September 2, 2014

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Day 25: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is childhood cancer awareness month. I never really thought too much about this. I donate to St. Jude. I see the signs. I read the Facebook posts. I even did a pediatric oncology rotation in school. But it’s always been out of my world. Something that other families go through. I can’t really say that I never imagined this happening. Somehow I always related to those families in the oncology unit. I saw my children’s faces in the St Jude commercials. But it was still so far away.

Now we are one of those families. Our child is one of the more than 15,000 children under the age of 19 to be diagnosed this year. So, this September, we are celebrating this month. We want to bring awareness to the struggles and challenges that all of these 15,000 families are going through right now. I hope that our story does all of those families justice. Because there are so many stories that are so much worse than ours.

We celebrate this month because childhood cancer has come so far in the past 50 years. Our attention has led to many advances in science that will save our daughter. For this, we are so grateful! Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is now one of the most curable forms of cancer. Fifty years ago, only half of patients with ALL survived five years. Now that number is up to 90%. I am proud to be part of the medical profession and to know that we are part of a generation that is trying so hard to find a cure and eliminate cancer.

The color of the childhood cancer ribbon is gold and the leukemia ribbon is orange. If you see these ribbons this month please think of the more than 15,000 families whose lives will be changed this year. Remember the thousands of children who fight cancer every day. And remember the children who lost their fight. We wish that our little Scarlett wasn’t a part of those ranks but we are proud to be a part of such a strong, brave group of children. Thank you for following our story!

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