Two days ago, I changed my profile picture on Facebook. I found a picture of a bald headed Clayton and followed the steps to change that picture to represent the "Go Gold for Children's Cancer" campaign as September is Childhood Cancer awareness month. The next day I got a text from my sweet teenager daughter that simply sent a copy of my new picture and read "Why do you do this?" Now, I'm going to answer this because I know some of you possibly wonder, just like my daughter why I continue to remember and remind
others of what my three years ago looked like. Shouldn't I just "move on"... " forget it" " be thankful for his health" and go on? Here's why I "Do this".....
On February 8, 2012 I heard "Your child has cancer". You see, our family is not rich, not poor, not strict healthy eaters, not bad eaters. Our kids play outside. They do sports. Our home is clean. We don't do drugs, heck, we barely drink alcohol. We go to church most Sundays, we attend public school.. WE ARE NORMAL.. We are YOU. That's the thing about cancer.. it doesn't care anything about the kind of person you are or aren't, it just happens. And, when it happens to your child.. when it happened to MY child, I was forever changed.
Friends, it is NOT uncommon. I know that no one wants to hear that because it's easier to just go about life in the comfort of knowing "that kind of thing wouldn't happen to me". I know that comfort because I once had it. But, it happens. I am telling you that at least once a month I am approached, messaged or questioned about a child that recently got diagnosed with cancer. Whether it be online, in my hometown, in the church I attend or someone I know at the gym, it happens.
That is why I still take a moment and advocate for more funding and more research to give more kids a chance, even if it is just changing my profile picture and making a donation. My son lived, is thriving and if you know him, you know that he is NORMAL! But, you also know that my heart beats a little faster when he says his ear hurts. My hearts beats a little faster when YOUR child says his ear hurts, or his head hurts, or she can't get over that stomach flu because I have seen the "what ifs" play out right before my eyes.
The treatment Clayton had was the treatment the children had in the 1970s. There is just not much research being done for our kids. Even though my son is completely cancer free, feeling great, acting like a regular 10 year old and has "moved on", I will NOT forget the kids who didn't make it, died too young, or are still fighting. So, "Why do I do this"..because YOUR kids, YOUR future kids, YOUR grandchildren, and MY SON is counting on it...That's why. #neverforget