“I don’t believe that cancer comes from the sun.”


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Dear Janne,

At first I was concerned that sharing my thoughts about your latest Instagram posts…

I don’t believe that cancer comes from the sun. I believe that all, and I mean ALL every single dis-ease and physical injury I have is a manifestation of something emotional. I grew up as a kid stubbing my toe and having my mom holler over a blue green algae smoothie, “Look up what Louise Hay says about toe.” And I’d thumb through the inbox and read aloud “worrying about the small details of the future” and then sit and think about what I was worrying about. If you haven’t bought the book “How to heal your life” by Louise L Hay stop reading this and go order it now. At a point where I was feeling incredibly indecisive and not trusting my gut my teeth started to be sensitive and hurt. Looked up teeth and read “represents ability to be decisive.” ? The cause of depression in her book is feeling hopeless and trapped and being consumed by an anger that you do not believe you have a right to have. The way to break hopelessness is to realize we always have a choice and when we execute choices in our life we realize how powerful we are. Suicide is “seeing things in black and white”. I’ve worked with clients and have broken them out of situational depression due to feeling trapped in areas of their life—these choices freed them. So back to the big one, that’s triggering for ALL of us—cancer. Louise says, “Cancer is caused by deep hurt. Longstanding resentment. Deep secret or grief eating away at the self. Carrying hatreds.” So, I don’t believe we get cancer from the sun. I actually believe there’s so many sunscreens out there that probably could CAUSE cancer with the crap in them. I think cancer is emotional and here’s why I’m a little brown olive and am not getting it—I do my work emotionally. I’ve been actively working at my development for the last ten years in a BIG way. I analyze each inch of my soul curiously and am emotionally a walking talking open faucet sprinkling my bare spirit on this world. I don’t believe the sun causes cancer, and I know this is gonna tie some panties in some knots but it’s my truth. ?

A post shared by Janne Robinson (@jannerobinson) on

What if cancer wasn’t caused by the sun and it wasn’t a genetic disease? I believe that every dis-ease and injury is a physical manifestation of unresolved trauma and emotion. Louise L Hay says that cancer is caused by deep hurt. Longstanding resentment. Deep secret or grief eating away at the self. Carrying hatreds. So, what if it wasn’t genetic? I believe trauma is passed on generationally when we DON’T do our work AND that when we do our emotional work that it heals not only ourself but backwards and forwards—our mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, daughters, and sons. There are studies that prove in the womb and sperm as children we adopt trauma from our both our parents before we are born. (So, basically don’t worry about it—you were fucked before you even began). So what if cancer was emotional and what if instead of it being genetic, it was undealt with anger/guilt/resent passed on through generations? What if cancer we have now is from our great great great grandmother? And what if we had the ability to break the chain of cancer BY doing our emotional work to heal these wounds? Big thoughts right? Louise L Hays book “How to heal your life” focuses on the “Okay great it’s emotional, but now what? How the fuck do I heal it?” part. Louise talks about the healing forces of affirmations specifically geared towards the emotional beliefs that heal them. Each dis-ease has an affirmation. You’re meant to look at and reflect and do the therapy and self development work around pin pointing where you hold anger and resentments and letting them go. How beautiful that in doing our work, we free the generations behind and in front of us? Affirmation for cancer is: I lovingly forgive and release all of the past. I choose to fill my life with joy. I love and approve of myself.

