As our family struggles minute by minute, hour by hour of every day with this great weight that affects us all, we forge ahead trying to spread awareness. Not a day goes by that Drake’s name doesn’t cross our lips. Cancer has changed our lives forever and as life goes on and moves forward there is still this indescribable hurt that remains. It’s like someone who loses an arm, leg or some other body part. They learn to work around the missing limb, they adapt and keep going; they “fake it till they make it” but it’s absence is always noticeable, always felt and things are never as they once were. Never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine that a campaign to spread the word about Childhood Cancer awareness would be such a struggle. Another struggle that our family will endure, but eventually we will prevail.
September is Childhood Cancer awareness month. It quietly rolls in every September, often getting muffled in the anticipation of the multitude of activities for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. However, slowly and steadily more and more people are determined to make this relatively low key gold ribbon recognition a thing of the past. I would be more than happy to make Childhood Cancer Awareness a distant memory.
Once people have been affected by pediatric cancer their eyes are opened and their hearts are changed forever. There are hundreds of grass root foundations around the country trying to do their part in raising awareness and raising funds for families and research. Though they all have different names and slightly different focus points, one thing remains concrete: they are trying to raise funds to support research in hopes of finding a cure for the number one killer of children in America today. For some families it is too late but it does not yield our desire to see change come about for the kids still fighting and the ones who have yet to begin.
Today as we go about our daily business there will be 46 families who will discover their child has cancer. Lives changed, hearts broken, new uncertainties. It doesn’t just happen to other people.
As we read the headlines there is no doubt that times are tough. Natural disasters galore, unemployment, political instability and the list goes on and on. And please don’t forget the important news segments we’ve heard more than once, “what is your fall nail polish color”? Sure we can look the other way and live in our bubbles happily going along with day to day life but that is not the essence of the American soul. It is not difficult to see the compassion pour out every time there is a great tragedy. That is what I love about our great nation. We experienced it first hand during our cancer battle with Drake, the meals, monetary donations, fund raisers and anything that was needed to keep going. It always solidified my hope and gratitude, I’m so glad I live in a community that is not afraid to reach out and make a difference.
Sadly, there are more children and families that I met in the hospital hallways during Drake’s fight that are counting on us to spread the awareness. Thanks to research and the wonderful, brilliant medical staff some of these kids are still here to fight another day but are still in need of a real cure.
Though it may be uncomfortable to step out of a comfort zone it is often times so rewarding to be able to say “I did it!” At the end of the day we will not be remembered by our good intentions but rather our deeds and actions.
We just have to keep going. There is no going back. We can’t “un-know” what we know about childhood cancer. We have to spend the time, make the effort, send the e-mails, we each have to DO SOMETHING because, yes, the subject is “Inconvenient”. Because we know it’s already the “Truth”.