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'Chronicle' Writer, 28, Dies Of Cancer

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April 23, 2010

A 28-year-old journalist who wrote about her battle with a rare form of cancer in a column for the San Francisco Chronicle died Thursday. Her 17-part series, "Alicia's Story," drew thousands of followers.

Copyright © 2010 National Public Radio®. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

A young San Francisco newspaper writer who was chronicling her battle with cancer died yesterday. Alicia Parlette was 28.

Five years ago, she found out she had a rare form of the disease alveolar soft part sarcoma. It affected her hip and breast. She was new in a job at the San Francisco Chronicle when she got the news and decided to write about her illness. She read some of her diary for NPR in June of 2005.

(Soundbite of archived broadcast)

Ms. ALICIA PARLETTE (Reporter): On March 2nd, I found out I have cancer. I was 23 and on my own in San Francisco, working at the Chronicle as part of a two-year fellowship.

BLOCK: In her seven-part series for the Chronicle, Alicia Parlette wrote about her life with cancer with honesty and inspiration.

(Soundbite of archived broadcast)

Ms. PARLETTE: I am still in awe of the way life's puzzles fall into place. I think this is because right now God is giving me a bigger look at how the jigsaw is mapped out. Not much bigger, but big enough for me to see that even tragedies are linked with blessings. And that among my many blessings is the chance to write my story.

BLOCK: "Alicia's Story," as the series was called, continued even as her cancer got worse. Earlier this month, she suffered even greater pain and had trouble breathing and she chose to end the treatment. Then she participated in a private commitment ceremony with her boyfriend. Said her goodbyes to her friends in person and more online. As was her wish, Alicia Parlette's story will be published in a book.

(Soundbite of archived broadcast)

Ms. PARLETTE: If I get through this, the story will help me remember the important moments along the way. And in the worse of all circumstances, if I go through this life changing ordeal and my body just wears out and I die, I will die a writer.

BLOCK: Alicia Parlette, the San Francisco writer died yesterday at age 28.

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: This is NPR.

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