This is the first post for my new blog. I am trying to raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer and I will post facts, links, and ways to get involved. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and the gold ribbon is for pediatric cancer. Here is my story and why this is my passion:
My son, Dawson, was diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer in November 2010 at the age of 11. For those of you that don’t know much about pediatric cancer, you are not alone. I was thrown into this world with the words “your child has cancer” and had no clue what all was about to transpire. Dawson endured 5 months of very intense chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, 27 radiation treatments, too many hospital stays to begin to count, only to be told it was not gone yet. More chemotherapy, more surgeries. There are not many treatment options for children with cancer. Most people don’t know that. Pediatric cancer treatments usually involve adult chemotherapy drugs that are “watered down” to accommodate children’s sizes. This usually results in a toxic treatment that leaves children with life-threatening side effects. Dawson was no exception. His chemotherapy proved to be too toxic for his body and was having no effect on his cancer. Dawson died on April 4, 2013 after a 2 1/2 year battle with pediatric cancer. Children with cancer are truly angels on earth. They fight bravely and with a smile on their face. Siblings are often left to other family members or neighbors or friends while parents are keeping vigil at the hospital, or travelling to distant hospitals that will offer treatment or a new clinical trial. This is our world. My life was upside down trying to cure Dawson while still trying to parent my other 3 children. Its a difficult struggle for everyone. I would do it again in a heartbeat to have Dawson here with me again. But I can’t do that, so now I am his voice. It wasn’t until after Dawson died that I began to do intense research and realized how little is spent on pediatric cancer research. The federal government spends billions on cancer research each year but a meager 4% of that is spent researching pediatric cancer. No new pediatric cancer drugs have been introduced on the market since the late 1980’s. As you read this blog, 30+ children will be diagnosed with cancer today. 7 children will die today from their cancer. Please visit www.thetruth365.org and view their Emmy award winning documentary and become involved.
Dawson’s elementary school, Geneva Elementary, is putting together an annual 5K run that will take place in April of 2014, the first anniversary of his death. This event will be open to the public and all monies raised will go directly toward pediatric cancer research. More information will be posted as details become available.