Back to Main Page


Below are a number of links to web-based content that is related in some way to the content of the book.


Ashley O'Rear, Paul and Susan O'Rear's first child and only daughter, died of cancer at age fourteen on November 24, 2001. She is the inspiration for the book Living With a Broken Heart. After her death, Paul created a web page to commemorate her life.

Nikki Stone is an Olympic gold medalist. At the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Nikki became America’s first-ever Olympic Champion in the sport of inverted aerial skiing. She is a best-selling author, a motivational speaker, and a corporate trainer. Nikki wrote the foreword to Living With a Broken Heart. On pages 117-123, Paul details Nikki's visit to Waxahachie—less than a week before Ashley's death—to bring Ashley an Olympic torch.

Larry Barber lost his wife Cindy and two-year-old daughter Katie in May 1993 as a result of injuries suffered in a traffic accident. He is a minister, a licensed professional counselor, and is certified in Thanatology (the specialized study of death, dying and bereavement). He serves as Director for GriefWorks, a children's grief support agency in Dallas, Texas. Larry has a blog entitled He wrote one of the endoresements for Living With a Broken Heart.

Alene Snodgrass shares her everyday, ordinary life with thousands at her blog, "Positively Alene". Through her writing she captures the hearts of her readers to seek, search, and serve. Through speaking and writing Alene challenges the core of each soul to reach out and serve more. Alene wrote one of the endoresements for Living With a Broken Heart.

Karen Taylor-Good is a Grammy-nominated and highly-awarded singer-songwriter from Nashville. She is the creative force behind songs such as “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” recorded by Patty Loveless, and “Not That Different” recorded by Collin Raye. Her song "Precious Child" has special meaning for Paul, Susan, and Justin O'Rear. Paul talks about the song on pages 116-117 of Living With a Broken Heart. Then, on pages 197-198, he shares the story of meeting Karen for lunch just outside Nashville shortly after Ashley died.

Places & Organizations

Brown Street Church of Christ in Waxahachie, Texas, is where Paul O'Rear serves as a minister. It was the College Street Church of Christ in 1997 when Ashley was first diagnosed with cancer. The congregation moved in 2010 from their church building on College Street to a new facility on Brown Street, resulting in the name change.

Rachel's Challenge is a non-profit organization that presents a series of student-empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and allay feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The organization was created by the family of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School masacre in Littleton, Colorado. Darrell Scott, Rachel's father and the Founder and President of Rachel's Challenge, wrote one of the endoresements for Living With a Broken Heart.

Paul talks about Rachel's Challenge on pages 124-126 of Living With a Broken Heart, in the section entitled "Start a Movement," in the chapter entitled "Grieve in Your Own Way."

GriefWorks is a children's grief support agency located in Dallas, Texas. Larry Barber, who wrote one of the endoresements for Living With a Broken Heart, serves as the agency's Director.

Moral Courage Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire young people to live up to the moral standards of the Bible, and to encourage young people to courageously promote those moral values in our society. The foundation was born from an idea suggested by Dean Kilmer in his book, Igniting the Moral Courage of America. Dean, who serves as Senior Advisor to the foundation, wrote one of the endoresements for Living With a Broken Heart. Paul O'Rear serves on the foundation's Advisory Board.

Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, is the hospital that cared for Ashley throughout her cancer struggle.

Loveland Ski Area in Colorado was where the O'Rears were when Ashley's symptoms began to escalate, leading to her diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. Loveland is mentioned on pages 35-36 of Living With a Broken Heart.

Children's Cancer Fund is a non-profit organization based in Dallas that raises funds to benefit pediatric cancer research and treatment programs in North Texas. Each year they sponsor a luncheon and fashion show to raise funds for cancer research at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. Ashley O'Rear participated in the fashion show the last four years of her life. Children's Cancer Fund is mentioned on pages 60-61 and 208 of Living With a Broken Heart.

Timothy Hill Children's Ranch. On pages 92-93, Paul mentions this ranch that was built by the Hill Family in memory of little Timmy, who had a dream to "build a place where troubled kids could live, be loved, feel safe, and have wide open spaces to ride horses."

The Briarpatch is a small, local boutique gift shop located in Waxahachie, Texas, so packed full of every imaginable collectible and unique gift and silly whatnot that there is barely room to move through the shop! Ashley adored Kirsti, the shop’s owner, who always had something new to show her. A trip to the Briarpatch was like a field trip to heaven for Ashley. The Briarpatch is mentioned on page 107 of Living With a Broken Heart.

Tiny Talk is a group of miniaturists from all over the world who specialize in creating handcraft artworks - miniatures, dollhouse goodies, handmade jewelery wonders and handmade artcrafts. In August of 1998, they contacted Paul by e-mail to inform him that their group had decided to provide Ashley with a handmade dollhouse, complete with all kinds of miniatures with which to furnish and decorate the house. For about a month, packages arrived daily from all over the country containing miniatures. Then in mid-September, the dollhouse itself arrived. Ashley absolutely loved her dollhouse, and often spent hours changing out the furnishings in the rooms, or simply looking through all the miniatures and playing with them. Paul mentions the dollhouse and miniatures on page 107 of Living With a Broken Heart. [UPDATE: Tiny Talk is no longer a functioning group, so there is no website with which to link. This paragraph has been retained because their generosity is noteworthy.]

