Truly, I am grateful for the invention of penicillin. I was grateful for it last week when it got rid of the strep throat illness that I woke up with one morning. I’ll be grateful again on Saturday. I’m less grateful right now since the strep is gone but I still have two more pills to take and the stupid things make me nauseated. I’ve got things to do. I don’t have time to keep my eyes closed all day because a crooked stack of books on the shelf gave me motion sickness. Seriously.
But I only had to deal with medicines making me sick for a total of ten days. After ten days I go right back to feeling fine. I’ll throw away the prescription bottle and forget all about those pills. A lot of people aren’t so lucky, and a lot of those people are children. Imagine being a small child on medicine, medicine that requires regular trips to the hospital. Your life may depend on it, but it’s also making you sick. Children receiving chemotherapy or other forms of cancer treatment have major obstacles preventing them from just enjoying childhood.
Childhood cancer research is ridiculously underfunded, too. And you'd have a hard time finding out about any awareness campaign without digging for it. Today I walked into a grocery store and found support for two different campaigns to fight breast cancer. And yes, breast cancer needs to be fought. But so does pediatric cancer, and in spite of the efforts of organizations such as Alex's Lemonade Stand and CureSearch, the public just does not get to hear enough about how to help. One of my former professors has a son who is basically a superhero. He battled cancer as a very young child and is currently in remission. This professor has been posting a lot about pediatric cancer awareness on facebook, and I had to ask her what organizations support childhood cancer. Out of the list she gave me, I'd heard of one. One. And that's not for lack of effort on the part of the organizations, either.
September is childhood cancer awareness month. Take a moment to click on some of those links above to see how you can help.
If you'd like to help an orphan with cancer, please turn your attention to Mark in Latin America. He's currently battling Leukemia without a family to support him.