September is international childhood cancer awareness month. On average, 400,000 children a year and roughly 43 children every day are diagnosed with cancer. There are many different kinds of cancer that can affect children; however, Leukemia tends to be the most common type.
In a compelling story from Children’s Cancer Institute, a little girl named Harper was diagnosed with cancer when she was barely two years old. She was confirmed to have Lymphoblastic Leukemia and was told that she would have to be in the hospital. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, Harper loved going to the park, walking her dog,visiting the beach, and being with her family. Harper was developing an ongoing chest infection and kept getting worse. A family doctor performed a blood test on Harper and within a few hours they told Harper’s family that they should head straight to the closest emergency room; her blood test result showed that she had Leukemia. Eliza, Harper’s mom, said, “I was thinking they’re all wrong. There’s no way that it’s cancer. [T]here’s just no way. Why?’ When they finally found out about Harper’s diagnosis, it hit the family hard. Eliza spoke on the subject, “I pretty much just cried the whole couple of weeks after they told us what they thought it was. It was like a mental car crash.” This was a hard situation for the family; however, they got through it together. After she was diagnosed, she had to have a port inserted in her chest for the chemotherapy to be administered; after one round, they found out that the port was getting infected and led Harper to be put into isolation. The treatments they were giving her triggered high fevers and she would scream until she would fall asleep because she was in immense pain. Harper suffered muscular atrophy and was unable to walk for a while; for a two year old that is hard to understand. Though Harper was young, she diligently fought her battle with cancer and is now a big sister.
Another moving story from Children’s Cancer Institute told a different kind of view. A pleasant and loving girl named Charlie was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma: her body was carrying more than 20 tumors. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy and many hopeful doctor visits, Charlie’s battle with cancer found some closure. Her family was always there for her from the start, they knew she was strong and could get through anything. Her mom promised her that she would keep fighting to find a cure for her. Charlie's mom never said why this had to happen and was always positive and believed that they could get through it. Charlie never complained about having cancer, though; she wished that no child would ever have to go through the treatments she went through.
The two stories both had a different perspective of what it is like to have cancer. One mom was fighting for her child and knew that she could get through it, one the other hand the other mom just kept asking why. Cancer is a worldwide disease that affects many children, along with the rest of the family, yet people never think it will happen to their loved ones.