Although today is about celebrating cancer survival, it is hard not to look back on the lives that cancer has taken. Between now and the last time we celebrated National Cancer Survivor Day, 90,000 children have lost their lives to cancer throughout world.
That is a fact that held little meaning to in my life before April 2014. In 2014, my little brother Cannon, who was two years old at the time, was diagnosed with stage IV high risk neuroblastoma. Cannon was given a 50% chance of survival. That’s a coin flip…for his life.
Every day, more than 40 children are diagnosed with cancer. Now, cancer is the number one killer disease of children in the U.S.
After two years of chemo treatments, bone marrow transplants, stem cell therapy, multiple surgeries, and radiation therapy, Cannon was declared cancer free. His battle fighting cancer was not easy and it took a toll on everyone involved. Although we approached every angle of Cannon’s treatment with positive determination, there were many days of tears and feeling helpless. It is no question that Cannon’s grit, bravery, and perseverance is what gave my family the courage to carry on through his treatment. Cannon never lost hope and because of that, has become the light of many lives around him.
I hope Cannon’s story can serve as a reminder to those who have been recently diagnosed that there is hope in every situation. Cannon is currently 6, cancer free, and so full of life. Today, on National Cancer Survivor day, I celebrate Cannon and the battles he has overcome.
If I don’t have a topic in mind when it’s time to write a column, I read articles. I look into the lives of other siblings of special needs individuals, delving into the struggles, pains, and joys of their respective experiences. From this, I usually find something that I can relate to in my own life, and I let the writing guide me to my own ideas. Read More
Now that my sister is gone, photos are one of the main ways I feel that I can connect with her. Whenever I’m missing Blair, I look through old photos and memories. I find it healing to edit photos of us creatively to be symbolic and make it feel new. Here are some of those edits. Read More