Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Cause Worth Fighting For

I am having a really hard time lately with this whole kids with cancer thing. I have a friend whose three year old boy, Braeden, has stage three, high-risk Neuroblastoma cancer. This is his second bout with it, so to speak. He was first diagnosed when he was two, went into a remission of sorts, only to have the cancer return this past summer. He is only three and much of his life has been spent being sick and in an out of the hospital. Two other children I followed on Carepages died this week from cancer. One was five and the other just two. They died within just hours of each other. I didn't even know them and I was heartbroken when I heard the news. I can't imagine how their families are feeling right now.

I don't understand why sometimes children are afflicted with such a horrible disease, and other children are perfectly healthy. I know there are many other serious diseases out there, so I apologize for focusing on this one, but I guess this one bothers me the most because so little is being done to raise awareness of it. You hear so much about other diseases but not so much about cancer, at least not when it comes to children. Yet cancer is the number #1 killer of children (click here for more childhood cancer statistics)! So much awareness has been made about breast cancer, diabetes, AIDS and asthma, but you just don't see that many campaigns against childhood cancers. Don't get me wrong - those are all important causes, many of which I support (my own girls have asthma, a close friend has breast cancer and another friend has a daughter with juvenile diabetes) - I'd just like to see this disease get the attention it deserves. Sadly, childhood cancer research is under-funded.

I'd love to see a big name company donate profits to childhood cancer research, just as many do with breast cancer research or AIDS. Chili's is the only big name I am aware of that has done this by donating some of their profits in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I was at Dick Sporting Goods yesterday and noticed they were selling stuff for the Livestrong Foundation and Susan G. Komen, but nothing specifically related to children. OK, so maybe that business is not specifically geared towards children, but how about companies like Toys R Us, Children's Place, Gymboree, or Build-A-Bear, which ARE child focused?

Meanwhile it will just be up to unknowns like me to raise awareness. Within the last year I became an advocate for childhood cancer and will continue to do all I can to raise awareness. I am debating starting a separate blog to do this, but for now I will use this blog on occasion to be a voice for all of the children stricken with this disease. I am researching the different types of childhood cancers and will likely give each of them their own post very soon. Several other "mommy bloggers" I read also are doing their part to help raise awareness. We've all got to stick together and spread the word in any way we can.

I Hope you will join me in my cause and help spread the word by sharing this with others. Even though cancer will be the main cause I support, don't be surprised if from time to time I preach about other causes important to me, as I have many. If you haven't yet, please check out the list of causes I support on my sidebar. And if you have a cause you'd like me to include, please just email me and let me know and I will add it to my list.

Here are a few ways you can help:

Donate to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, otherwise known as Cursearch, or a more specific one such as the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. There are many more similar foundations dedicated to raising funds for specific types of Childhood Cancers.

Another easy way to help is to use features such as Goodsearch, a search engine that donates 50 percent of its profits to the charity of your choice. All you have to do is use it as your web browser. Or there are sites such as, which partners with big name retailers like Best Buy. When you buy gifts (or stuff for yourself!) a portion of the proceeds go to the charity you select.

Lastly, please, please sign the Cure Childood Cancer petition sponsored by Curesearch and the People Against Childhood Cancer. It only takes a minute and it is for a great cause!

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