Childhood cancer Awareness Month--Alex

September is Childhood cancer Awareness Month. Every day this month, I'll be posting about a child we met through my daughter Peyton's journey through cancer from 2003-2004.

I also dedicate this series to my brave little fighter Peyton, who this month, has reached the milestone of 5 years as cancer-free. In the cancer world, making it to 5 years is a near-guarantee her original cancer won't come back. But the ugly secret with childhood cancer is that secondary cancers often come back, sometimes as soon as 10 years from the original diagnosis. Ironically, these secondary cancers are caused by exposure to chemotherapy and radiation used to stop the original cancer.

As you read about the kids I'll profile, please pray for less invasive cures as research gets better and better. Please pray for the funding of the research, and please pray for the families of the kids effected by the devastation cancer can bring.

Within days of being diagnosed, Peyton began radiation treatments. We walked into the Radiation Onocologists office and there sat little Alex. He was 3 years old. He was recently diagnosed with medullablastoma, a vicious brain tumor.

My husband and Alex's dad had many long talks and time of prayer during all those days of our children's radiation. Peyton and Alex played Spongebob video games and giggled as if they didn't have a care in the world. We grew to care a great deal for Alex and his family and for a while, things were going so well for him. Alex went into remission within the year. But as is often the case with medullablastoma, it came back...with a vengeance.

God called Alex home in late 2005. He was 5 years old. He fought hard. His doctors fought hard. His parents continue to cling to their faith until they see Alex again.

Childhood cancer research is woefully underfunded in comparison to adult cancers. But there are research hospitals who are making huge strides in curing cancer, and in the meantime, trying to make the treatment safer for the kids who endure it. Personally, my family and I help fund 3 organizations who are making a real difference in fighting childhood cancer. If you want to help, go to:

St Jude Research Hospital,
Children's cancer Fund and Children's Medical Center of Dallas

Sometimes, all you can do is make a child smile to help them forget their illness or give families the support they need. We're big fans of these organizations as well:

Make A Wish, Habitat for Hope and Candlelighters Childhood cancer Foundation

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Sarah Salter said...

Thanks for introducing us to Alex, Marni! I'd better go find a tissue...

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Praising God for Peyton's 5 year celebration. And Alex is home with Him. Makes the whole thing so bittersweet for an outsider like me. Bless you for all you're doing, Marni.