Childhood cancer is ugly, and is filled with bald little kids just trying to survive. St. Jude has increased Childhood Cancer survival rates by more than 50%! Help raise those statistics by purchasing a tee-shirt!
I want to tell you a story about a uniquely special little boy. His name is Noah, or as some call him, “Noah the Great.” He’s a tremendously happy 4 year old, with a smile that can light up the darkest depths of despair. He is the living, breathing embodiment of hope.
You see, Noah came into this world facing an uphill battle. By his second day of life the word “cancer” had already attached itself to his frail little body. Neuroblastoma had somehow inserted itself into our perfectly normal lives. It seemed surreal for such a large word to be accompanying my perfectly healthy newborn home. The disbelief soon turned into an official diagnosis.
Noah had his first malignant tumor removed from his abdomen at 2 months of age. They had wrapped him in a perfectly swaddled little burrito before returning him after surgery. The weight of his diagnosis felt minor for a brief moment; then the nurse carefully unwrapped the layers of blanket to check the 4 inch long incision across his tiny 10 pound body.
July 8th 2016, Noah was just shy of 11 months old. And he relapsed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma. It was everywhere. He had a mass almost the size of a softball in his chest, it was a monster. It had collapsed a lung, and was threatening to crush his airway. It was the first time a pediatric surgeon had given such a brutally honest response to my denial. “This will kill your child.” She ripped off the bandaid that had been covering the gaping hole in my chest.
6 months, 8 chemo treatments, and a grueling surgery later; Noah had finally won the war against childhood cancer.
This snippet into Noah’s cancer journey doesn’t even begin to describe the terrifyingly difficult road this sweet little boy walked. Childhood cancer is ugly, and is filled with bald little kids just trying to survive. It’s filled with weight loss, exhaustion, an excruciating thing called mucositis, and vomiting.. so much vomiting.
Noah made me a cancer mom. Because of him I’ve been made aware of this world that never quite seemed real. I had always seen the ST. Jude commercials but never understood that childhood cancer is the same as any other person fighting this monster of a disease. It is the same as any adult cancer patient, it’s just found its way into a smaller body.
None of us are cancer moms until we are. Help give these tiny warriors more than the chance of survival, help give them the chance to live.
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