My daughter, Maggie, was only four years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. I will never forget the moments, the time, or the place where my wife and I were when the doctors told us that Maggie had a Wilm’s Tumor and that they would begin treating her immediately. I recall the sting of the news that our daughter’s life was in danger and that she was facing a challenge that was far bigger than we ever could have anticipated.
Fortunately, Maggie is one of the lucky ones. Today she’s cancer-free and doing all the things a High School Senior should be doing. She is the Senior Class Vice President, likes to go shopping, and spends an inordinate time texting on the phone!
Given that cure rate was less than 10% just 60 years ago, many people are impressed that the overall pediatric cancer survival rate today is 75%. However, to a parent of a child with cancer, that statement really means that their son or daughter has a 25% chance of not surviving.
Supporters of the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund are raising money for pediatric cancer research so that one day, doctors will be able to tell the parents of every child with cancer, “Your child is going to be fine. We have a cure.” Making pediatric cancer a thing of the past is an ambitious goal, but for those of us who feel as though they have faced even bigger challenges, amazing things can be accomplished one small step at a time.