This is Michael. Today is Day 2 of Childhood cancer Awareness Month and Melissa and I have so much to be thankful for. Cannon reached 100 days NED this past Friday, we are in Melissa's homeland of Scotland with Cannon to celebrate his birthday and his NED status and to see our family that we have missed during the 16 months of horrible treatment that Cannon endured to get to where he is today. We are thankful to our God and to all those that have prayed for our son; we are thankful for our children and our family that has helped us so much, and we are thankful to all of our many friends and those of you we have never met (yet) who have supported us and continue to help our efforts to improve the lives of children with cancer and ultimately end the madness and destruction of children's cancer.
Some ask or question why Melissa and I are so "full on" and "in your face" about pediatric cancer; in other words, why do we advocate so strongly and try never to soft pedal the issue or put a happy face on it. Answer: It is wrong. Period. It is morally unjust. And regardless of what others would say that advocating for one type of cancer is equivalent to advocating "against" another, our response will be the same: we will never back away from standing up for our child or standing up for kids with cancer--- tell me anything you like about numbers, how "rare" children's cancer is or put any smile, face paint or balloons and teddy bears in any picture you like, but children's cancer is horrific pain, continuous sickness, needles, iv's, etc and pure human suffering by the least, most vulnerable and smallest of us... and it is wrong.
I have told others personally, and I will state it here again, and I hope anyone who reads this holds me to it and reminds me if I ever appear to slip up or slow down--- I will spend the rest of my life fighting for these kids with cancer; the near barbaric treatment and daily pain and misery that innocent children suffer resulting from cancer is as unjust a cause as any I have known, seen or experienced. I challenge anyone to show me more suffering that is unjust and unnecessary and avoidable in fully developed countries with so-called modern medicine and medical research.
Families, charities and research groups across the United States observe September as Childhood cancer Awareness Month. Let's do the job here in the US and the UK, but spread the word to other parts of the world. A diagnosis of cancer turns the lives of the entire family upside down. The objective of Childhood cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and - importantly - to help raise funds for research and family support. I mentioned in my last post that I will set out one fact about kids' cancer every day for the month of September. If anyone would like the full list of facts that I will be posting daily, just email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to forward them to you.
In 2012, September was proclaimed Childhood cancer Awareness month across the US, by stating, in part: "The causes of pediatric cancer are still largely unknown, and though new discoveries are resulting in new treatments, this heartbreaking disease continues to scar families and communities in ways that may never fully heal. This month, we remember the young lives taken too soon, stand with the families facing childhood cancer today, and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness."
Awareness Fact for today: The cancers that affect adults are well known--- breast, lung, prostate, skin, colon, pancreas, etc. Other than one cancer shared with adults (leukemia), how many of us had heard or know about the cancers suffered by kids--- neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilm's tumor, osteosarcoma, lymphoma, medullablastoma, retinoblastoma and others? There are 12 primary forms of cancers known only in children, and over 100 subsets of those 12 types. Child cancers are not linked to lifestyle factors (example: smoking) or environmental factors like many (but not all) adult cancers, and little can be done to prevent them. This is why relapse of cancer is so maddening and frustrating to the children's cancer world, especially the families: so little research has revealed what causes these cancers in children to start, so there is no way to know how to prevent them from returning even if a child were to reach NED status.
EVERY 3 MINUTES in this world we live in, a child is diagnosed with cancer. And not a person on the planet knows what will have caused it for each and every child. Every 3 minutes. Not acceptable.
Please help Melissa and me and all the families in this fight stop this. Raise awareness, tell your government at local, state and federal levels to take up something really worthwhile and help us fight childhood cancer. Thank you and I will be back tomorrow with another fact.
For Cannon and all the kids who fight every day, stand up for children with cancer and Go Gold in September. Stand up for kids. STAND UP.
P.S. Don't forget about the short video The Truth 365. Watch it again for Childhood cancer Awareness Month and send it to others. www.thetruth365.org. I am not big on asking others to give up their time personally or with their families, but I promise you that watching this video in its entirety may change your life.