Thursday, September 6, 2012

September is the Month for Gold

Did you know this?

Everyone seems to know about October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, from the pink ribbons and the stranglehold that one very well-known advocacy group has on marketing. While I am all for advocacy and awareness, I am not in favor of one group trying to "own" a symbol which has the potential to help lead to cures for ALL types of cancer. But I digress...

September is the month in which people who have been touched by pediatric cancer get to turn a light on the topic. If we can talk about breasts and prostate cancer, surely we can shed light on the reality behind the statistics:
CANCER is the #1 cause of death  
by disease among children.

That's an ugly statistic, and it is even uglier when you have personal experience with it.
If you knew that there was a serial-killer of children on the loose in your community, what would you do? Would you form a neighborhood watch, find out all of the information you could, and do all in your power to keep your children safe? Well, there is a serial-killer out there, and it's called cancer. It's a variety of diseases, all grouped under one name.

What if the murderer got hold of one of your kids - say, kidnapped one of them? What would you do then? Would you try to pay the ransom, or call detectives and try to outwit him? Would you try anything and everything to free your child and bring her home safely? What if the only way to set your child free from this assassin was to poison her, or maim your own precious one? Would you do whatever it took to save her life?

I'll bet you would...and that's exactly the choice we had to face. We tried to save Katie using the only means available to us, but it wasn't possible. She suffered terribly, and she died anyway. And it happens like this every day.
Artwork by Heide Randall, mother of Jessica. Katie is in the 2nd row, 4th from the right.
Now, we're trying to find ways to save children (and adults - it benefits everyone!) that are NOT poisonous, and that do not cause long-term disability. There is a miracle-cure on the horizon: immunotherapy (T-cell therapy). It's happening now, right here in Seattle at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, and it needs our support.

If you can give to research, please do. If you can't give, please tell someone - telling even one other person makes a difference. And if you are going to tell someone, please let them know about my book, which describes the way it really is in the world of pediatric cancer. Or you could give them a copy, either in Kindle or paperback format.

Thank you!
Artwork by Heide Randall


Elizabeth said...

Wow! Karen, this might be one of your most powerful posts ever in a way that I've never seen you! I bet it's what makes people empty their pockets! I am so glad that you made this impassioned plea and will support the Gold cause as much as I am able.

Karen said...

Love that you are kicking cancer's a**. Go, my friend, for Katie and all of us.

Zoey's mom, Heather said...

I too am wearing gold for my girl and thank you for this incredible posts, with sobering statistics. Ones we must find a way to chance.

Thank you for sharing you beautiful and your story of deep an abiding love in the face of such ugliness.

M said...

I couldn't believe htat when I walked into Walgreens yesterday they were actually soliciting donations for the LLS! Whenever I go into Safeway for groceries I am always asked for donations for breast cancer, prostate cancer,M.S, diabetes, etc...never for childhood cancers...and I can't help but say I will make a donation when they collect for childhood cancers...not that the cashier has any say in it, but point made. So I gladly opened my wallet yesterday. Hopefully they do it every September.

Kay said...

I am so longing for non toxic cures...something that doesn't involve poison! But "poison" makes the drug companies a lot of money, so I know they are hesitant to turn their backs on a cash cow. Oh how I hate all of this for all of our kids. For all of us no matter the age. Praying the stats change and we don't need to beg for money for this killer anymore.