Every September, I forgo running sponsorship on 512 Pixels and donate the month’s membership and YouTube revenue to highlight and raise money for a cause that is very close to my heart: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
It’s a month that is of vital importance to my family. As some of you may know, our oldest son was diagnosed in May 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.
Today, that baby is in second grade. As I write this, he’s eating dinner with his two younger siblings. They just spent an afternoon running around the yard together.
That may just sound like another September afternoon to you, but to me, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
His particular type of brain cancer is 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. I mean, just read this mission statement:
The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.
At St. Jude, Josiah battled through 18 rounds of chemotherapy, several operations, rehabilitative services and more. His cancer hasn’t grown since treatment ended, and the hope is that it simply never grows again. So far, that’s been the case. All of this care was provided for free thanks to supporters of St. Jude.
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 fucking black eye on all of our humanity.
Josiah turns nine this fall. To honor his birthday, and the amazing care he has been given at St. Jude, my goal is to raise $9,000 this month for the hospital — a symbolic $1,000 for every year.
As normal, I’m using the St. Jude Marathon as a springboard for this, but with a new twist for 2017.
Last year, Josiah and his sister Allison took part of St. Jude Race Weekend, each completing the Kids Marathon.
In doing so, they took an active part in caring for their “St. Jude friends,” and spent time talking about and remembering those friends who didn’t win their fight against this terrible foe.
They are doing the Kids Marathon again this year, and I’d like to support them — and this amazing hospital — at the same time.