How does your mind react when you read, “Counts are coming up”?
When you are missing the right perspective in your life, just go to a fund-raiser for kids with cancer or volunteer to help out a family in need. Read about what Rally Foundation is doing with kids and athletes, how remarkable St. Baldrick’s Foundation is with their crazy-fun head-shaving events, or find others like them.
Subscribe to a blog about a particular child, and learn more on Caring Bridge. The little boy who taught me and my children about the journey families go through with pediatric cancer was Augustus, better known as Gus, and referred to by many as “Mighty Gus.”
http://augustusthemighty.info/counts-are-coming-up/ This was one of his mother’s blog posts to help us stay connected and aware of what to pray for.
Since I started this post a couple of years ago, Gus took a turn for the worse and his family had to let him go. It was one of the toughest things I’ve experienced, and my experience was only from a distance and over time. He touched our lives and that of many others, and his parents are examples of how to manage under stress and through grief. And then there are the medical bills.
Think about what is really a big deal in your world…and consider that your bad day or month isn’t such a big deal after all, is it?
Of course you know someone who has it worse than you do; we all do. But sometimes they fall from your mind or you just think there isn’t much you can do for them that will make a difference? That isn’t the case when you get involved and start to care about any of the children around us who are struggling for their lives, fighting cancer, hoping for new treatments and for cures.
Can you think of one of the worst times in your life? …I can. In that moment, I consoled myself by saying, “Well, I’ve never been this scared, or this exhausted…but my CHILD does not have CANCER. So these things I can handle – they are temporary – and we will recover.” Yes, I actually said out loud, “My child does not have cancer, and I’m so grateful.”
Then I met Gus. I learned from his mother and her supporters. Gus battled cancer. Gus had a lot of friends who have cancer, and every little bit you can give does make a difference for them. Each of them is Mighty in his/her own way, and their parents/caregivers will stop you in your tracks, causing you to realize just how strong we are when we have to be for the sake of a child.
This video was produced last year by our friend Conn Jackson & is hosted on 11Alive’s site:
Talk: I didn’t hear about pediatric cancer and THEN think that my life wasn’t so bad. I knew to contrast these challenges with our own because of spending so much time in pediatric hospitals and in specialists’ offices. This awareness came from my own experiences in mothering preemie twins, and from doing hospital volunteer work. But not everyone has reason to come across the reality for these young patients. It has to be revealed, and then spelled out to the average person who is super busy, dealing with their own challenges, more interested in what they are having for dinner, or cursing the traffic.
Awareness is key, and I’m asking that YOU not rely on others to do the sharing.
Please pick an organization AND a child – learn – and share. Give, of course, when you can.
St. Baldricks and Rally Foundation are creating many more Heroes in the Fight against Pediatric Cancer, and my son Jack is one of them. I’m so proud of him for choosing to be an ambassador in this, and his fund-raising page is just one example of how you can help. You will see a photo gallery showing more about his experience, and see that he is having fun while contributing. You may even note what this has done for his confidence; he is truly inspired and I believe you will be, too.
The next event we’re involved in is at Meehan’s Public House, Sandy Springs in March of 2015. I’ll update this page before then, or search for it online.
Come on out if you’re in town and join in; it’s a great way to have FUN while you learn and support: