We've long been fans of St. Baldrick's and donated to friends who've participated in the events. It seemed like a good cause, but it certainly never had the same personal connection to us until our own daughter got diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago, right before her 2nd birthday.
The video on the St. Baldricks Website about the ripple affect is fantastic. You could never be ready to hear the words that your child has cancer. It was so unbelievable to us. Then, a month ago, when we were back for in the hospital again for a visit that seemed even harder, and we were waiting by the hour to get through a dangerous and life-threatening condition brought on by the very drugs that are helping her... well, it's just horrible.
People talk about needing to find a cure, and absolutely we do, but it would be great if we could find safer cures and treatments as well... or better yet, if we could find ways to predict and prevent the cancer from ever starting or growing. This is the importance of every single dollar that can be raised... my daughter gets off the elevator of the oncology floor at Children's an exclaims that we are "home". This is in part because of the wonderful and caring staff there, but it's not a place that any child should have to spend so much time. Too many of my daughter's first vocabulary words; "port", "hospital", "medicine", "x-ray", "poke", "blood", "ANC", etc. are not the words that you want your 2-year-old to be focusing on. And while we've been lucky enough to get out more than others of her new friends these past few months, we've still missed far too many play dates or birthday parties or other normal social experiences for that age because of her weakened immune system or because we were at the hospital.
Lucy has the most common childhood cancer (A.L.L.), it is not very comforting when they tell you at diagnosis that your child is lucky enough to have gotten "the good cancer" because, of all the childhood cancers, though it has a particularly long treatment roadmap, it has the best recovery odds. While not very comforting then, we truly are thankful for this diagnosis now in comparison to others as we've seen what some other families have gone through, including some who've had the worst results of all. Far too many families we now know would still change place with us, and when you are volunteering for and donating to St. Baldricks, we owe it to all of these kids to really take a few minutes to try to imagine what all they are going through, and commit to making things different.
For reading this, for being a part of this, for spreading the word, for donating your time and your money (and asking others to do the same), and for caring enough to help make a difference, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!