So it's official - I am signed up for a half marathon!
In TRUE Melissa Wiggins fashion I ran twice last week and think I can train for a half in four weeks. Yes, I'm addicted to insanity!
The truth is, no matter the pain, it won't compare to what kids with cancer face, so with that said I have written 13 names of kids who have deeply affected my LIFE in this cancer world. But for two, all of them are in Heaven. All of them taken too soon.
Mile One: Brooke
I dedicate this to you, Brooke. No one can compare to that big smile I met in Michigan. Cannon and I made paintings for you and then you gave me a beautiful flower for my hair. You fearlessly fought relapsed neuroblastoma and were taken at age 7. Your smile is sketched in my heart! You were and ARE special. I will run mile one for you.
Mile Two: Johnny
I dedicate this to you. I will run mile two hard for you, buddy. I met you while YOU fought so hard in the ICU. You fought so hard. The next time I saw you, you were in a coffin, no longer fighting so hard but resting in Heaven. Watching you being lowered into the ground at less than two years old - well... it is difficult to breathe typing this. You, my boy, are at the forefront of my brain when I am in DC fighting for change!!! Kisses for you, baby boy.
Mile Three: Talia
I dedicate this to you. The first person we ever met with neuroblastoma. I am not sure I have ever seen a more beautiful young girl in my life - makeup or no makeup. You were naturally gorgeous. You had a bright light - and funny, too. I got to pray over you in your room as you were in your last few days. Cannon was doing chemo across the hall from you and we would pray so hard for you and your family. I will never forget where I was when the news came you had gone to Heaven. I had to get out of the house and I cried for days! I will run mile three thinking of you and that day. I pray baby girl that Heaven is as beautiful as you are!
Mile Four: Kylie
Kylie, I will run mile four for you! A baby. You were taken as a baby. I just close my eyes and see you in that pink tutu and and the headband and pearls on your neck. You proved them wrong when so many times they told your mum you won't make it another day and YOU, baby - you said "yes I will!" I will run with the same determination as you, baby girl. I promise to try and make you and your beautiful family proud.
Mile Five: Alex
I first met you in the elevator when I was with Cannon and you were finishing your chemo and you told me Cannon was so cute. Your smile lit up the whole elevator! I congratulated you on your last chemo. Sadly, your cancer came back and took you to Heaven too soon. I will never forget meeting you and I will think of your smile as I run. I promise to make you proud. I hope Heaven is making you smile.
Mile Six: Jase
Sweet Jase. I met you when you and Cannon were doing transplant. Your mum and I would text to get each other through the tough nights. I remember your mum saying "they say he won't last long." Your mum and I would say "they don't know this kid." Your cancer kept coming back and you kept fighting back - longer than anyone could ever have expected. But you showed them, buddy!!! Jase, you changed me! You just did! Mile 6 is getting tough and when I get there, you, my friend will be in my mind - smiling with that huge smile and I will hear that giggle of yours. You, my friend, will forever be in MY heart.
Mile Seven: McKenze
I will never forget the last time I saw you. You had on the blue Cannonball shirt. I remember you smiling in the last room before you exited the floor. When I was in Philly with Cannon, your mum told me you had gone to Heaven and how you slept with your Cannonball shirt aside your bed. You were so beautiful. Bald never looked so beautiful, sweet girl. I was shocked when I heard you were in Heaven as the last time I saw you, you were so happy and healthy looking. It broke me, sweet girl. Just know on mile 7 I will think of you! I will think of you every time I train for this race. You motivate me. I am sorry cancer took you! So unfair.
Mile Eight: Sal
Sal, although I never got to meet you, I want you to know that as soon as Cannon was diagnosed, your mum was on the phone helping me navigate where and what type of treatment to get for my baby. I know you fought fearlessly. Your mum visited Cannon when he was sick in the ICU at the hospital in NY. She is so brave. It was hard for your mumma as you fought where Cannon did and yet she did it because she knew it would make YOU proud! Sal, your mum is the most beautiful soul and she yearns for you. I will run mile eight for you and for all the mums like your mum and parents who don't get to kiss their babies goodnight every night. I will make you proud!
