Childhood cancer Awareness Month--Ben

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.

We met some great kids from the hospital where Peyton received treatment. But some of the friends we made were from the Caringbridge family. Ben was a Caringbridge buddy. His mom Maggie found us because she was researching Clear Cell Sarcoma (CCSK). This is the cancer Ben had as well as what Peyton had. Maggie found us on a CCSK page and we became touchstones for each other as we shared our joys and fears and struggles in having small children with a deadly disease.

Ben went into remission within 8 months of his treatment, but the cancer relapsed to his lungs just a few months later. Ben endured another round of chemo and radiation, and won! Ben continues to be cancer free and is a happy 10 year old who loves his family and participating in cancer research fund raisers.

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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Raw Faith Real World said...

All the kids I know who've battled childhood cancer are amazing. It still amazes me that so little research money is spent in this area since it is so important. Thanks for blogging about these kids and sharing their lives with us.

katdish said...

Thanks for this, Marni.

It's really easy to pretend kids aren't really getting sick when they're "somebody else's". Puts things into focus when cancer affects the people you love.

sherri said...

God Bless Ben.