I strongly believe that certain people are brought into our lives for a reason. People come and go all of the time, but meeting someone is not a coincidence. It is not by chance. It is meant to be. With my job, I have the honor of meeting so many amazing people. It is one of my favorite things about what I do.
Which brings me to Christopher. I met his mama at Easter mini sessions back when he was just a little baby. Him and his big brother Alex just stole my heart and I always looked forward to their next session. In November 2011, Christopher was diagnosed with cancer. Stage IV Nueroblastoma. I had read about this beast with my volunteer work, doing sessions for families touched by cancer. But you never think one of “your” babies could be so sick. Nobody ever thinks it can happen to them. But it did, and his amazing mommy and daddy fought so hard with him for the past year. Every day I waited for facebook updates and watched as that little boy walked through hell and back. I prayed. I hugged my kids a little tighter and cherished their health. I read and read and read about Neuroblastoma and childhood cancer and how freaking UNAWARE people are about it. And I thought about that sweet little boy with the most precious smile every single day.
Today was hard. Today, a mother and father had to kiss their little boy for the very last time and bury his tiny body. Today, a little boy had to say goodbye to his baby brother. Today, so many people cried tears for a little life that was cut way too short. This is unacceptable. My heart is aching for the loss of Christopher. But with the sadness, comes anger. Did you know that childhood cancer is the number 1 killer of our kids? But it only gets about 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget. Four percent. How can that even be? How can our most vulnerable, innocent lives be just thrown under the rug and ignored? How come everyone and their brother knows pink is the ribbon color for breast cancer, but nobody knows GOLD is for childhood cancer? How come everyone thinks that the bald, happy little kids on the St Jude commercials is all there is to childhood cancer? Maybe they should start showing a church full of sobbing people whose hearts are aching because a totally innocent, perfect little boy was just murdered by this disease. Maybe then people would start to listen.
Please do something. Please, do not just turn away and pretend you didn’t just read this. The only way these kids have a fighting chance is with all of our help. We need to be their voice. Christopher and so many other kids have paid with their lives because of the lack of funding and research. Give these kids a chance to grow up and get breast cancer or prostate cancer. Be aware, and make everyone you know aware of what is killing these kids, one by one, and then being swept under the rug like nothing ever happened. Awareness equals funding, funding equals research, and research equals better treatment options and a cure that they so desperately need. Praying and carrying his loved ones in your heart is awesome and so appreciated, but it is not going to change anything. We need to DO something.
So what can you do?
Go here and watch the video on the first page. It is long but so worth it. Then share it on facebook, emails, twitter, etc. Awareness.
Go here to donate in Christopher’s honor. You can choose the type of pediatric cancer you would like your funds to support or donate to the general fund.
Go here to donate to The Ronan Thompson Foundation. Ronan lost his battle to the same kind of cancer as Christopher back in 2011 and his mama is doing huge amazing things in the Neuroblastoma world.
Go here to sign the petition to turn the White House GOLD this September to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. The minimum has been reached but they are aiming to get as many signatures as possible to ensure the president has no hesitation to say yes. It only takes a minute!
There you have it, folks. As I said at the beginning…people are put in our lives for a reason. Christopher has made a huge and amazing impact on my life and I will fight in his honor along with all of his family and friends. I cannot and will not turn away. I hope you won’t either. Because this little guy should still be here.