Mile 9: Cannonball
Cannonball - my first born child. My first son. At age 20 months stage 4 cancer tried to take you from me. No matter what cancer left behind, it left behind what's most important - IT LEFT YOU!!! Mile 9 Cannon - I'm tired now and I want to go as fast as I can. I will do so remembering that MY boy, although a short time ago, you were on life support fighting to beat cancer. That on race day, my son - this day- you wait for Mumma at the finish line and I get to cuddle and kiss and high five my baby, unlike the other babies on this list, Cannon. So Mumma fights for them and I know someday YOU will, too!!
Mile Ten: Eddie
Eddie, you were my first experience of seeing the reality of kids' cancer. Relapsed neuroblastoma stole you at age 5. I remember meeting your mum in NYC. She was coming out of the Chapel and I was going in. You, my boy, were identical to my Cannon: diagnosed at age 2, same symptoms in the leg and issues in the knee clearing. Later the cancer came back in your knee and cancer stole you. A few months ago I saw your mumma in DC. She, like me, is fighting. She fights for you, baby boy. She spoke of you. You were the first handprint on my heart and I only prayed that YOU would be the last, that I couldn't watch one more child die. I wish that was a reality. I will work all my days so that families don't endure what you did and the heartache of your mum and dad and siblings. I put you on mile ten as I know this is when I will really, really struggle mentally and physically and I will think of you! I will make you proud.
Mile Eleven: Trevor
Trevor, when I met you it was in the radiology section at the hospital and your parents asked if Cannon was my son. Since then, sweet boy, you stole my heart. You may be 7 but you're so much wiser. Now you fight to live in Philly, away from your family. Relapsed cancer is not rare and I fight for you on this mile. Cannon and I pray every night for you! This mile is hard and I'm going to channel your fierce but also charming self as I run it.
Mile Twelve: Ava
Ava - it's simple: I love you. I love your mumma. You are special. Your mumma called me the first week Cannon was diagnosed and since then our families have bonded weekly and sometimes daily. From prayers to videos to each other to calls. You're special, Ava. I am sorry your neuroblastoma came back and now you're fighting to beat it again when you should be at school and playing dress-up. The hospital is not where a 6 year old should be! Period! Ava, it is almost the end of the race and I'm tired but I will run this whole mile for YOU. I will think of all the prayers you have done for Cannon and us for you. Cannon says "Pray for Aba" as he can't say Ava right. This one is for you! Going to finish Ava strong!
Mile Thirteen: Oscar
The hardest mile. Oscar. You. Where to start? No other death has changed me more. You changed me! Forever. It's been almost a year since you went to Heaven. But in this last mile I will not think of that. I will think of your grace to Cannon. Although Cannon couldn't talk and would always rub your bald head, you loved him. You helped him when he would fall down as you tried to play. Cannon still watches videos of you two. You were Cannon's first friend. You took him from this socially awkward little baby to a live, crazy, running around boy. You never got to hear him talk, but every night at prayer he now says your name. I love you, Oscar, and this last mile I will run as hard as I can in memory of you and Cannon's amazing bond. Forever 5, sweet angel.
Four weeks of training. December 5. Downtown Orlando.
I've already convinced my daughter Olivia to do it and my good friend Dr. Gregor Alexander. Who else will join Team CKc? No money needed, just support for the kids because AWARENESS = FUNDS = CURE.
If you want to join me on race day or come support me by doing a lot of yelling and screaming for these amazing kids, please follow this link:
I am not asking for donations, merely support in numbers to yell at me to speed it up.
Cuddle your babies this post-Halloween week. Some wish they could have just one last kiss and this is a hard time of year for them.
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I continue to be
Thankful For The Fight
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