Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Dear Hearts and Gentle People"

In my lifetime I have personally known four victims of childhood cancer....

Julianne -- Leukemia -- Died at Age 11
Jenny -- Hodgkins Disease -- Died at Age 15
Stacy -- Brain Cancer -- Adult, Survivor, Cancer-Free 25+ years!!!
Maddie -- Hepatablastoma -- Age 9, Survivor, Cancer-Free 5+ years!!!

Four girls, 2 Survivors and 2 Fatalities == That is unacceptable, or at least it should be!!

Every day 46 children are diagnosed with one of the 12 kinds of Childhood Cancers. EVERY DAY!

For 9 of those kids the diagnosis is a death sentence. That is, 20% of those 46 children will die at some point as a direct result of that diagnosis.

Childhood Cancer is the leading cause of death of children from infancy to 20 years old.

The treatments and drugs aimed at children with cancer are, in and of themselves, toxic and debilitating with terrible side effects. Unbelievable as it might seem, there has only been ONE new drug developed for treating childhood cancers in the last 20 years!! ONE DRUG! Meanwhile, children continue to die!

If you are on Facebook you may have seen that there is an effort going on to gather people together who support asking Oprah Winfrey to do one of her programs on Childhood Cancer in an effort to increase awareness, increase funding and increase research for a cure! In the last three weeks, 26,700+ individuals have joined the cause. That's amazing, but there are millions of folks on Facebook, we need more to join up to support this. Attention must be paid and Oprah is powerful and influential enough to bring about great things. We need for her to do this because no one else has that same influence.

“Dear Hearts and Gentle People who populate my  bloggy world, PLEASE read through the posting below. If you want to support the effort, make mention of it in your blog!  Then go to the Facebook page link (below) and hit "Like" and "Share" to add yourself to those 27,000+ followers. Won’t you please help? We need more RESEARCH! We need a CURE! We need less TOXIC treatments! We need these kids to LIVE! We need YOUR HELP!

How can it be that childhood cancer is the NUMBER ONE disease killer of children under the age of 20, yet we hear almost NOTHING about it? It kills more children than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. There are no national telethons to bring awareness to it, no major celebrities that we automatically 'connect' to it and most people don't even know what a gold ribbon represents (yet we ALL know what a pink ribbon represents!)

Statistics bore me. They usually just go in one ear and out the other. Then in December of 2007 one of my best friends ended up in the emergency room of Children's Mercy Hospital. (see their story here: http://www.unitedweridekc.org/braden.html) Her 3-year old son, Braden, was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. Horrible odds - and if it relapses - no known cure. He DID relapse. By the Grace of God he is still with us today - but we don't know how much time he has left. His mom got diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer recently, too. She learned more in her first one-hour doctor's appointment about her breast cancer...than she has in almost THREE YEARS about Braden's cancer! She's thankful for all the research and treatment options available to her - as they will likely save her life. But doesn't Braden and all the other kids who have cancer deserve that same shot at life? Statistics on childhood cancer mean something to me now. (please go to the left-hand side of this page and down to Photos and look under "Wall Photos" where I have posted some VERY eye-opening statistics!)

Along this journey we have met MANY brave children, parents and families who have fought.... or are still fighting this awful disease. Their stories are HEARTBREAKING and their courage is AMAZING. Our mission is plain and simple. We're hoping that OPRAH, during her last season on air, will do a show on some of the heroes who are currently fighting and some who have lost the fight with this nasty disease. The world needs to hear about their courage, their fight, their families and their lack of treatment options because of the lack of funding and awareness. In doing this, we're hoping that a light can finally be shone on something that NEEDS to be seen!

Our hope is that through the power of social networking - we can show the world...and Oprah...how important this issue is! In that light - we are trying to use Facebook AND Twitter to make this happen!!! If you're on Twitter, we appeal to ask you to follow us and help us spread the word. There are 5 of us working toward this cause and you can find all 5 of our Twitter addresses at the top of this info! Follow our tweets and retweet every, single tweet you can!! On Facebook - we hope you share this with EVERY, SINGLE PERSON you know so we can grow this page FAST and show an AMAZING amount of support for this cause! There are many independent childhood cancer causes, pages, foundations, etc. We need to ALL band together now and focus on the BIG picture for childhood cancer in the same way the Susan G Komen Foundation did for breast cancer! We are stronger, collectively, as a GROUP....there is STRENGTH IN NUMBERS! If Facebook can get Betty White to host Saturday Night Live - let's see if it can get Oprah to spotlight childhood cancer!


  1. Thanks for posting this Mom! These kids need all the help they can get - so raising awareness is the first step. As we know, M-T-G is one of the luckiest ones, but so many kids are not. Please just take one minute, click "like" on the Oprah page and share it with everyone you know - you just might help to save a life!

  2. It's so upsetting that everyone doesn't just jump on the bandwagon! How can they NOT care?

  3. Look at you! what a pretty Fall background. Your blog looks so pretty. Because I have always lived very close to St. Jude's Children's Cancer Research Center, I am constantly reminded of the huge number of children and their families who deal with childhood cancer. I don't know if you've "met" Melanie at Bella Mella. Last year, her 12 year old son was diagnosed with cancer and was gone within months after the diagnosis. I just left her blog a few minutes ago, and although she has posted about other things, her current post was about her sadness, and it broke my heart. I will go to FB and click the "yes" for the Oprah show. Thank you for making me aware of this. laurie

  4. Working at Packard I saw so many families impacted with childhood cancer. My earliest memories of it are when my mom told me that Red Skelton's daughter died at age 10 of leukemia. No child survived that disease back then. Now 90% of them do. Like you said, how can people NOT care or contribute!


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