Children are still headed back to school around the country and I’ve been contemplating, whether to do a blog post about my favorite back to school must have product, or Knox’s favorite crockpot recipe. As I type this out, it makes me cringe with disgust, because there are so many more important things going on in this world to have our full focus on. Like the fact that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and for so many mama’s it’s a month of tears, because kids get cancer too.
Today, is the kick-off of “going gold” for Childhood Cancer Awareness and I would be re-missed if I neglected to honor it and all of the children that have had to battle this monster. I know this space all to well, because we lived it (more like Knox did). Sometimes, though, it’s just too much and I try to tune it out pretending, just like you, that it’s not happening to me or the children around me. It’s uncomfortable, scary, confusing and entirely too sad to talk about, but I would be doing every child, including my own, a disservice and that’s not fair. Knox, Fred and I, didn’t sign up to be a part of this exclusive club, but it’s our life and I am going to own it, share it, and fight for it.I have been crippled by fear with the belief, that individually, I can’t make a difference with my little tiny space on the internet. Yet, I gasped for air today, when Jesus laid it on my heart, making it clear that I am NOT alone and that I have to continue the fight. There are too many babies, children, and an army of mommy’s and daddy’s that need me, and I am doing what God laid heavily on my heart the night of July 3, 2013; to fight the golden crusade with fervor and persistence, with ALL of the other amazing organizations and family’s, that just want you to be aware and take action.
Over the next 30 day’s, I will continue to yearn to climb on top of The Empire State Building, protesting that they turn their lights on to “go gold” for our children. Two years in a row, they have refused to honor pediatric cancer, despite the press, petitions, and formal requests, yet choose to light up for other respected causes, because they just have too many requests (you can read more about that here, here and via my favorite site POPSUGAR.). Imagine how many people would become aware and the greater good they could do, if they just budgeted the dollars and said, “YES!” Too many politics and not enough love. Our children are in dire need of your love, because their your children, too.
I’ve written numerous blog posts like this one and this one and this one, spent countless amounts of hours telling Knox’s pediatric cancer story to strangers, dished out post, after post, after post on social media trying to make you listen to my son and family’s pain. In all honesty, I’m tired, weak, and have felt like my voice isn’t being heard and that maybe, I didn’t really have one to begin with. Then, today, just like I did during Knox’s treatment, I got a second wind.
Jesus picked me up, dusted me off, and said, you DO have a voice and it’s LOUD; now go and use it, because I gave it to you. You still have your child, so don’t be selfish and weak, instead go fight alongside of all of those strong and fearless mama’s, whose children have been taken from us unfairly and entirely too soon. I am only one voice for all of those sweet children, who have fought the brave and scary fight, and for that classroom full of children that will be diagnosed every single day this month. Putting that in real math, that’s about 1,300 children, who will find out that they are about to embark on this unfair journey.
I think a total of approximately 15,5000+ children per year is a large enough number for Big Pharma to stop being absent and hiding behind their claim that the market is too small for them to make enough money off of our children and pediatric cancer. We need them to start caring more about the almost 2,000 of those innocent faces, like my sweet friend’s children like Lake, Mary Elizabeth, Grant and Melissa, who have been taken from us, because of their lack of development of children-focused drugs. OUR CHILDREN DESERVE AND NEED MORE THAN ONLY 4% OF FUNDING.
I am only one person, but God has gracefully given me an army of mom’s that will fight all month in September, but every day after that until this job is done. Whether that be through grief, keeping their child’s memory alive, or to make sure no one else has to feel the pain our children and families have felt. I am honored to share their testimony of what September and Childhood Cancer Awareness month means to us:
Anna, Mama to Lake
September used to just be another month and the kick-off to football season, until my son was diagnosed with cancer. Now, it’s when I fight extra hard to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer in his memory. It’s more than “Going Gold.” It’s making sure that Lake is never forgotten and that maybe at some point, we will find a cure, so that no other family has to go through what ours did.Mandi, Mama to Mary Elizabeth
It means “action” to me now, rather than awareness. As something needs to change. I can’t bear to see any more innocent children suffer and die meaninglessly.June, Mama to Grant
September is more of an Action than an Awareness month for me. I am aware. September is a month of HOPE. HOPE that people will take action and give to find better treatments with less side effects, which eventually will lead to a cure. Hope is what anchors my soul.Tami, Mama to Audrey
September means hope for better treatments and hope for a cure. In that hope, it’s my greatest desire that I never attend another funeral due to childhood cancer ever again.Erika, Mama to Melissa
September is a special time to honor and remember children and families affected by these “rare” diseases. It’s a time to put in action and show your support.We all have a story to tell, but what really gets noticed is a sad one. Something terrible, that you could never imagine happening to you or your family, like our’s have endured. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is sad AND can happen to your’s, too, and it may even be tomorrow. Remember, every day it’s a classroom full of children that get diagnosed. We must create action that will in turn create change to finding a cure.
Please join us this month, even if it’s posting a picture of a child that is or has battled Pediatric Cancer, sharing a blog post on Facebook, donating to CURE childhood Cancer or Rally Foundation, go to an event or a participating retailer that’s donating in your area, run in a race, or get creative and start your own awareness! Anything, so that one more person knows that #gogold means pediatric cancer. If the Empire State Building isn’t going to help, then Crockpot “Empire” is going to step in and try to fulfill the definition of Empire in and of itself: an extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, formerly especially an emperor or empress! So, Emperors and Empresses, tell your Governor, employer and your neighbor, about the prevalence of pediatric cancer, so that one more corporation, individual or foundation can have the opportunity to generously donate to help find a cure for our children – our children where one is being diagnosed every two minutes.
And to paraphrase my fellow mama’s sentiments, this is not a rare disease, so please change your perspective and show your support by putting it into ACTION. We work extra hard to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer this month and it’s more than “Going Gold,” but keeping memories alive. None of us can bear to see any more innocent children suffer and die meaninglessly. Something needs to change, so we need you to listen and stand up for those that have no voice, so that we don’t have to attend one more child’s funeral, due to childhood cancer ever again. How are you going to take action?
From all of us mama’s:
September is tears. Help us spread the word, because kids get cancer, too.