation other than to do something which I hope will help," Simon says. "I know that you're having trouble with your mortgage. And as of this afternoon, [it] is being paid off."

Simon says writing a $162,000 personal check won't be the end of his involvement with Amy, Randy and Madelaine. "It doesn't stop there," he says. "If there's any problem, I'm her guardian angel now."

Last season, American Idol hosted a celebrity telethon called "Idol Gives Back"…and they raised more than $70 million for disadvantaged children around the world!

"It was so good, we're going to do it again," Simon says.

On this year's show, look for performances by current and former Idol contestants and winners. Celebrities like Bono, Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus are scheduled to appear, too. "It'll be a big, big night," Simon says.

Simon says he's only just learned about the joy of giving. "I didn't realize that. It's taken me 48 years," he says. "It's going to catch on, this, because it is a very, very good feeling."

**The above story is copied from Oprah's Big Give's website


Mrs. Baasje said...

He is such a nice person !
Some people don't like to hear the truth..mostly if comes to critics..hehhee

I saw him in church last year to be a god father of his fella's son.

Belle said...

i don't think of Simon as nasty though. in most cases, he is right about his opinion on each performer in american idol.

anyway, i am glad that he finally shares his good fortune to the needy. it is the right thing. i would do the same if i have his fortune.

Audie said...

Simon is correct it is a really good feeling to help those in need.We should all assist more often.
Oprah's Big Give is inspiring people all around the world.
Have you heard about Ellie Drake who was inspired by the Big Give? She and her team raised $100,000. in 24 hours!!!! It is an amazing story:

Thank you Oprah for all that you do.

Anna Rochanti Madden said...

I think most people admit that Simon Cowell tells the truth. But, sometime he is too much. I don't like if he insult people's appearance. Like last year he insult one of the contestant: "You look like a monkey with big eyes!" That was very mean!!!

Fun said...

yuppp... aku juga demen ama dia nih.. :) padahal kalo yang laen menghujat2 kritikan pedas dia, tapi dia kan ngomongnya mank selalu benar dan blak2an :)
waktu itu liat dia ama ryan ke penampungan orang2 miskin afrika..maen ama anak2..wuaaah so lovely..

i like him.. :)

Ecky said...

I heart him more than ever ;)

Therry said...

simon is just blatantly honest about those idol contestants. he's like the one balancing out all the niceness that paula and (sometimes) randy gave to them. on top of praises, you must also accept criticism. :D

Therry said...

anyway i dont watch american idol anymore. it's getting kind of boring, where all the contestants just sound the same :(

Anonymous said...

I find Simon funny, he makes AI more interesting!

It's good to know the other side of him, outside AI.

I love that new show of Oprah :)

Therry said...

Oprah's got a new show???