A post shared by Janne Robinson (@jannerobinson) on


Fully discussing my beliefs around dis-ease and cancer being a physical manifestation of unresolved emotions tonight. What if cancer is an unconscious manifestation of unresolved emotions we bury? And maybe that our mom buried, or our great grandfather buried—that aren’t even ours? This is part lll: Abraham Hicks also commented to this in a podcast I listened to recently, she said that if we are aware something is harmful then it’s going to be more harmful to us because we believe that. She used the example of the quality of our food and health. (This mega challenged me as I’m a organic girl since I was a kid). She said if you don’t have the awareness that non organic food is bad for your body, and think it’s more or less the same nourishment—it likely won’t harm you. If you ARE aware of the causes of chemicals or pesticides and eating it, then that can harm you because you’re focusing on that thought. Apply that theory to cancer. If we are always thinking “Being in the sun causes cancer. He has cancer from the sun. It’s in my family—I’m bound to get it” how does that affect what we manifest? The power of our thoughts is everything—we are powerful beings, all we consume, feel, and think is heard and logged by our bodies. You can’t bury your shit deep enough for your body not to find it. Which is why the relationship with our hearts, bodies, brains and spirit are all equally important and worth investing in and understanding. Want more tools? Buy these books: “How to heal your life” by Louise L Hay. Listen to anything Abraham Hicks, every single day until you understand what the vortex is and are living in it. Buy “The 5 languages of love” by Gary Chapman. I’m sure there’s more I adore but start with that for some emotional intelligence and body intelligence. Side note: I understand how triggering talking about cancer being a choice is, and I need to speak to it anyway. I think looking at where it comes from and how to heal it a different route is incredibly empowering and I want it talked about and explored so the next generations can learn from us how to be their own healers. The work is just beginning.

A post shared by Janne Robinson (@jannerobinson) on


…and my concern about the personal beliefs that you have been using your platform to declare would in fact just cause your voice to be heard more loudly.

I realized I just simply cannot stay silent in this situation.

Janne, we wrote for elephant journal at the same time. I admired your roaring success due to your openness, your boldness when talking about sexuality and being a woman and encountering the world with vulnerable, open hearts. I appreciated your courage in sharing the story of the way you were shamed about getting an abortion. I liked your free spirit and how you spoke unashamedly about being young, broke, and a struggling artist.

You’re no longer struggling—you have an ever-expanding network. Your words struck a spark with many—not to mention your glorious wild hair and sun-kissed skin. Young women follow your posts en masse—and that is what concerns me.

You have a voice, and while you say that it’s only your responsibility to speak your truth, I wish that you’d consider the influence you have on others.

I wholeheartedly agree with your words in one of your poems that state, “I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent”—but hell, woman—I wish you’d read more science in your free time. You’re still young, Janne—and you most likely haven’t encountered cancer in your tanned body.  From previous posts you also imply that you’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness: or should I say that you’ve never “chosen” to experience a mental illness?

This time you’ve taken that once-charming ignorance and lack of experience too far.

Your latest instagram posts tell us that cancer is caused by harmful emotions—that depression and all other diseases are brought on by resentments, unhealed traumas, anger—and that they can be healed by manifesting positivity. That doing the emotional work will cure all physical ailments. You write about cancer being a choice. You state that childhood cancers are caused by the unhealed emotional issues of our ancestors.

I pondered how to approach this letter.

I skimmed over scientific research and resisted the urge to throw facts at you—there’s too many, and logic clearly isn’t prevailing here. You actually mention you think sunscreen causes cancer—after saying that all cancer stems from emotion.

I wholeheartedly agree that our emotions impact our physical health. Scientific research attests to that. Stress influences all kinds of diseases and ailments in our body—but so do many, many other things. Genetics, yes. Diet and our environment and the way cells mutate or don’t, by chance.

To suggest that cancer is caused by emotional issues, not knowing any individual’s story or medical history, is placing a huge and devastating burden of blame on the individual, for being afflicted with a disease that in no way did they cause.

To suggest that “doing the work” emotionally heals cancer is pure drivel.

How do you think “your truth”—coming from a young, healthy woman—impacts others, suffering from cancer, who may have done all the emotional work in the world and still be terminal?

How do you live with blaming the parents and grandparents of a child suffering from cancer? The child needs to do the work and emotionally heal from the damage their parents caused? There are no words to properly rebut such absolute nonsense.

I am hesitant to delve into the mental health component here, because the factors you are playing with are grave, and because I am beyond horrified at your naivety. It terrifies me that impressionable people, or those already in pain, are reading your words and judging themselves accordingly. Personally, I have been diagnosed with long-term chronic clinical depression, and I have done and do the emotional work. My brain chemistry, unfortunately, doesn’t change as a result of me digging deep, resolving past issues, and maintaining emotional health. I am blindsided several times a year by a bout of severe depression that has nothing to do with my situation or maintenance of my spiritual condition—it is a disease, plain and simple.

Your denial of that only perpetuates the ongoing stigma against mental health, and harms rather than helps those who face its challenges.