The Compassionate Friends is a nation-wide support group designed to provide friendship, understanding, and hope to those who are grieving the loss of a child. There are chapters in all 50 states. Paul mentions The Compassionate Friends on pages 110, 116, and 128 of Living With a Broken Heart.

The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors provides healing support for people coping with the shock, excruciating grief and complex emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one to suicide. The Alliance of Hope is mentioned on page 110 of Living With a Broken Heart.

The Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer provides needy families, with children in the last stages of terminal cancer, assistance in creating everlasting memories. The foundation made all the arrangements for Nikki Stone to visit the O'Rear family and bring Ashley her Olympic torch. Paul mentions the Clayton Dabney Foundation and the visit from Nikki Stone on pages 117-123 of Living With a Broken Heart.

The Gregg Pearson Foundation exists to provide financial, spiritual, and emotional support to families and friends who are dealing with cancer and other acute illnesses. Paul mentions the foundation on pages 123-124 of Living With a Broken Heart.

The Jester & Pharley Phund is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping ill children, especially those with cancer. Paul mentions the Jester & Pharley Phund on page 124 of Living With a Broken Heart.


When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out, by Nikki Stone. What if you could learn the secrets of success from an Olympian? A Nobel Prize winner? A Fortune 500 CEO? Along with anecdotes from her own dramatic journey, Olympic gold medalist Nikki Stone has compiled a treasure trove of compelling stories to illustrate each step on the path to success. When Turtles Fly spells out the winning philosophy of the Turtle Effect. First get in touch with your passion, your "soft inside." Develop a hard shell, then stick your neck out...and go for gold! On page 260 of Nikki's book, she mentions her trip to Waxahachie to visit Ashley, and writes about what an enormous inspiration Ashley has been in her life. Nikki wrote the foreword to Living With a Broken Heart.

Rachel's Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martryr Rachel Scott, by Beth Nimmo and Darell Scott, with Steve Rabey. "Rachel's Tears is a moving meditation on the life, death, and faith of Rachel as seen through the eyes of her parents and through writings and drawings from her journals. Her parents also offer a spiritual perspective on the Columbine tragedy and provide a vision of hope for preventing youth violence across the nation" (from the back cover of the book). Darrell Scott wrote one of the endorsements for Living With a Broken Heart.

Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise, by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT. Larry's book helps mourners, caregivers, and helping professionals understand that: grief is the expression of love for the person who has died, healthy grief embraces the loss experience, and maintaining a relationship with the person who has died is healthy and healing. It also helps the griever understand that there is hope for today and the future, and promise that the resources needed to get through grief are available. Larry wrote one of the endorsements for Living With a Broken Heart.

On pages 111-112 of Living With a Broken Heart, Paul mentions that Larry's book contains many helpful insights for those who decide to seek professional grief counseling or join a grief support group, as well as many practical suggestions for dealing with grief.

Graffiti: scribbles from different sides of the street, by Alene Snodgrass. Written by a homeless man and a suburban girl, this short book follows the journey of two people who are very different. Graffiti is a message about how we all have so much in common no matter what side of the street we live on. Nobody likes being different, but it is in that difference that our heart’s graffiti is scribbled for the world to see. Alene wrote one of the endorsements for Living With a Broken Heart.

Igniting the Moral Courage of America: Six Ways You Can Inspire People To Live With Integrity, by Dean Kilmer. In this book, Dean Kilmer documents the moral problems facing our country and presents the long-term solutions for these destructive behaviors. We are reminded that, while life's problems are extremely complex, the solutions are simple. The solutions are found when one person allows the power of God to work in his or her life! Dean wrote one of the endorsements for Living With a Broken Heart.

Graduation to Glory, by Fern Hill. On May 11, 1972, a tragic bicycle-truck accident ended Timothy Hill's life at the young age of 13. His mother, wanting a way to commemorate his life, wrote this book. It recounts Timothy's altruistic years and his visionary dream of opening up a ranch for troubled children. Paul mentions Timothy's story on pages 92-93 of Living With a Broken Heart.

The Jester Has Lost His Jingle, by David Saltzman. In this charming tale, the Jester awakes one morning to find laughter missing in his kingdom and he and his helpmate, Pharley, set off on a quest to find it. His tireless search for laughter brings the Jester to a hospital in the city, to the room of a little girl who has a tumor. The Jester helps the little girl find her laughter again, and soon the laughter spreads all the way back to the kingdom. They ultimately discover that not only can laughter redeem a weary world, it also can provide the best tonic for anyone facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Paul mentions The Jester on pages 114-115 of Living With a Broken Heart.

Life and Other Lies, by John Wood. This book is about the Wood family's journey through a 5-1/2 year encounter with childhood cancer. It is about their precious daughter Kelsey's valiant stand against a demeaning and debilitating disease, and the family's struggle to understand and to cope with her physical, spiritual, and emotional pain. It is also about recovery and renewed hope. Paul mentions Kelsey's cancer struggle and John's book on page 115 of Living With a Broken Heart.

Other Resources

Managing Grief Through Journal Writing (PDF) is an excellent article, written by Kathleen Adams of the Center for Journal Therapy, giving twelve practical suggestions to help you get started with grief journaling.

Cancer Kids website was founded in 1997 by Paul O'Rear to help children with cancer tell their stories to the world, and to celebrate the memories of children who lost their battle to cancer. The website was retired on September 15, 2013. An archived version of the site still exists to help preserve the stories and memories of these brave kids. Paul mentions Cancer Kids on page 116 of Living With a Broken Heart.