I've been somewhat off my game lately, with all the surgery stuff going on. But I have to remind everyone that it's that time again. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. There's so much that floods into my mind, so much I could pour out on these pages about the unfairness, the unjustness, the pure madness inflicted by this beast. I don't even know where I would begin. Those of you who have followed for a while already know how I feel about the subject of childhood cancer.
I hate it. I hate it on a primal level that words cannot adequately express.
I emailed a friend of mine last night to share a story. An amazing lady that i've mention several times before, Mimi Avery. Her son Julian died after 10 months fighting a brain tumor in January 2008. He was four and all he wanted was simply to be five, to go to kindergarten. He never got that chance. They are from Texas but Julian's Make-A-Wish trip brought them to Florida to visit Sea World and Disney World. On the first day of their trip, when they arrived from the airport, Juju was rushed to Arnold Palmer Childrens Hospital after suffering seizures on the plane. He and his family spent time in the Special Care Unit, room 2038 to be exact. The room right next to where V just spent the past week. For some reason all week I was drawn to that room, I didn't even know that it was "Juju's room". But all week I felt this undeniable urge to just "be" in that room whenever I had the chance, I couldn't understand it. It just felt familiar, comforting almost. Once I realized what room it was after we came home, I had to tell Mimi. How incredible, and in the same moment, how heartbreaking.
It's difficult to imagine that such a beautiful child spent the beginning of his "final days" in that room. Soon to have his precious life stolen by the beast. www.carepages.com/carepages/JuliansWorld.
The feelings defy description.
Another sweet friend, Jessica Easley. A precocious 10 year old stricken with rhabdomyosarcoma, who lost one of her legs to the disease several years ago. Thought she had finished her fight, only to learn a few days ago, that as she has been trying to recapture the lost days of her youth, the beast has been overtaking her. Today she is leaving the hospital, going home on hospice. www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessicaeasley.
There are so many more, too many.
I'm not one to take the high road when it comes to these children.
It just plain isn't fair. I don't know what else to say.
Except that childhood cancer kills more children every year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma, and aids combined.
EVERY DAY.. 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer.
Currently there are between 30 to 40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S.
In the U.S. almost 3,000 children will die from cancer this year.
In the last two decades only ONE new drug has been approved for the treatment of childhood cancer.
As a nation, we spend over $14 BILLION dollars per year on the space program, but only $35 Million dollars per year on childhood cancer research.
... the last thought to ponder as you kiss your kids goodnight ...
Right now, this second, somewhere in America, there are 7 children fighting for their lives who will not live to see tomorrow.
Pass it on, spread the word, wear a gold ribbon for all of those who are fighting.. and for those who have fought the beast and now rest safely in the arms of Jesus.