September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and my heart is full of equal parts joy and sadness.
I haven't written in a little while partly because I don't have much to share which is truly wonderful. Phoebe is doing very well, loving life and living it as full as a two year old should. Her last check up at CHEO showed perfect blood work, she is using the potty - randomly but still, and to most people we meet who don't know her she is a regular albeit small two year old. She makes up for her size with her spunk. Her big sister is preparing to start Kindergarten in September and together, they fill my heart with joy.
My heart is heavy and I have not written because there are so many other stories that are not mine to tell that weigh heavily on my thoughts. Too many children fighting, too many parents forced to make incredibly difficult decisions. Too much sadness.
Tonight, as Jon and I were out for a walk with Phoebe and Mae, we were talking about some of these children, children that we have come to love, and I asked him how it is that I had no idea of this world of childhood cancer before it happened to me? How is it that I was blissfully unaware of the hardships, sadness and pure terror that it brings? The fact that seven children die of cancer everyday in the US. That the equivalent of an extra large elementary school classroom is diagnosed with cancer everyday. I remember one child growing up who had cancer. One. Today I know far too many.
I have heard many people tell me throughout my journey with Phoebe - of which I have been very open about sharing - that they "just can't read", that it is too much. And to this I wish I could say ... imagine living it. Imagine it is your child. Your life, your devastating new reality, your heart ache, your sadness. Your loss.
Something needs to be done and we need to find a cure. I am obviously very passionate about this because it has happened to me, but my hope is that through writing about Phoebe, one more person might be moved to action - to make a donation, to share a story, to give blood, become a bone marrow donor, volunteer time ... act.
Despite the realities that we have been faced with and the sadness that sometimes fills my days, I am hopeful. I believe a cure will be found. I believe in the people that I have met on this journey who are working hard to make it so. And I have seen progress. Wonderful progress and positive steps forward. Phoebe is here because of that progress and because of those steps.
And so in honor of childhood cancer awareness month and in support of all children who are battling this disease, we have "A Night to End Kid's Cancer". This special night of music is organized by team "Phoebe Rose Rocks" - a team of twenty (including myself) who are running from Ottawa to Montebello in support of treatment and research of children's cancers in Canada. It is happening at the one and only Zaphod's http://zaphods.ca/ on Saturday September 15th.
All money raised from ticket sales will go to CHEO and Sick Kids and their efforts to treat and find CURES for children's cancers. You have a chance to win prizes, listen to great music, support local talent, laugh, have a few drinks with some great people, wear gold and support children battling cancer and those working hard to find a cure. A win, win I think.