Will You Be a "Thermometer" or "Thermostat" for Children's Cancer?

This is Michael

As we approach September and Children’s Cancer Awareness Month, we have started our awareness campaign and speaking tour to make as many presentations as we are able and to promote and speak to the issues and challenges facing kids diagnosed with cancer. We also do it to honor those unjustly and unnecessarily lost. 

This week I had the honor to be invited as a speaker for Cannonball Kids’ cancer to St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama. I want to thank St. Luke’s Headmaster, Mike Notaro, for inviting me to speak to the entire upper school at its morning assembly. I told the kids at St. Luke’s that research for children’s cancer is severely underfunded and that kids diagnosed with all 12 types of children’s cancer are largely ignored in the oncology world. I repeated to them what I have said here many times: Cancer in children is wrong, it is unjust, and it is unnecessary. I challenged them to be either a “thermometer” or a “thermostat,” and told them that they could be a “thermometer” and simply take note of what was said in the room. Or, they could be a “thermostat” and have the ability to make a change in the room, and ultimately in the world. I told them that regardless of the amount of money that could ever be raised for children’s cancer efforts, we would never know and we will never be able to predict which dollar will be the one that will ultimately bring us a cure, and that we can’t yet predict which dollar or what hour of effort will ultimately stop the pain and misery of cancer being diagnosed in children. 

After the presentation, several of the St. Luke’s kids came up to me and offered money directly out of their pockets, and while I didn’t accept it, I told them to go back to their homerooms and begin to make a difference. One boy, a sixth grader, came to me, shook my hand and said, “My goal is to raise $100,000 for children’s cancer research before I leave this school.” How inspiring! This is why we do what we do. Could we have been presenting to a child that will grow up and find a cure to cancer in children? It could happen.

Go Gold for September – support the efforts of Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation, CureSearch, Alex’s Lemonade Stand and St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and all those dedicated to ending the pain of cancer in children.