Cancer sucks. No one wants cancer. But do you know when cancer really sucks? When a child has it. Pediatric cancer sucks not only because of the possibility of a child dying before getting much time to enjoy life. Although that really sucks. Pediatric cancer also sucks because the medical reality is that fighting cancer in a still developing body has unique challenges from fighting cancer in an adult. Survivors of childhood cancers are still likely to have long term health effects from their treatments. That sucks. This is why I volunteered to join Mary Tyler Mom by posting for "Donna Day" to help raise money for pediatric cancer research.
This is Donna.
I highly recommend that you read Donna's cancer story here. There Donna's mom beautifully chronicles Donna's 31 months of cancer treatment. In the interest of time, however, I will spoil it for you. Donna was diagnosed with cancer at 20 months old, and when she was 4 years and 3 months old Donna died.
This is how I read that last sentence: Donna was diagnosed with cancer when she was a few months younger than my daughter, and she died when she was a few months older than my son. I dare not even imagine what it is like to lose a child so young. Or ever.
Pediatric cancer sucks.
You know what doesn't suck? Science. Science is amazing, which is why I truly believe that enough smart people with enough time will be able to find better treatments for pediatric cancer. Oh, and money. They will need money.
Something else that sucks: funding for pediatric cancer research. Read here about how pediatric cancer research receives only 4% of federal cancer research dollars. That is not enough.
This is why for the second year in a row Donna's mom has organized an event to help raise money for St. Baldrick's, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research. Last year the Donna's Good Things head shaving event raised $79,000 for St. Baldrick's. This year's event will be on Saturday, March 30 in Chicago, but you don't need to go to the event or shave your head to support the cause. (Although you are welcome to!)
Click here to donate. Every dollar helps add to the total.
Do you need more inspiration that that adorable little girl up there? Watch this video:
Click here to donate. Do it for Donna. Do it for a child you may know who has struggled with cancer. Do it for all the children you know who don't have cancer but for whom you'd want there to be a cure if they ever got that diagnosis. Just do it.