How could I not?
People frequently ask me how I stay connected to the world of pediatric cancer after having lost a child to the disease. My answer is simple: how could I not?
When cancer entered our lives, I honestly didn’t know how we would manage. Taylor’s disease was substantially advanced at the time of diagnosis and we were facing years of surgery, chemotherapy, emergency room runs, and secondary illnesses – all while knowing we might not win the war. I spent many sleepless nights wondering if and how we would get through this and especially how it would affect our two other daughters.
Those five years between diagnosis and death were both a blessing and a living hell. While facing a life challenge nobody should have to endure, we found strength we didn’t know we had and a depth of love we didn’t know existed. We did lose the war, but the battle victories were fortifying.
From the start, it was Taylor who wanted to focus on helping other sick children. Her commitment to raising funds and awareness kept her going at some pretty dark forks in the road. We learned from her passion and knew back then that we would never stop looking for answers, for cures, for hope.
Seeing hundreds of sick kids over the years has shown me nothing if not the preciousness of a child’s well-being. Seeing traumatized parents trying to keep hope alive while knowing the devastation they might face has broken my heart. I know that pain and I want to ease theirs.
Cancer can be relentless in its quest to harm its hosts and their families. But where there is life, there is hope. And I offer that message to any family facing a serious health condition and know how important hope is in pushing forward.
Ask all the questions you have, do all the research you can, lean on your friends and family, and stay hopeful. Your time with all your children is precious and your hope will become theirs.
How could I not?