Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”
This is dedicated in honor of my beautiful cousin, Alyssa. She made a difference in the lives of anyone lucky enough to have know her. Friend’s of Alyssa’s paid tribute to her with this story and I thought it was so beautiful and fitting for her and wanted to do the same.
Alyssa, your optimism has compelled me to do the things I have always wanted to do- but didn’t. Your positivity during your worst times is something I will carry with me forever. I miss talking to you and hearing about all of your adventures.
A year has gone by since I last saw your smile. I will think of that smile whenever I need one of my own.
Love you always.
Alyssa was dedicated to making a difference in fighting Angiosarcoma and other rare cancers. If you would like to make a donation in her honor, please go to
Cycle For Survival
and donate to Mission Cure Possible. Last year, Alyssa fearlessly cycled to raise money for people like herself.