Please don’t suggest you know what causes mental illness or suicide. These things are in no way a choice. Suggesting that those who suffer from cancer or mental illness or any illness are the cause and control of these ailments, and have the absolute ability to cure themselves with their thoughts, is placing one hell of a horrific burden on sick people.

Janne, I beg of you for the sake of your followers to please, please, educate yourself on the scientific research behind cancer and mental illness, before you spew your fluffy thoughts into the world. Please remember that you have devoted and impressionable young women (and men) following you who will now wonder what is wrong with them emotionally if they develop an illness that has absolutely nothing to do with how they handle their feelings.

Advocate positivity, absolutely.

Advocate emotional health.

By all means, tell the world that our emotional health has an effect on our physical health.

But denying that the sun causes disease, telling people that their brain chemistry is all in their control, and giving us an affirmation to cure cancer? You’ve crossed dangerous lines here: and no, as you say it, your only responsibility is not just to speak your truth.

You are responsible to the young women you preach to to know your facts before you make such potentially dangerous and life-altering statements.

From one strong woman to another, Janne: you’ve spent too much time in the sun on a surfboard, and far too little time dedicated to learning science and moral responsibility.


See all of Janne’s old Elephant articles here.

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Keeley Milne

Keeley Milne is a lover of words, an intrepid creator, and strives to find contentment every day in the simplicity of her life. She is most content when with her son Liam, a pile of books, or in the woods—and best yet all three at once. She loves to run marathons in other countries, go on solo adventures, and drink a perfect cup of coffee. She is a voracious reader and loves to write, listen, and laugh. Keeley makes her home in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she is completing an English degree, going for runs in the coulees, and hugging Liam as much as she can, every day. You can connect with Keeley on her Facebook here, on Instagram, on Tumblr and at her website.

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Corey Sam Jun 8, 2018 12:54am

Thank you for writing this piece, it's important. Janne is so enamored by Louise Hay and her teachings, but a little bit of research shows that the woman was a fraud and a charlatan, too. https://medium.com/@peterfitzgerald/louise-hays-checkered-legacy-9f3638c20ee0

Ken Curtis Jun 5, 2018 5:06pm

Danielle Trauth-Jurman Of course there are environmental factors that allow cancers to develop, but in front of those are mental and emotional states that open the door to the issue in the first place. Keep reading and let your mind see the whole picture.

Ken Curtis Jun 4, 2018 6:24pm

Kristin Diversi - I guess you must be one of those scientists that knows everything there is to possibly know? Sad.

Ken Curtis Jun 4, 2018 6:20pm

Keeley Milne - you stated: " I also acknowledge my personal experience with mental illness and the fact that for many of us our brain chemistry is an issue that no amount of emotional work, or chakra work, or affirmations, can resolve." Again, you believe that science has given you the bottom line and that there's nothing more you can do. Brain chemicals are a two edged sword. The chemicals can effect your thinking, but the reverse is also true - your thinking can effect the chemicals in both an adverse way and in a positive one. I do not know what form of Affective Disorder you have been diagnosed with, but if it is a unipolar disorder then most definitely you can remedy it. But not likely if your mind is made up that science says otherwise. Bipolar disorders are a bit more dodgy with manic-depressives and rapid-cycling bipolar victims needing drug therapy. The greater danger exists in people that suffer needlessly because they have listened to someone else tell them that the 'scientists' know best and to not listen to anyone that says otherwise.

Ken Curtis Jun 4, 2018 6:08pm

Keeley Milne - What empirical evidence is there behind chemotherapy? Many mainstream doctors are now saying it is not effective - actually harmful. Going under the knife can be effective if the cancer has not gotten too far, but what is this empirical evidence that you refer to? As for choosing illness? I don't think anyone is suggesting that people willingly or knowingly choose mental or physical illness, but that they do choose modes of emotional responses to life that are very toxic without knowing the profound effects those emotional responses have on their health. So, yes they are choosing to have those emotional responses and in turn facilitating the onset of adverse reactions in the body. People need to be aware of these things and take control of their emotional and physical states instead of simply accepting what the medical community dishes out as fact.

