No, I'm not competing for a medal and I'm not shopping for jewelry. I'm talking about going gold for the kids. Kids like my Mikey. Kids who know all too much about the medical field at a very young age. Who have mediports, have surgeries, receive chemotherapy and radiation and lose their hair. Kids who have cancer.
I keep a Caring Bridge site for Mikey. I write EVERYTHING there. I am very open about what happens to him and what he goes through. I write about mediport accessing, chemo, vomit, exhaustion, walking.... it all goes on there. It has to... I am only one mom, I can only remember so much. It's my way of journaling so that I can look back and say things like, ' oh yeah, he had diarrhea at this time of the chemo cycle last month too'. It's also my way of telling everyone who cares about Mikey and our family what is going on so things don't get lost in translation. Calling and repeating what happens at a doctors appointment over and over and over again just doesn't do it. I call Mikey's Caring Bridge site a two-fer for me... a journal for me and a source of information for our family and friends.
On September 1st I posted about Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month on that Caring Bridge site. Although, lately it's been called Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Today is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. It's a day for the kids who have cancer to be recognized as actual children. Not just statistics. They aren't numbers or medical records. They are kids. One of them is mine. He's 4. He likes to play and laugh and sing. He can't go to school but he can flush a mediport line with the best of IV nurses. He is funny and has a big sister and a little brother. He is a computer whiz and loves math and the alphabet. He has sight words. He is small for his age but the fight he has in him rivals any professional boxer. He is 4 and he has cancer. And this is a month for him.
This month is about the kids! Things should be GOLD... there should be gold ribbons everywhere. There should be signs and fundraisers for the kids. It's not October yet. I don't want this to sound like I'm picking on breast cancer, I'm not at all. I know so many amazing warrior women who have had breast cancer. They are resilient, strong and wonderful women! There needs to be a cure for breast cancer. Breast cancer has it's month though, it's October. Right now, it's September. And September is for the kids!
I'd like to share some facts about Childhood Cancer:
** One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
**Each day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. That's over 12,000 a year.
**Each child in the U.S. diagnosed with cancer receives approximately one sixth of the federal research support allocated to each patient afflicted with AIDS. Yet in 2004, 48 new cases of pediatric AIDS were diagnosed versus more than 12,000 pediatric cancer cases.
** Cancer accounts for the greatest number of disease deaths of children in the United States and kills more children per year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.
**Children are treated with drugs that have been tested for and marketed toward adults and pharmaceutical companies don't test oncology drugs for children. Approximately half of the drugs used to treat children are at least 20 years old.
All cancer is horrible. It's horrific. I, in no way, shape or form, want to offend anyone by this posting. We need a cure for all cancer. Right now though, our kids need us. This is their month. Show your support for the kids! There are so many places that you can donate money to in support of research for a cure for these cancers that affect children... The St. Baldrick's Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital , Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Alex's Lemonade Stand, Glad to Give & Cookies for Kids Cancer just to name a few!