Post by Michael Wiggins
This is Michael. Day 3 of Childhood cancer Awareness Month, and I am just going to jump right into it. Most of you know that Melissa and I and the members of CKc’s board are not shy when it comes to the realities of childhood cancer. We make it a point and it is our goal to show cancer in children for exactly what it is - a vicious monster of destruction to the child, the family and our society. Some would criticize our efforts for showing pictures of Cannon or other children in the worst moments while in treatment or while suffering the pain that so horribly is experienced by these kids. Others have said that my descriptions of the suffering of children with cancer is “too much” and they have left us or asked me to “tone it down”. Let me just stand up for children with cancer right now and say: NO and NO APOLOGY.
Why do we say so?
Because children diagnosed with cancer die. Plain and simple. And those that don’t, suffer lifelong side effects. And all of them experience pain, sickness and suffering of a kind hardly any of us in all of our years of adulthood have ever known.
Why is this? Antiquated treatments, lack of treatments, chemo and other therapies developed for adult cancers, stem cell and bone marrow transplants procedures that would kill most adults and general lack of understanding of why or how cancers are found in children. Not acceptable.
Did you know that the “survival rate” for children diagnosed with cancer is 80%? Heard that before? Visit some of the larger, well known institution websites and see this fact. Truth is and in fact, it is misleading AT BEST. The truth is that “survival” is measured at 5 years, so that any child that lives for 5 years after being diagnosed is considered a “survivor”. But wait… what about the child diagnosed at age 2 or 3 or 5 that lives to 8 or 10 or 12 and then relapses (because no one knows how to prevent relapse in children’s cancers) and then dies? Well, they are still considered a “survivor” and counted in these statistics... BUT THEY ARE NOT HERE. And the family grieves a lifetime and society is the loser, not to mention the fact that the child never experienced life as all of us have known it.
Wrong. Unjust. Unnecessary. CKc is dedicated to funding research so that someday the word “survival” means what it says… to a normal life.