Jennifer Cook Jun 4, 2018 5:49pm

DANGEROUS information? - lol - ok. If someone is going to be in danger from following an instagram post about chakra healing, they should deactivate their account. People who suffer from mental illness and cancer have the power to heal themselves. It's happened. So it's real. Just not in your head... I feel bad for your need to have SCIENCE to back up everything you believe. It's more disheartening that you're a yoga teacher - only sharing science, and not magic. SCIENCE isn't going to save humanity - the ego gets in the way. good luck with that though.

Keeley Milne Jun 4, 2018 5:39pm

Ken Curtis I have read and enjoy reading about quantum physics. I think the research is fascinating, and I also think we have much we can learn from Chinese Medicine. However, I'm going to go with what is backed by empirical evidence. Yes, science evolves all the time. Yes, emotional work is important to health. That in no way changes the facts that UV rays cause cancer, and cancer or mental illness are not choices.

Keeley Milne Jun 4, 2018 5:25pm

Janne is a public figure (as the blue checkmark beside her Instagram ID denotes and as she was happy to declare). If she is going to post dangerous ideas online, she should be fully prepared to accept the response that she gets. Janne isn't sending me a personal message about her beliefs - she's declaring them to influential followers. I didn't attack Janne in any way in my piece, and I don't understand why you feel a personal message to someone that is publicly declaring dangerous information to be truth necessary. I am not speaking "my truth" - I am speaking what we know to be true from science. Yes, science changes all the time and we learn new things - but some things are pretty clear, like the connections between the sun, and cancer. I'm a yoga teacher, of course I know about chakras and I value chakra work - however if diagnosed with cancer I'm not going to rely on chakra work to heal me. Absolutely, emotional work is important - and I acknowledge that whole-heartedly in my article. I also acknowledge my personal experience with mental illness and the fact that for many of us our brain chemistry is an issue that no amount of emotional work, or chakra work, or affirmations, can resolve. That's my personal experience, as well as SCIENCE. It's dangerous to make proclamations like Janne's to those that suffer from cancer or mental illness (or any other disease for that matter). These are vulnerable people who have not caused their own illness through unhealed emotional problems - do you understand the danger in telling people with clinical depression that it's their fault? I'm also not going to disregard the fact that the sun causes cancer - this is not a disputable thing. Chakras are considered a "subtle body" and are subjective - doing chakra work is not going to protect me from UV rays.

Jennifer Cook Jun 4, 2018 5:05pm

Keeley Milne She got her platform by being herself - and now that she has it - she should change the way she shares because it might affect others depression/anxiety? What if sharing her truth helps heal her own depression/anxiety or helps to encourage me to heal mine and share my truth? You are the reason so many of us are afraid to share our truth - because of judgement and fear of how others will perceive the information. You seem like just another critic, fearful of knowing that you have the power to heal your life. As I'm writing this, I realize I'm doing the same...just criticizing....so I'll finish up.. Professional help and chakra healing can compliment each other....I'm not saying that some people don't need professional assistance or medication also. But if you've had professional help and are still struggling so much, maybe you shouldn't be so skeptical to chakra work and could benefit from it. Which is kind of exciting isn't it?!? If you're still battling depression, I'd assume you'd find hope in this science of the energectic anatomy - I imagine it would feel good to realize you don't know everything and that more magic exists and that you could be a few books and years away from healing your own depression. You stated - "No amount of that is going to cure my depression. That's science. " That is YOUR choice, you are creating an inner environment where it is not possible to cure your depression, just by making that statement." Your mind doesn't believe in the healing of it, so it won't be able to happen. This isn't yoga, or meditation, or western medicine. This is the way the universe functions. Mental decisions like that, literally manifest disease.

Kristin Diversi Jun 4, 2018 4:30pm

What a load of horse shit. Shame on you, Jennifer.

