Childhood Cancer Awareness Month--Averi

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.

Our 3rd or 4th month into Peyton's treatment, we met a cutie of a girl named Averi. Averi had Leukemia as a baby. She beat the cancer, but as a result of a bone marrow transplant that wasn't a perfect match, Averi still fights a serious disease called Graft vs. Host. Right now, Averi is a spunky, delightful fourth grader. She and Peyton are a bundle of giggles together each year at camp and the annual cancer research fund raiser they participate in together.

This is Peyton (blue shirt) and Averi with Kristen, their all-time favorite Child Life Specialist from their hospital.

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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Helen said...

Hi Marni. Just letting you know I was here.

Sarah Salter said...

Marni, earlier this summer, my friend Kristi's daughter, Cheyenne started to have back pain. Because Chey is very athletic, they thought it was a muscle sprain or a pulled muscle. They took her to the doctor and found out that it was stage 4 cancer. This beautiful 11-year-old went from a giggly, bubbly cheerleader to a pale, scared invalid in the space of about 3 or 4 days. On behalf of Kristi and Cheyenne, thank you for push for childhood cancer awareness! It's so necessary! Bless you!

sherri said...

Thanks for introducing us. Looking forward to your posts.