Because Kids Can’t Fight Cancer Alone

Hello my friends!

Kristen Sherlock here from Salt Lake City, UT. It has been a very long time since I last wrote. Adjusting to our newest Sherlock Addition has taken time, but I assure you, this has been time well spent. Don’t worry, I have taken pictures–lots pf pictures!–to document all the awesome highs and low lows that comes with a family of six people. You will be bombarded with them soon. I promise.

 

HopeToday I am writing about a topic that is personal to me, and of a serious nature: Childhood Cancer Awareness. Did you know that September is the National Childhood Awareness Month in the United States? Yeah… me neither. To be frank with you, it wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the severity of childhood cancers.

 

According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, “in the US, 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down. The objective of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and – importantly – to help raise funds for research and family support.”

 

In 2008, the day September 13th, specifically, was recognized as “National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day” as a result of a Senate resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).

 

Medications and Monitors“Never before in history has the dream of eliminating childhood cancer been so attainable, yet seemed so elusive,” said Senator Allard. “We live in a nation where the effectiveness of treatments and technology offer hope to children who dream of a bright future. Each case of childhood cancer is a very personal tragedy that can strike any family with children, at anytime, anywhere. In setting aside September 13th to recognize this battle on cancer, we continue of our efforts to draw attention to the victims of childhood cancer and the great work of the families and organizations who continue the fight.”
“We have made tremendous strides in the fight against childhood cancer, but far too many children still suffer and lose their lives to this illness. The more we know as a nation the better able we will be to prevent and treat the disease and help those who are battling and surviving pediatric cancers.  National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day is an opportunity to reach out to all Americans with the facts about childhood cancer, and this day will be an important symbol of our commitment on all days to find a cure,” said Senator Clinton.
Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer and the second overall leading cause of death of children in the United States. Increasing awareness is the first step to raising more advocacy and support for childhood cancer programs and research. Sadly, too few people know how dire the situation is for these children and their families.

Ally in Sun Hat

One such child, one such family, is the adopted daughter of my brother- and sister-in-law named Allyson. Allyson was born with Down Syndrome, which can seem scary to some people, but not to my brother- and sister-in-law Matthew and Emma. They jumped at the chance to bring this beautiful baby girl into their family. The adoption of Allyson was finalized in March 2013. In July 2013, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia of Down Syndrome (AML).

Allyson began treatment in September 2013, and after six long rounds of chemotherapy, and nine months in Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Canada, Allyson was declared in full remission.
Recently, July 2014, a routine checkup showed some abnormalities in Allyson’s blood.  After a bone marrow aspiration test, Matthew & Emma were informed that Allyson had relapsed.  Allyson is currently undergoing two more rounds of chemotherapy in hopes that a bone marrow transplant can be completed after her treatments.
AllyPlease, if you haven’t already done so, go read the most recent update on Allyson’s care, check out her pictures, and share this message with your friends and family. Her YouCaring.com account is here:  http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/a-blessing-to-all-who-meet-her/214095
Allyson is one of the many waiting for a bone marrow donor, and is facing a long road of fighting and surviving. I have seen the toll this cancer has taken upon her little 2.5 year-old body, and the strain it has placed on her mother, father and brother. Allyson, like many others, needs your and my help, because kids can’t fight cancer alone.
Please join me during the month of September to advocate and make others aware of Childhood Cancer. Please help me help my niece Allyson, because, again, kids can’t fight cancer alone.
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