So, I have had an unsettling month. As most of you know, I lost 2 members of my extended family within 12 days last month, and I am starting into September with an empty cup on the one hand and a passion-filled heart on the other.
From my heart,
It’s unsettling to me that there continues to be a general lack of awareness with regard to the harsh reality, the lived experience of childhood cancer.
It’s unsettling to me that we as a culture claim that our children are a protected population, yet federal funding of childhood cancer research stands at less than 4% of the $5.74B NCI budget.
It’s unsettling to me that the treatments of today are essentially identical to the treatment I received in 1978.
It’s unsettling to me that “they” cured my cancer, yet couldn’t preserve my lung function or save my heart 30 years after the fact.
It’s unsettling to me that the incidence of late effects of cancer treatment is increasing, yet the research that’s being done is primarily descriptive with very little being done to address effective ways to optimize the health and wellbeing of survivors leaving us to seriously survive survivorship.
It’s unsettling to me that Pink October has already begun to eclipse the Gold of September.
Finally, it’s unsettling to me how difficult it is to evoke a response to a battle cry on behalf of our children. Action on our part should be a matter of great intention, a question of how can we contribute as we seek to reclaim decades, lifetimes.
May we all be ever mindful that it’s always ‘someone else’ until one day it’s not, it’s your child.
Please give, and give generously, of your time, your resources to raise the cause of childhood cancer: this day, every day!