Five years ago, grieving the sudden loss of a friend, I was knee-deep in sad stories. Inexplicably drawn to the grief of others in an attempt to remind myself that I was not alone, I came across the blogs of two mothers (Maya and Cindy) whose sons were fighting cancer. The boys were only 3 and 4 years old, and as I read through their experiences, my heart absolutely broke for them. Neither of those boys reached their next birthday.
Little did I know how close to home the topic would hit. When the word neuroblastoma was mentioned, my family’s world stopped turning. I knew from Maya’s descriptive posts exactly what it was, and what my brother and sister-in-law and niece were facing: a cruel, unjust, uncertain battle against an unforgiving disease.
It’s been almost two years since Nori’s Story – Norah West began her battle, and today she is in a really good place. We hope and pray she continues to thrive. But our work is not done.
In 2012, the president signed a proclamation which officially made September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The color gold represents these beautiful babies and their hard-fought battles.
I know that many have you have recently donated to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in TX (a very worthy cause!), and many of you may just be tapped out at the moment (I get it!). I’m asking that you think of the families who have been affected by childhood cancer, continue to spread awareness, and consider the many deserving organizations when you have anything extra to give in the future. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Band of Parents, and Ronald McDonald House Charities are great places to start.
Also, one of the moms I mentioned earlier wrote this extremely informative post regarding treatment and research and what families in this fight REALLY need. When only 4% of the national budget for cancer research is going specifically toward children’s cancer, it’s up to us to make up the difference with private donations and fundraising. These children deserve so much more than 4%. Read her post here.
Let’s work together to make gold immediately recognizable as a symbol for childhood cancer, and the faces of these kids impossible to forget.
Especially this one – the brave and unstoppable Norah.