Childhood cancer Awareness Month--Andy

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.

Andy's mom Terry found us through of our website. She contacted us to let us know her Andy had CCSK when he was 3 and well on his way to being a 5 year survivor.

Terry was an information junkie when it came to CCSK. Each tidbit of information she found, she shared with me. I was always so grateful for her advice and her prayers. She even created a CCSK page so all the parents could of CCSK kids could check in with each other and share our burdens and our praises.

Andy hit his 5 year all clear. Then his 6th. He was almost to his 7th, when he developed a pain in his belly. Within hours, God called him home. Andy developed a mass in his lower intestines and before surgery could be performed, the mass ruptured. Terri later shared with us the mass was the result of the treatment Andy had received to cure his cancer. Again, sometimes the treatment is worse than the cancer itself. Please pray for Andy's family and for the researchers to find less toxic means to cure our kids.

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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sherri said...

Wendy- how very sad. I didn't see that coming in this post.

God bless his family.