The Blimp and Lifelong Side Effects
This is Michael. First, some very good news. This morning, I received confirmation from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company that it will again this year run a scrolling message on the Goodyear Blimp (both the California and Florida airships) promoting September as Childhood cancer Awareness Month. Cannon has a very good contingent of friends and supporters at Goodyear in Akron, Ohio, and they have followed him and other children with cancer for a long time. I have worked with the corporate counsel and the Blimp/airship team to have this message scrolled from the two Blimps: "cancer is the #1 killer of children by disease in the U.S. September is Childhood cancer Awareness Month. For more information, go to www.curesearch.org" The Goodyear team is set to put this up starting this week and send along photos and video. Go to Goodyear's web and Facebook sites in the near future to see more about this. We will post the video and photos as well, as soon as they are received. Thank you, Paula Christ, Doug Grassian, Eddie Ogden and Scott Baughman at Goodyear... all champions for children with cancer.
Today is Tuesday, and Cannon is headed back to the clinic at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children here in Orlando. Today is a regular clinic visit to check his blood counts and urine markers to ensure that he remains healthy, free of infection and continuing along the path, upward and onward of No Evidence of Disease (NED). Melissa and I don't think of it much (because it is just part of usual routine for kids with cancer) but I have described before the different types of hell that children have to endure when they treat for cancer. For example, it is the littlest thing to us (now), but how many out there would like to have a 3/4" or longer needle stuck in the chest of their child everytime blood was needed, or when any type of drug had to be administered or chemotherapy delivered? I am attaching a borrowed picture today of the typical "port needle". This is a picture of the type of needle that is stuck into Cannon's chest port every time he goes to clinic, and every time he has been hospitalized for treatment, and in every child with a port that treats for cancer. Look nice? How many of us would endure it once, let alone hundreds of times, over and over? Are kids with cancer my heroes? You bet.
Childhood cancer Awareness Fact of the Day: Three out of five children who survive children’s cancer suffer long term or late side effects such as infertility, heart failure, heart damage, secondary cancer, lung damage, hearing loss and or growth defects.
I also attach today a graphic that illustrates the side effects that children who treat for cancer will suffer, if they survive the cancer itself, and if they survive the harshness of the treatment. Rhetorical question: if these were the side effects for the next 20 years of any or most types of adult treatments (for whatever condition one can think of), would society allow it? Would the public be willing to say "Oh well, that's just the price you have to pay to try to get well or take a shot at maybe being cured? I think not. If these were the side effects for treatments for adult diseases, there would be public outcry and demand for better. Why not for our children???? Because cancer in children is too "rare" or "there simply aren't enough of them"???? Sadness.
Saint Peregrine, JoeJoe, Eddie, Nicholas, Bella, Talia, Cole, Erin, Gabriella, Tommy, Addison, Abigail, Christopher, Jayson, Landon, Salvatore, Zoe, Brooke, Laney and all the angels and saints, please pray for Cannon, Patrick, Ethan, Princeton, Ava, Prestun, Sabrina, Sophia, Sophie, Andy, Calin, Parker, Ayven, Sebastian, Ellen, Ella, Austin, Braden, Nora, Nate, Theo, Maggie, Jacob, Gage, Jace, Makayla, Angel and all those who suffer from cancer.