Monday, September 23, 2013

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

As September winds down I can't help but feel frustrated and a little sad.  September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Just one month that is meant to support ALL of the childhood cancers.  Leukemia, Neuroblastoma, Lymphoma, Ewing sarcoma, Hodgkin disease, Retinoblastoma....and too many others.  And we are supposed to somehow bring awareness to all these cancers in a single month.  

October is coming soon.  And the country will focus on breast cancer awareness.  And that's fantastic!  People will dress in pink and wear pink ribbons and participate in pink runs and walks.  Football teams will wear pink jerseys.  I'm pretty sure the White House and the Empire State Building even have pink lights at some point.  And I'm thankful for the awareness.  Truly I am.  I know many women who are breast cancer survivors.  And it is because of all the steps that have been taken and the research and the early mammograms that they have survived.  And I am so, so thankful.

And yet, I can't help but wish that childhood cancer awareness was even half as important to others as breast cancer awareness is.  I wish that the White House had gold lights.  I wish that there was more money focused on childhood cancer research.  I wish that more children could be saved.

I know too many families whose children have fought this horrible disease.  I know too many families whose children have lost.  Their faces will never leave me.  Their amazing spirits will forever be a part of my life.  I'm thankful to have known them.  And as I look at Tyler and say a prayer of thanksgiving that he survived I can't help but think of those who did not.  And it breaks my heart a little bit every time.

So parents, kiss your children.  Hug them tight.  Say a prayer of gratitude that they are healthy and happy.  And pray that someday the focus on childhood cancer research will be greater.  Pray that more children can be saved.  Pray that these awful diseases aren't allowed to claim another child.