Jennifer Cook Jun 4, 2018 1:55pm

Have you done chakra work Keeley? Janne couldn't possibly explain the extent of what she's referring to in a few instagram posts. But I have studied the work she is referring to and believe what she is saying, but it's hard to explain to someone who has not been informed about it. She doesn't mean to place blame. While at first, it can be depressing, if you keep doing the work, it is eventually empowering to realize you can heal yourself. I'm not going to list all the reasons why - but instead refer some books to you, in case you really are interested to understand where she's coming from. Science is constantly changing - this science has been around for thousands of years. The western world doesn't conduct research because it isn't billable... who would make $$ if we all learned to prevent cancer?? Louise Hay - How to heal your life Anodea Judith - Eastern Body, Western Mind - Wheels of Life - Chakra Yoga Also - if people are made to feel bad about themselves from Janne's instagram page, they are welcome to click the "unfollow" button and move on. Janne's information actually encourage me to attend a Chakra Workshop this weekend and I am GRATEFUL for Janne sharing HER truth, no matter how "young or uninformed" you think she is. Aren't we all still uninformed about some things? How old and informed are you that your opinion is the wisest?? Why is your truth more valid than hers? Because of the ALL books you've read?? I hope you had the guts to say this to Janne directly before posting this, since you know her personally. If you didn't - shame on you.

Pamela Domzalski Jun 3, 2018 7:50pm

Thank you for setting Janne straight, Keeley! Science shows that genetic mutations cause cancer, and that biggest cause of those is UV light. Humans have polluted the earth to where UV gets through to our skin in an unaturally designed way/ degree that the UV has become the major cause of cancers, and not just skin cancers but also lung, colon etc. because the UV causes genetic mutations!!! Janne is yound and speaking stupid things, although I'm sure she's an intelligent gal she should learn to hold her tongue on "beliefs" that are just plain false in the face of factual scientific evidence. I also beleiev beliefs and traumas and emotions from childhood and throughout our lives hurt our immune system and are a contributing factor to our inablity to fight diseases and cancers. But I do not believe they are the root cause. Pollution and disrespect of human beings to our environment and our own bodies, as a society manufacturing everything with processed chemical or chemically derived natural (still no good/ not natural) preservatives/ additives in foods etc... all that crap humans do is caused by the "sick: human state emotionally where people do not care about their environemtn or themselves, and the result is cancer from all the unaturally pollution we pour out onto this planet and into ourselves. My husband dided from lung cancer, and he was very healthy and happy... friends (hundreds of them) described him as pure joy and he had a good childhood, and together we had a good marraige and life. He was an active (surfing and cycling) 46 year old that like Janne had naturally tannable skin such that I am sure he skipped sunscreen a lot as a kid. I hope karma doesn't catch up with her for being so reckless and uninformed, and its never too late to become informed and start protecting yourself better even from the sun. Because it wasn't naturally designed that we get such unfiltered UV exposure from it. And it definitely causes cancers of all kinds. Being in my forties now, I've seen one after another of yound people in their 30's, 40s, 50s passing away from cancers. And my mutual friends and I agree it seems to always take the best people, the people who are not emotionally sick as she suggests. Very offensive for her to suggest such, and just plain ignorantly spoken.

Ken Curtis Jun 3, 2018 4:55am

Keeley Milne - actually you are quite incorrect. When quantum physics came along it turned much of the 'science' world upside down. Particle Wave Theory is an accepted fact in the science community. If you like reading science so much, then read up on Quantum Physics. The chinese have been developing non-surgical, non-drug treatments of cancer applying the precepts of Quantum Mechanics. You can see one of their procedures on Youtube in which a woman with inoperable bladder cancer is hooked up to a sonogram with which you can see the 3 inch tumor on her bladder and 3 minutes later it has disappeared. 'Science' is being altered all the time lately.

Keeley Milne Jun 2, 2018 11:21pm

Ken Curtis UV rays cause cancer, and aging, and has since long before we knew of the dangers. I can believe absolutely anything I want and it’s not going to alter science.

Anna Proestos Jun 2, 2018 9:29pm

Well written Keeley. I don't understand why one should feel they have the right to preach their beliefs so blatantly on a platform where so many impressionable teenages spend most of their time. Maybe when Janne becomes a mother and has a chance to raise that child to adulthood she may appreciate a little more how hard it is to do in today's world, with the plethora of conflicting information available, the food we eat, the medicines we are prescribed, there are many factors at play. Stop comparing life today to when we grew up, it's completely different! If one chooses to live in a bubble then do so in prviate please and unless you know exactly what you are talking about keep it to yourself and stick to posting those pretty pictures of yourself, your perfect life and your beautiful body for teenagers to compare their's to!

Ken Curtis Jun 2, 2018 7:40pm

Ignorant...? No. You are poorly informed.

