Hoda Kotb Shines A Light on Sick Children


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Last week the "Today" show kicked off its "Shine A Light" campaign, which is a year-long effort of giving back to the community. For example, hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer will be working on a project that provides children with safe places to play. Weatherman, Al Roker will be doing something with the U.S.O and Natalie Morales says she'll run the Boston Marathon and will attach it to a certain cause.

And Hoda Kotb, co-host for the third hour of the show, will be focusing her efforts on helping kids with cancer. She'll be working with St. Jude's Children's hospital and says the decision came to her pretty easily. She forwarded a tweet from NBC about the campaign yesterday.

"I remember thinking, what's happening? My heart was breaking, and then five minutes later, I'm with these kids who were kids," she said. "These kids who were playing." Additionally, Kotb is a cancer survivor herself, which made her level of empathy that much greater. She said having the disease as an adult was scary enough, and she's unable to fathom how young children are able to deal with it.

"As a cancer survivor myself, I know what it feels like as a grownup, and what a struggle it is," she recalled. "But what I can't even fathom, even now, is what it feels like to be a kid, struggling with this grown-up disease, something they shouldn't have to deal with. And all you want to do is reach out and help and hug."

And although Kotb isn't a singer, she said that making a song and a music video with the children will be her way of shining a light, and she wants the tune to be a "big, uplifting anthem," for cancer patients or people struggling with any kind of disease, almost like Sara Bareilles' song "Brave." It'll be interesting to see what Kotb and the children eventually come up with.

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