Every September, I forgo running RSS sponsorships on 512 Pixels to highlight and raise money for a cause — and an organization — that is very close to my heart.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
It’s a month that’s of vital importance to my family. As some of you may know, our oldest son was diagnosed in May of 2009 with a malignant brain tumor. In the blink of an eye, we went from a young family with a seemingly-healthy six month old baby to a young family facing the reality that our son was gravely sick.
Time stood still, but raced forward, all at once. He had a CT scan, blood tests, an MRI, then surgery, within 48 hours.
Then the diagnosis came.
It was bad.
Josiah had brain cancer. His particluar cancer is exceedingly rare in children, and almost unheard of in infants. To beat it — to save his life — would take the very best science and medicine had to offer.
Thank God for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
At St. Jude, Josiah underwent 18 rounds of chemotherapy. He had several subsequent surgeries, and still has regular MRIs to check on things. His cancer hasn’t grown, but as it is not a type that “goes away” with chemo, his disease is considered “stable.” He still has cancer, and always will. The hope is that it simply never grows again. So far, that’s been the case.
We’re lucky. We’re blessed. We’re thankful that we get many more days with our child than some of our friends have had with theirs. Childhood cancer is a stain on our humanity.
Josiah turns 8 later this year. To honor his upcoming birthday and the amazing care he has been given at St. Jude, my goal is to raise $8,000 this month for the hospital — a symbolic $1,000 for every year.
I know many of you have donated in the past. Last year’s fundraiser was amazing, raising over $18,000. I’d like to go even higher this year.