The best gifts are the ones that make us smile and fill our hearts with joy. When we are lucky enough to receive such a gift, we find ourselves filled with gratitude.
Jonah is this kind of gift — to his family, to his friends and to those he meets every day. Despite having faced childhood cancer, he is, in his mum’s words, “the most kind, inclusive, loving, welcoming, forgiving heart while also being the hardest working person you’ll ever meet.”
It doesn’t seem to add up—Jonah has every reason to be discouraged, defeated and even angry because of the impact childhood cancer has had on his life. But when you meet this survivor, you can see that childhood cancer doesn’t define him and you can’t deny that he is a gift. This is Jonah’s story.
Jonah at the beach in 2021.
The following speech was a highlight of the March 2022 St. Baldrick’s event at St. Agnes Parish Center in Rockville Centre, NY. With thanks to Greta, we’re sharing it so others can hear her experience and how she feels about St. Baldrick’s, as a childhood cancer survivor.
“Hi! My name is Greta Ohanian and I am currently 6 years out of treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Sometimes I struggle with what to say at events like this because there are so many aspects of cancer that I could touch on as a survivor. But one of the worst parts is how frightening it is to go into a cancer diagnosis knowing how limited the treatment is.
Greta during treatment.
A childhood cancer survivor himself, Gregory J. Aune, MD, PhD, shares his personal experience and thoughts during National Cancer Survivor Month.
(Originally posted on Medium on May 19th, Dr. Aune graciously agreed to share this with St. Baldrick’s.)Dr. Aune was a St. Baldrick’s Scholar 2014 – 2019, serves as a scientific reviewer and is a member of the Advocacy Committee for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. He is the Greehey Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Survivorship in Children at Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
On Mother’s Day, we celebrate all moms, each special in her own way. Mothers of kids who have fought childhood cancer have traveled a journey no one would have chosen. May is also Brain Tumor Awareness Month. We asked Gaylene Meeson to share her story of being mom to a very special brain tumor survivor, Hannah.Gaylene Meeson and her daughter Hannah, survivor of an aggressive brain tumor called anaplastic meduloblastoma.
Photo by [Kenneth Lim, kennethlimphotography.com].