No One Ever Expects a Child to get Cancer and Why That Must Change

My daughter got lucky.  She got one of the few pediatric cancers with some research behind it.  Let’s just digest that thought for a second.  Imagine thinking that about your child or to any child you know.  While my child has finished treatment and is doing well, those diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG), a tumor that infiltrates the brain stem, aren’t as lucky.  It is almost always fatal. It has hardly been researched and the treatment for it hasn’t changed in 30 years!

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Please take the time to stand up and demand that our leaders increase the funding for childhood cancer research.  Email your representatives asking them to support this cause!   There are also groups supporting research efforts and children who are in the midst of a fight where you can make contributions.

Here are some suggestions:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:  Founded by entertainer Danny Thomas, this treatment and research facility (the same one whose commercials I surfed by) sees patients regardless of their race, religion or ability to pay.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital:  I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the organization that saved my daughter’s life.  The research and care efforts taking place at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital were invaluable to my family during my daughter’s treatment.

The Jessie Rees Foundation:  Inspired by 12-year-old Jessie Rees, this amazing foundation fulfills something Jessie asked of her parents during her 10-month fight with two brain tumors, to help every child fighting cancer to never ever give up!

Unravel Pediatric Cancer:  This organization is mobilizing change agents.  UPC provides the information, tools, and support to those who want to help create change by spreading awareness about the realities of pediatric cancer and the devastating impact from the lack of funding.

If you need one more reason to get involved, consider this: seventy-one is the average years of life lost when a child dies of cancer.  What would you do with seventy-one years?

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