Childhood cancer Awareness--Cheyenne

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.

Cheyenne was another wonderful kid we met through Caringbridge. Cheyenne and her family had been walking through cancer for a little while when they found our page. They never failed to be supportive, prayerful and generous with advice to us since they were further along the road.

Cheyenne was diagnosed with Diffuse Pontine Glioma when she was only 12 years old. This brain tumor is fast moving and extremely aggressive. Cheyenne NEVER let it get her down. She trusted God for her healing, and encouraged those around her to stay strong, love Jesus, and make the most out of what life hands you.

God called Cheyenne home when she was 13 years old. My husband and I attended her funeral. Cheyenne hand picked all her music and Scripture. It was beautiful. Roy and Donna (her parents) laid her to rest in a white casket. They gave all those in attendance Sharpie markers and asked us to adorn Chey's casket in our final goodbyes. Without fail, almost all the messages contained something about wanting to have Cheyenne's faith, know her Jesus more, or something to that effect. I don't know why God had to take Cheyenne so young, but I do know she brought Him Glory, through her pain and illness.

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...

Will add Jordan to my prayer list. Thanks again Marni for making us aware of these warriors.

Billy Coffey said...

Cancer is something that seems to have affected every person in some way. It's one of the true tragedies of our times.

I'll add Jordan to my prayers, and I'll praise God for Peyton's recovery and His protection of her.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

It's so awesome you're doing this month. Prayers for Peyton and all the others. Thought you might enjoy this link about the Iowa State University Athletic Director and his young son. Powerful, and awesome that two rival universities have come together for common good - healing kids.