Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Sunny Atwood



Since beginning my annual St Baldrick's push this year, we encountered a couple of very sad stories about kids losing their battles with childhood cancer, Tuesday and Cora. But more and more children are surviving thanks to technological advances in surgeries and chemicals, and I wanted to tribute a girl today who is surviving her extremely scary bout with cancer.

Organizations like St. Baldrick's are providing the funds necessary to find a cure, and I want to encourage you to give what you can to help kids become the happy stories rather than the sad. The exerpt below was sent to me from the St Baldrick's organization, and again reminded me why I do this. I'm gonna raise as much money as I can, and then on March 21st I will shave my head to honor ALL of these kids.

Jay

The following story was written by childhood cancer survivor, Seneca “Sunny” Atwood, who shares her own experience with adamantinoma. (Published by Stbaldricks.org)

My story started when I was six years old and my Mom found a lump on my leg. My leg hurt to touch and it was very big. We went to my doctor and he said it was a bruise and it would go away. We waited and it didn't go away so we then went to many other doctors and they also said it wasn't anything. Finally one doctor said it could be a tumor.

I had my first surgery to biopsy my tumor and the test indicated it was not cancer. We celebrated the news but my mom had been researching and found out that she wanted a second opinion. The second opinion came out positive. My mom went to the Mayo Clinic and they confirmed that it was cancer and that I needed an operation quickly as the cancer had spread throughout my leg.

My second surgery involved taking out my entire right tibia, which was full of cancer. They took the fibula from my left leg and put it in place of my right tibia. After 10 hours of complete reconstruction of both legs, I came out of surgery and the doctors said it went well. I was in the hospital for one week and stayed home from school for many weeks. I was homeschooled by my mom and grandma. I have since had 3 other surgeries to add hardware or correct my legs and my surgery on December 8, 2008 was the last of my 5 surgeries to conclude my cancer treatment. Fortunately, they have not found the cancer anywhere in my body since my original diagnosis. I would never have made it through my treatments without a strong faith in God, a loving family, some great doctors and loving friends and supporters.

When I was diagnosed, my mom wanted to do something about this horrible disease. She heard about St. Baldrick's and started the first St. Baldrick's event in New Mexico. Since then they have raised nearly $400,000. St. Baldrick's is a wonderful, fun thing that brings hope to the lives of kids who are threatened with cancer. I wanted to say God Bless all of you who help with St. Baldrick's. Thank you for being HEROS.

Until a Cure,
Sunny (Seneca) Atwood


Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.




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32 comments:

Mariah said...

You know, it's the maturity and attitude in children like Sunny that make me feel positive about life. What a young lady...

Sarahlcc♥ said...

I think this might be the problems with the followers Jay.

http://rundpinne.blogspot.com/2009/02/blogger-problems.html

Sorry I don't know how to make it a link.

Rachel said...

What a wonderful tribute. Sunny is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing that Jay.

Kristina P. said...

She sounds like an amazingly beautiful young woman. Thanks for sharing this!

Eudea-Mamia said...

Thanks. I needed that.

Annie said...

Great tribute!Nice job, Sunny!

Tony@ That One Paticular Harbor said...

As you know Childhood cancer and finding a cure much like you is a passion for me. Thank you fro sharing this inspirational story. I will be shaving with you on the 21st.

Sera said...

Holy mackerel. Reading what she wrote gave me goosebumps the whole time I read it. That's amazing, and I LOVED reading a story about a young survivor - it's very uplifting and inspiring.

Summer said...

Well aren't you just awesome for this Tribute.

Love. It.

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

Oh my gosh? Sunny is a sunray! Whoa? Blessings her way...

Glad I got my but in gear this week to find you!

Jen said...

what a story, this really is a good thing that you are doing here, Jay.

Beth said...

I do LOVE happy cancer stories. We have a couple of students who currently in remission. They are walking miracles to me.

You are a good man, Jay.

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

What an awesome story Jay! Thanks for sharing! I really appreciated it this morning!

April said...

great tribute :-) as usual.

kel said...

Beautiful tribute. Sunny is an amazing young woman!

CaJoh said...

It's amazing how people even at a young age can deal with something as devastating as cancer with such poise and eloquence.

Great Tribute!

Linda S said...

Wonderful story...great tribute...warms your heart :)

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Such a strong little lady.....thanks for sharing her story.

Julie said...

What a story.

Straight to Your Hart said...

Ever so small...yet the most inspiring!!

Sunny...you can't help but be warmed by her name. I hope the support keeps growing. Thank you for brining attention to this cause!

mommaof4wife2r said...

that made my day...and i'm so happy to see that so many kiddos and people are touched by thw rok of st. baldrick. thanks again for allowing me and my fam to be part of it!

angie said...

I'm basically speechless. That such a young girls story can be so powerful and moving leaves me without words.

Lolli said...

What an amazing girl!
Thanks for putting up these tributes, Jay. Mine is on adoption today.

jsprik said...

wow, what a story!! what an inspiration to everyone who reads it!! **ices her jaw**

The Eadle Family said...

What a beautiful young lady. Thank God her mother got a second opinion!

Mama Kat said...

Wow! Such a touching post!!!

Christina said...

Sunny sounds like an amazing kid!

Samantha said...

What a great story. I'm so glad she made it through and is here... THAT is why we need to find cures for these childhood cancers... So that they can grow up and be someone wonderful like Sunny.

Lee of MWOB said...

Jay - you are simply an incredible human being and I love this story from Sunny....

Thank you...

Lee

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

What a great tribute!

My grandfather, father and 32 year old friend all died of cancer.

Thanks for all that you're doing with your blog.

Paul

Eat Well. Live Well.
PurpleGreenPops.com

Jenners said...

Good work, my friend. And thanks to Sunny for sharing her story -- what a family to turn their own experiences into such a positive thing.

Tabitha Blue/Fresh Mommy said...

It's awesome what you're doing!!! That story was amazing. Thank you for all you do!

:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson