Childhood cancer Awareness Month--Lauryn

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.

I am seriously behind in this. I am SO sorry. Petyon had strep throat, so I missed some work and am in catch up mode.

Lauryn and Peyton became fast friends in clinic. Lauryn was a kind and smart 9 year old who was battling a brain tumor relapse. Even though Peyton was younger, Lauryn always played with her in the playroom or at craft time in the clinic. Lauryn's claim to fame were her beautiful fingernails. All the nurses were always complimenting her on what great manicures she gave herself. And when she was feeling well, Lauryn would kindly give manicures to the other kids. Peyton thought Lauryn was so cool! :-) One time, we were at a store that sold manicure kits and Peyton insisted we buy it for Lauryn, so we did. The next time the girls were in-patient together, Peyton went to give the kit to Lauryn, but couldn't because Lauryn was neutropenic and susceptible to infection and couldn't have visitors. So one of the nurses took the kit to Lauryn and she wrote Peyton a thank you note. Before long, the nurses gave the girls each a white board to write messages on (we had to help with Peyton's messages since she was only 3 and couldn't write yet!) They held the messages up in front of Lauryn's door window to communicate. They did this until Lauryn needed to rest. It's a great memory for us...

Jesus called Lauryn Home in March of 2005. At her visitation, I tried very hard not to cry in front of her parents, but did, nevertheless. Her dad told me "Oh Marni, please don't cry. Lauryn is with Jesus now. She told me they were going to pick flowers together and I know she is doing that with Him and is so happy again." And I know she is too. And I can't wait to see her again.

Please join me in praying for her family and thanking God for their faith despite the pain this life has given them...

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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Lance Boldt said...

Thank you for emphasizing childhood cancer. We've lost two boys to cancer. You are so right: one died from a secondary cancer after he was in remission and the other from the devastating effects of chemotherapy.

We've come a long way, but there is so much more to be done.