Act On: Love is Stronger Than Death-This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation.


Esther Grace Earl, author of her memoir This Star Won’t Go Out, passed away in 2010. Earl was a shining light in her family’s darkest days. According to her book, Esther’s cancer definitely didn’t define her, but more importantly, she defined herself, according to her mother, Lori Earl. She made others feel important. She never failed to make someone smile. She never hesitated to make someone feel like they were worthwhile. After conversing with Mrs. Earl, she showed some insight into her daughter’s life and words.

While she was living, Esther influenced many people around her. Whether it be with her friends in her group, Catitude, or her subscribers on youtube, they always listened to what she had to say. Esther was a profound young woman who always had something quirky and interesting to say to whoever wanted to listen.

Mrs. Earl said, “One of the most profound things was her response to John & Hank Green, when asked what she would like her birthday, Esther Day, to celebrate–pick anything you want, they said. After thinking it through, Esther said she wanted Esther Day to be a day to tell the people we love that we love them–especially family and friends that we so often DON’T say “I love you” to, out of awkwardness.”

Love is a word that constantly gets said without meaning, but Esther was one to bring “love” out of the darkness and into meaning once again. Love was branded as a cliche word to describe everything-how you were feeling about a particular movie, song, or pet, to a new ice cream flavor.

Esther’s version was defined as telling people how much she truly cared about them, how much she truly appreciated them. Her version of love wasn’t thrown around meaninglessly. When she felt like she needed to say it, she said it, if not she didn’t. Even when she was feeling sicker than she normally was, she made sure to make each of her family members loved.

Esther paid it forward by encouraging others. According to Mrs. Earl, ”She [Esther] loved to subscribe and comment on video channels that had few subscribers and comments–she wanted to encourage them. She spent time with her little brothers, even when she was feeling pretty sick–if it was all the energy she had, she would just have them cuddle in bed with her, or they’d color a book together.” She never failed to show that she cared for a person. Her gratitude and kindness towards others always shined through.

Mrs. Earl and her family have kept Esther’s legacy alive since her unfortunate passing through the This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation. This Star Won’t Go Out keeps Esther’s memory and passion for others alive to this day in 2014. Lori Earl created This Star Won’t Go Out in 2011 to support families who have members with cancer. In 2013, TSWGO gave out over $33,000 to help about 20 families with children that have cancer with direct financial grants. Since its founding in 2011, TSWGO has given out around $135,000 to help over 70 families with kids with cancer.

You can donate by purchasing Esther’s book, This Star Won’t Go Out. You can also buy t-shirts and bracelets from the DFTBA website. If you can’t contribute monetarily to TSWGO, don’t worry. Just by spreading awareness of TSWGO, you’re already contributing a lot to the organization! Talk to other nerdfighters (i.e. fans of John and Hank Green, keep up people!) about Esther Day and TWSGO. You can also sponsor a fundraiser in the name of TSWGO( a bake sale, yard sale, battle of the bands, craft show, a fair, a shaving head for charity event, selling t-shirts in the name of TSWGO.) The possibilities are endless. “Your creativity is all that is needed.” Mrs. Earl adds.

As of 2014, TSWGO currently focuses on giving grants to help families with a child diagnosed with cancer. But because Esther cared about so many causes (such as oppression, poverty, equality), they hope to see the foundation branch out into communities for support of hurting teens and young adults in the future. They also hope to expand into bereavement (coping with loss) support groups. Esther Day is a huge part of Esther’s legacy. Esther’s message “Love is Stronger than Death” really makes an impact with what TSWGO is accomplishing. She would be so proud to see her movement carrying on.