As the summer flies by, I am saddened by the fact that the Spaeth family hasn’t even had the chance to grill out once. ONCE!! This is a notably sad situation since most of our past summers have been spent in and by the pool enjoying an array of culinary delights from our outdoor grill. We have spent the summer racing to baseball practices and games, lugging dance shoes and costumes to dance rehearsals and national finals, packing and unpacking between trips to camps and vacations, and somewhere in between planning for Eden’s Fireworks big 5k race in August. I’m sure your summers have looked similar. There is definitely no rest for the weary parent. Or child for that matter.
Now take your busy summer and imagine it differently. Running to and from hospital and clinic visits, CT scans, chemo treatments. Bouts of nausea and diarrhea. Worry in the day. Fear in the night. Tears in the shower. These are how summers are spent in the lives of children and parents fighting childhood cancer. Not so long ago, it was my life. We don’t want to think of such things because, well, quite frankly, it’s depressing. And we would rather go about our busy days wrapped-up in ourselves. I am just as guilty as everyone else. And childhood cancer has visited my front door. But there really is no excuse.
Right now Talia and Gavin are spending their summers in hospice fighting for their lives. Molly travels to Michigan for an experimental treatment to keep her neuroblastoma away. Charlie is spending his July getting a stem-cell transplant, and Shane is spending his receiving immunotherapy. Both to fight Stage IV neuroblastoma. And there are thousands more fighting and fighting and fighting. What if one was your child?
I know. I know. Some say, “Why should I be aware of childhood cancer? My kid doesn’t have it.” Well, mine didn’t have it once, either. And all those fighting were once healthy kids enjoying summers full of water, ice cream, and family vacations.
We have about 5 weeks of summer left here in Woodward, OK. The good news is that there are things you can do during this 5 weeks to help fight childhood cancer. Yes! You can do something AND enjoy your summer.
1) Sign up for our Be A Firework! glow-in-the-dark 5k!
Saturday, August 10
There is still time to register to guarantee a cool t-shirt and glow-in-the-dark items! Just register on or before July 26. But if you find yourself a bit of a procrastinator, you can register up to the day of the race (or walk, if you desire).
2) Sign up to volunteer to help with the 5k. Volunteers needed for registration, water stations, set-up, clean-up, and face painting and merchandise tables. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Donate to Eden’s Fireworks Foundation (or any worthy childhood cancer organization). We need money to fight. To give hope. To put towards research.
4) Share Eden’s Fireworks Facebook page. And. Keep. Sharing.
5) Share Eden’s Fireworks website. And. Keep. Sharing.
6) Send a card to a child fighting childhood cancer. There are thousands of pages on FB alone dedicated to children battling all 12 kinds of pediatric cancer. Choose one.
7) Send a card to a family that lost a child to cancer. Even if it was years ago. They never will forget. Neither should you. Really.
8) Start shopping now for tiny toys (and other goodies) for Project Stuff Eden’s Stocking. Christmas will be here before you know it.
9) Be annoying. Yes, I said it. Talk about childhood cancer. Talk about kids who are fighting this summer. Talk about Eden and those who have lost their lives. It’s called awareness. Don’t be an ostrich hiding its head in the sand.
10) PRAY. But do it along with one or more of the actions above. Because, really, faith without works……well, I think you know.
Quick note: The route of the 5k has been changed with the starting and finish lines in the Woodward High School parking lot at 2406 13th St. Same trail, just different beginning and end. See you at the 5k!
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