Ken Curtis Jun 2, 2018 7:37pm

Are you fully aware of the fact that what you "believe" plays a huge role in your experience...? Probably not.

Kimberly Lo Jun 2, 2018 4:13pm

“What I feel” or “my experience” doesn’t trump facts. The sun does cause cancer and many people like my late father have genes that make them more susceptible to cancer.

Keeley Milne Jun 2, 2018 7:26am

Ken Curtis I'm sorry you felt my words attacked Janne - in no way did I intend that. I challenged her responsibility and obligations as a public figure to ensure she has a basis to the statements she's making. I feel like you're "one-upping" me with your ability to research and "overcome" your depression - believe me when I say that I have dealt with mental illness since I was 12, and I have most certainly read every piece of literature I could on the topic, as well as practice yoga, meditation, and exercise. Unfortunately my brain chemistry simply doesn't work the way yours may, or others. That's how mental illness works - we are all different. I have recurring bouts of depression that are a result of the way my brain is wired. I work hard on the emotional aspects of myself - that is, in fact, a huge part of my life. No amount of that is going to cure my depression. That's science. Some things are facts - UV rays from the sun do, in fact, cause cancer, and cancer and depression are not "choices." Nor can they be cured by affirmations, or, in many cases, doing all the emotional work in the world. I challenged, not attacked, Janne's opinions that go against science. I value science, certainly. I do value the medical community, as it has brought us great things - eradicated illnesses like smallpox, and given us penicillin. I did not trash Janne - I actually spoke of my admiration for much of her work, and her personality. I advocated for responsibility when one is a public figure, and maintaining a moral code of conduct. I don't, in any way, see that as trashing or attacking someone, and I don't think that science is an opinion.

Christina Binsmaier Jun 2, 2018 7:16am

Thank you! That was needed.

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Ken Curtis Jun 2, 2018 5:31am

Keeley Milne - I believe if you disagree with her thinking that communicating with her directly would be far better than discrediting and bashing her in a public forum. You stated that you are applying both cognitive and drug treatment to your depression, but that it blindsides you every year? If it is treated then why the recurrence? I suffered severe depression years ago and doctors recommended zoloft. I took one tablet and it made me so zoned out that I stopped, headed to the University library and started researching - even contacted a group of doctors that were in the midst of a research project. I learned about the use of my own brain to combat it's effects. I have no idea if my seratonin is still dodgy, but have not been bothered by it since. You seem to place a lot of value on the medical community, but my experience shows me that in a huge number of illnesses they only know how to hide the effects/symptoms of illnesses with drugs, but do nothing for the actual cure of the disease. I just think you have attacked Janne Robinson in an area where you have an opinion and she has a different one. Not something that calls for a full frontal trashing of someone.

Keeley Milne Jun 2, 2018 4:58am

Hi Ken, I appreciate your comments. Nowhere in my piece did I say that anything was untreatable - could you clarify what you are meaning? I didn’t mention anything untreatable. I most certainly am treated for my depression and I use both cognitive and drug-based therapies. I also don’t believe my opinions in any way are written in stone. I believe in science, and we constantly learn new things. I wrote that I agreed that positivity, emotional health, and certainly stressor all absolutely effect our physical health. But I’m sorry - I believe it is dangerous that she is sharing her bizarre beliefs that cancer is a choice and that all diseases can be healed through thought. These black and white statements cause stigmas, distress among the ill, self-blame and misinformation. Also, I’m quite a few years older than Janne and I’m unsure as to where you found your information on my life experience. I appreciate different opinions and healthy debate so thank you for commenting and reading.

Ken Curtis Jun 2, 2018 4:17am

It seems to me that you are being extremely judgemental. You are a bit too young and lacking in life experiences to dispense opinions written in stone. The inherent power of the mind is still not fully understood by the majority of people, but is quickly coming to the fore. There are two means of treating most depressions - one is drug based and the other is cognitive. So you err when you say that it is an untreatable disease. And there is growing evidence that chemotherapy treatments for cancer are actually often more harmful than effective. Most of what I have read of Janne's writing is telling people to take control of their own life situations - which I fully agree with.

Kimberly Lo Jun 2, 2018 2:32am

Thank you for this. Seriously. Thank you.