Monday, September 13, 2010


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.

Everywhere I look I see pink. Pink ribbons everywhere. Signs saying that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The only problem is, it's not October... it's September. Breast Cancer Awareness Month isn't until October. September, and I'll openly admit once again that I didn't know this until Mikey was diagnosed with cancer, is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It's a month for the kids!

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.

** The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) funded research portfolio on 2009 was $3.1 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 22%, prostate cancer received 11%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers, combined received less than 3%.

**The American Cancer Society provides only 1.85% of their research dollars to Pediatric Cancer.... that's ALL 12 types of pediatric cancer combined in that 1.85%

** 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.

** Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 different categories.

** Overall, one out of every five children diagnosed with cancer dies. In some forms of cancer, as few as one out of every five children will live.

** Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet nearly 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis.

**Recent reports show that 2/3 of Pediatric Cancer survivors experience significant medical problems resulting from their original cancer and/or its treatment.


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!

Your support doesn't have to cost you a penny though! You can always...

**Tell everyone you know about how someone you know (or even someone you don't know!) how you, or someone you love, has been touched by childhood cancer.

**Offer to volunteer at a local childhood cancer center

**Let a family you know who has been touched by childhood cancer know that you are still there for them and thinking of them, care for them and are praying for them!

**Let the family of an angel know that they, and their angel, are still in your heart.