We are constantly asked – and especially today – how are we doing? We never thought that would be one of the hardest questions to answer. Today we both feel numb. As most of you know, two years ago today, a special little boy lost his short battle with pediatric cancer. Even two years later, Connor continues to impact our lives every day and has made an impact on so many others. Recently, our hearts have been particularly heavy, especially with the sudden loss of our friend and supporter, Marie Gemmell
. These losses have truly changed who we are. While we can experience joy at times, the pain has changed us and is always just below the surface.
Before Connor, we were so naive about pediatric cancer. We thought these were the facts:
- That most pediatric cancer patients survived long-term.
- Survival rates were for all forms of pediatric cancer.
- Side effects were minimal.
- That pediatric cancer is rare.
The real facts are:
- The survival rate is actually a survival of five years, it is not long-term survival. For an older adult, a five year survival post diagnosis may be considered a gift, but for children, five years is just not enough. Children who die from pediatric cancer lose an average of 62 years of life.
- These high cure rates are boosted by a number of highly curable forms of cancer. ATRT, the tumor Connor had, has about a 10% five year survival rate.
- Many pediatric cancer patients are taking adult drugs, poisoning their bodies. Side effects often include long-term neurological damage and impacts to other parts of the body. There has been very little research funded for pediatric cancer.
- Pediatric Cancer is NOT as rare as the National Cancer Institute would want you to believe:
So what do we do? We fight the battle to try to help other families avoid the same fate. To do this, we raise money for pediatric cancer research. If you have not been able to donate recently, please take a moment and donate anything you can
comfortably afford. Even if it’s just $5, every little bit counts. There are many ways to donate
, please check it out.
If you would like one of the bracelets in the picture, we will try to keep a few of them on us, so just ask us the next time you see us.
Thank you to everyone for Helping Connor Cure Cancer.
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