Posts in "Kids with Cancer" category

Raising Awareness for Pediatric Cancer Research

Pediatric Cancer and the effort to raise funds and awareness is something that unites all of us, regardless of whether cancer has touched our lives or not.

The wonderful people I’ve gotten to know through St. Baldrick’s Foundation events are tirelessly making a real difference for children, so I asked Business RadioX in Buckhead to help us get the word out more.

Please listen to the PSA and radio show segment here that features Suzie Ruddle, the leader for the Meehan’s Public House fundraising events.

Another show aired leading up to the March 14th event, with mom Tammy McGrath who shared her experience with us as she and her son Christian battled his cancer. He has been clear for several years now so his is a success story!  Christian took time off from school to talk about his friends and what it means to have this kind of support.

The McGrath family and many others make this head-shaving event come to life, and they are incredible ambassadors for St. Baldrick’s Foundation and in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Learn more: http://www.stbaldricks.org/campaigns/meehans

Follow St. Baldrick’s Meehan’s crew on Facebook and on Twitter!

Kids and Improving Health

Why do I do much of what I do as an advocate and mother?

Because decisions and actions in our community are having a negative impact on the health of children.

How do I know?  Because I lived through watching my own children suffer unnecessarily while having the right help withheld from them – intentionally and with dishonesty – by certain members of our family court system.

The best gift we can give children this holiday season would be to step up and help resolve the confusion and uncertainty for them as their parents transition through conflict. There are several reasonable ways to do this, which we’ll be addressing in the coming months on our radio show.

As a parent can you imagine much worse than seeing that your children need help, and not being able to give it to them?  

Having your hands tied…while being lied to and made to believe that you have no choice but to let your own child suffer…when you could be providing needed care, nurturing, and psychological or medical treatment — things are ARE within your reach.  You don’t have to be a parent to imagine how terrifying or traumatic this might be… You just have to be human and breathing… And, YES, this is happening a lot, right in your own backyard.

Please ask WHY anyone would intentionally prevent a loving parent from protecting or providing treatment for their child.  Does this make any sense?

Since resolving my own conflict and gaining perspective on the family court arena, I’ve seen countless numbers of children having their health needs – including physical and emotional health – ignored and have even seen treatment withheld and denied when the diagnosis and financial resources were available.

This is child abuse and neglect, goes against the law, and in too many cases it is happening simply because of greed… and to reward foul play in a legal setting.   I’m asking you to look at this and decide where and when you can help.  It’s time.

This issue is like a cancer in our society, only we don’t know until it happens to us, and usually by the time we realize what has happened and what or why it is being done, it is too late to stop it from happening.

If you are offended by this notion, that this is going on, then I’ve done my job with this post.  But the bigger need is for you not to turn away from it but rather decide where you can lend your voice or resources or connections to help #MakeaDifference.

I’d appreciate your support – and these kids really need you.  Let’s see what we can do to ensure that your kids, your grandchildren, or your friends’ and neighbors’ kids don’t feel the impact of this problem. It “takes a village,” remember?  

There is more to what I do than challenging certain professionals around their poor judgment and lack of loyalty and honesty; this is about challenging more parents to recover faster from conflict, to take a look around and to really see how you can use what you’ve learned – and what you’ve earned.  Get out of your own situation, and find someone else to help.

If you’ve followed me in social media you know that I sometimes serve as a voice for families dealing with pediatric cancer.  My own children are involved because we are all so thankful that we are healthy and have the lives and privileges that we do, so we give back by uplifting other families and raising awareness for this issue.  We need greater funding for #PediatricCancer.  We need more heroes!  #YoungHeroes4KidsCancer (Stay tuned as we head toward March 2015 and the next St. Baldrick’s event in Atlanta/SandySprings.)

More success stories are needed to show what happens when we rally behind kids and give them what they need to overcome challenges. Check out Briana Hudson on Facebook to see what I mean!  #YoungHeroesLeague This girl and her family are making big things happen. She is one of my heroes!

Follow My Advocate Center to support us as we work to help families transition through and out of conflict, and as we advocate for policy changes that will make the legal process safer for families.  If we can #ImproveFamilyLaw then we have a better chance of letting kids receive the best that BOTH parents have to offer.  There is just no valid reason to do anything different and our laws support this mission.

Follow People Against Childhood Cancer if you want to learn more about how to help children that way.  Cancer in every form is AWFUL and deserves your attention, commitment, resources and your voice.  Please do what you can while praying this doesn’t touch your own family, neighborhood, church, business or school.

Above all, be grateful and be inspired to do more with what you have.

 

Pediatric Cancer: the Wicked Equalizer

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.

Planting seeds:

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:
http://midtown.11alive.com/news/people/106787-help-fight-childhood-cancer

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:

http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/JackBeacham

jack and gus big smile

 

 

 

 

 

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