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.
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
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.