Childhood Cancer Awareness is September
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness is February
Down syndrome Awareness is October
And rounding out the awareness months, unless I forgot one, which is entirely possible, lastly we have Epilepsy Awareness is November.
Geesh, could almost make a rainbow with those ribbons couldn't we? And I certainly would not be finding myself void of topics and information to pass along daily. But the truth is, who would want to read all that? And would I really want to write about all those things, all the time? Nope. I sure wouldn't. Certainly would not be fair to Zoey when we have always believed that those diagnoses, anyone of them, do not and will not define our little love. She is so much more then all of them.
But certain things cannot be ignored. Like for instance, when I read all those diagnoses, I am struck by the magnitude of each one of them and how hard she has had to fight and continues to fight daily and how unfair much of it has been. But if I acknowledge all of that, I must also acknowledge the gift of her mere existence today, despite it all. The odds were stacked against her from the get go. But here she is, in all of her beautiful glory, saying, " Really, is that all you got?"
So, I have a point, I really do. And it is this. I stand in awe of my daughter. I recognize each one of these diagnoses/ disorders and the challenges that have come with them. Separate they are overwhelming. Combined they are mindblowing. But a few of them, two specifically, changed me irrevocably.
September is "Childhood Cancer Awareness Month". And this one, this one I have no idea where to begin. Most of my feelings on our life as we were inaugurated into the world of pediatric cancer, can be found in my blog archives from October 2008 through June 2009, as we basically lived at CHLA as Zoey fought her way to cure. And since those days, my blog has been graced by the faces of far too many of our fighter friends, waging war against something that most could never comprehend. We have lost many of our friends. We have been schooled in types of cancer, that before Zoey's diagnoses, we had never even heard of: Neuroblastoma, Medulloblastoma. Whilm's tumor, various forms of leukemia and the list goes on and on.
All I know is how much I HATE cancer. I have a friend, who dislikes that word 'hate', but I have to tell you, I really do hate cancer. It is an insidious disease whose effects ripple into every facet of ones life. I have seen more death and dying then I could have ever imagined. I have seen things that I wish no one should ever have to glimpse. I have watched parents stand by helplessly as they cruelly have to relinquish control of their child's body to something that often cannot be controlled. I have stood by helplessly watching not only my very own child but a floor full of children from infant to young adults, be assaulted by chemicals so harsh and brutal that you stand in utter disbelief that those same chemicals are being pumped into human bodies. But you allow it to be done because it begins and ends with the love of your child and the hope that they will reach cure.
*Childhood cancers are the #1 disease killer of children
*One in every 300 children will develop cancer before age 10
*One out of every five children diagnosed with cancer dies.
Sobering statistics. Statistics that have got change. Spread the word this month. Become a Bone Marrow Donor if you are able. Its simple and easy and you just could save a life. How many people in their lives can say that?
I have only barely skimmed the surface of all that I could share but I will leave you with that and ask you, what will you do this month to join the monumental fight against childhood cancer? Zoey thinks if she did all that she did to make it to this day, you can certainly do something. Anything. Just do it.