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.

Practice Being Like a Child

When we learned we were expecting our first child, my husband and I made the decision for our family that we wanted me, the mother, to be the primary nurturer. Thus, we wanted to have me caring for the children at home and not leave that responsibility to another.

What a challenge these last few years have been!

The number one most important lesson that I have learned, thus far, did not come from a parenting book but from my own children: to never lose that child-like innocence where one can have unlimited learning potential and the unquenchable faith to achieve even the most ostentatious goal.

My children are helping me become a better person.

My children are keeping me young.

Jim Rohn, arguably the most influential motivator, author and speaker of our time wrote about this same topic on how we adults can have the same curiosity, excitement, faith and trust as our children. See if you agree, after reading his article below, that by becoming more child-like we can become a more lively, and happier people.

 

Practice Being Like a Child by Jim Rohn

 

Remember the master teacher once said 2,000 years ago, “Unless you can become like little children, your chances are zero, you haven’t got a prayer.” A major consideration for adults.
Be like children and remember there are four ways to be more like a child no matter how old you get :
Curiosity

Be curious. Childish curiosity. Learn to be curious like a child. What will kids do if they want to know something bad enough? You’re right. They will bug you. Kids can ask a million questions. You think they’re through. They’ve got another million. They will keep plaguing you. They can drive you right to the brink.
Also, kids use their curiosity to learn. Have you ever noticed that while adults are stepping on ants, children are studying them? A child’s curiosity is what helps them to reach, learn and grow.
Excitement

Learn to get excited like a child. There is nothing that has more magic than childish excitement. So excited you hate to go to bed at night. Can’t wait to get up in the morning. So excited that you’re about to explode. How can anyone resist that kind of childish magic? Now, once in a while I meet someone who says, “Well, I’m a little too mature for all that childish excitement.” Isn’t that pitiful? You’ve got to weep for these kinds of people. All I’ve got to say is, “If you’re too old to get excited, you’re old.” Don’t get that old.
Faith

Faith like a child. Faith is childish. How else would you describe it? Some people say, “Let’s be adult about it.” Oh no. No. Adults too often have a tendency to be overly skeptical. Some adults even have a tendency to be cynical. Adults say, “Yeah. I’ve heard that old positive line before. It will be a long day in June before I fall for that positive line. You’ve got to prove to me it’s any good.” See, that’s adult, but kids aren’t that way. Kids think you can get anything. They are really funny. You tell kids, “We’re going to have three swimming pools.” And they say, “Yeah. Three. One each. Stay out of my swimming pool.” See, they start dividing them up right away, but adults are not like that. Adults say, “Three swimming pools? You’re out of your mind. Most people don’t even have one swimming pool. You’ll be lucky to get a tub in the back yard.” You notice the difference? No wonder the master teacher said, “Unless you can become like little children, your chances, they’re skinny.”
Trust

Trust is a childish virtue, but it has great merit. Have you heard the expression “sleep like a baby”? That’s it. Childish trust. After you’ve gotten an A+ for the day, leave it in somebody else’s hands.
Curiosity, excitement, faith and trust. Wow, what a powerful combination to bring (back) into our lives.

What is Most Important to You?

Do you know what’s most important to you? If you want to “really” know what’s most important to you, look at how you spend your time. There’s your answer. Before you argue or debate this fact in your mind, think it all the way through. It really is revealing.

One of the greatest regrets many individuals express at the end of their lives is the lack of time they spent with their spouse, children, and special people. It’s time given to our loved ones and friends that fulfills us and brings meaning to our lives. Don’t let the “rat race” prevent you from investing in your valued relationships.

In my post Managing Life and Work with L.O.V.E. in February, I offered a few simple, and easily implementable new habits we can all make to show those who are most dear to us how important they really are. Take an honest look at your Lifestyle Strategies, the Organization of Your Day, your Values and personal Enjoyment to see how you can improve upon the things that are most important to you.