Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pediatric Cancer - Some Hard Truths

Well, I was going to post about the wonderful summer we've been having.  I have lots of amazing photos of Nana's visit, Sammy at camp, Jack being a baseball hero, and Brian having a blast at his birthday party.  Instead I am going to write about cancer....well, go figure, I thought I was done with that!  

Pediatric cancer kills an average of seven children a day in the US alone.  This weekend, at least 14 children died.  One of these children was called Cody.  He was a beautiful little boy who fought long and hard, but cancer won tonight as he slipped away.  Read about Cody here.

G is a friends of Sammy's who I have mentioned on numerous occasions.  He is now awaiting a bone marrow transplant which was postponed because it is becoming increasingly more difficult to ensure he is in remission after relapsing at the beginning of the year.  He is a fighter.  He turned eight yesterday.  He faces the battle for the second time and will have an unimaginable few months post-transplant IF he can get to that stage.

Then Sammy is another child who faced the beast.  He won.  So far.  Yet, as often happens, he now faces depression and sleepless nights as he fights the demons only a survivor has to face.  At eight years old, he is coming to terms with his own mortality, he questions why 'he' had to get cancer and waste over two years of his life?  He asks how cancer starts and why it happened to him?  Did something go wrong?  Did he do something wrong?  It has taken hours to get Sammy to go to bed..and I am not sure he is done yet.  He cannot rest and is melancholy even when fun is happening.  Inside his bright mind are thousands of memories eating away at him.  Right now he is reliving it all and we cannot chase the boogie man away.  

Let's face it...cancer cannot really be cured.  That is why Cody's parents grieve for him, G is fighting for his life, and Sammy gets blood drawn every month.  How does a child 'get over' that?  Why are 46 children diagnosed with cancer each day in the US and yet so little is done to find a cure?  

Be honest, did you know that a gold ribbon stood for?  Pediatric cancer.  Do you see them on the gear of football players like you see the pink ribbons?  No.  Childhood cancer is killing our children, tearing apart families, leaving eight year olds with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and most people do nothing.  Not because they are mean, but because they do not know.  

I have written about this many times before.  I have asked for donations (and will again).  But today I ask you one thing only.....if you have Face Book, Twitter, or any other social networks, or if you meet a friend and say hello....PLEASE tell them about childhood cancer.  Let them know the statistics 46/7 and spread the word.  

The happy moments will be shared...they are wonderful.  But tonight I grieve for a little boy I did not know except through FB.  But there are many more grieving families out there tonight.  This post is in memory of a beautiful young boy, in honor of G and Sammy, and the thousands of children fighting for their lives tonight.  xxx


  1. You are a brave, loving soul my friend. And that is why I love you so much!

    1. Love you too my friend. You have been along for this ride with me and kept me strong xxxx

  2. A powerful and moving post. I think of you often. In fact, I made a reference to you in this recent blog post

    And I mentioned you in my book coming out in October.

    Thank you for keeping us mindful of the sorrow and ongoing pain of childhood cancer.

    I don't know if I ever told you this, but one of my best friends died of cancer when I was 12. She was sick for over a year. I visited her in the hospital several times a week, and almost every day when she was at home. That experience shaped my thoughts about death at an early age, and also about telling the truth to kids. Back then the common wisdom was to shield children (and adults for that matter) from the truth. That was one of the hardest things about the time I spent with her. She had no opportunity to talk honestly about what was happening to her.

    Give Sammy a hug for me. And have someone give you a hug for me, too!

    1. Galen,
      Your post gave me an inner peace as you reminded me about the truth of life. As always, I am drawn to your blog when I feel most desperate and in need of guidance, truth, hope. I too lost a friend to leukemia. She was 13. I remember her wigs and the terrible pain she had walking. I remember she died after a year of battling. We shared the experience because we went to school together, but the community did not really know much about it.
      Sammy has reached a point where he wants to 'not be famous' or 'super' or 'the cancer kid' anymore. I respect that. I'm sure he will reach out to others once he is older. I, however, must keep shouting out! I owe it to every child I looked into the eyes of in CHAM, every family I told how sorry I was for their loss, every post from a friend telling me about a new angel with God.
      Thanks you, my friend, you help me so much.
      Katy xxx

    2. I understand Sammy's longing to be ordinary, meaning like everyone else, and not famous anymore. How normal. But we know he will always be extraordinary. Really, everyone in your family is. Thanks for your kind words. I'm always so pleased to connect with you.


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