Perhaps the most heartbreaking thing about childhood cancer is the loss of the future. Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude believed that no child should die in the dawn of life.
Nine and a half years ago, my wife and I faced this as young parents. Thanks to the work of St. Jude, today our son is in third grade. This morning, he ate breakfast, got dressed and went to school. He has a dentist appointment this afternoon and got a haircut a couple of weeks ago. He loves music and is a huge people person.
St. Jude kids are special. They bring joy to everyone they meet, and I think a lot of that has to do with what they represent. Kids who have survived cancer are time travelers. They show that the future isn’t certain, and that sometimes, just sometimes, we can defeat the darkness it promises.
I was reminded of this when I read this article in The New York Times. Written by Vincent M. Mallozzi, it speaks to this idea of losing the future to cancer, and how we can reclaim it. Mallozzi shares the story of Lindsey Wilkerson and Joel Alsup, who were married on the St. Jude campus last week. Go read it, then go donate to St. Jude, where doctors and researchers and nurses and chefs and child life specialists and therapists and teachers and fundraisers and IT people and surgeons and nutritionists and more work tirelessly to redeem the future for kids like mine.