Friday, September 26, 2008

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

The Big Picture has some sad and touching photos of children fighting cancer:
Families, caregivers, charities and research groups across the United States are observing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In the U.S., over 12,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year, approximately 3,000 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis can turn the lives of a family upside down - days suddenly filled with alternating moments of courage, frustration, boredom, anxiety and pain.

The objective of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and - importantly - to help raise funds for research groups working towards cures (links below images). Here are a few recent photos of families, all dealing with childhood cancer in their own ways. (19 photos total)
Seeing these pictures, I can't help but think of Ellie Skees or the hundreds of terminally kids I met while volunteering for seven years at Give Kids the World in Orlando, Florida. I used to dress up like a wizard, dance with the kids at a pool party, and then go around with Mayor Clayton (a giant bunny rabbit) to do magic tricks for the kids and tuck them into bed in their villas. Tickles and "bed-quakes" often ensued. On many nights it was difficult to fight back my own tears, but I can't describe how great a blessing it was to be a part of bringing smiles and laughter to the faces of these special kids. My involvement there remains one of the best things I have ever done.

Please keep kids like these in your thoughts and prayers this month. There are few things more tragic than seeing a child with cancer and their family trying to cope with this terrible disease.

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