Sunday, September 23, 2012

Connecting Facts to Life


In order to make statistics seem real and important you often need a face and a story. Today, I'm going to provide you just that.
Aisylin Bledsoe. Aisylin died of nueroblastoma in 2010, just shy of her 5th birthday. Becasue the symptoms of nueroblastoma are so generalized, her tumor wasn't found until it was the size of a grapefruit. Her mother gained much publicty by posting a somewhat controversial photo, one of Aisy surounded by stuffed animals, which at first glance looked as though the little girl was sleeping. Actually, the picture is Aisy in her casket, a grim reminder of the reality of childhood cancer. Why this photo? It raised awareness and donations by giving people and in your face way to see childhood cancer. Something that couldn't be ignored. Here is the article about the picture: http://www2.tbo.com/news/opinion/2012/sep/23/mother-helping-raise-awareness-of-pediatric-cancer-ar-510263/, and here is the foundation started by Aisy's mother : http://www.aisysangels.com
Jack Bartosz. Jack was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005. He battled the cancer into remission, but relapsed in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Jack passed away on August 27th, 2012, after fighting 5 relapses. Together, he and his family founded the I Back Jack foundation. Jack was the lovable spokesperson, talking about the reality of childhood cancer through his own eyes. Watch his video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5iIjAArhvM. Check out the foundation athttp://www.ibackjack.org/I_Back_Jack/Home.html.
Mariah. Mariah was diagnosed with DIPG (an inoperable brainstem tumor) in 2007. DIPG is an extremely rare and agressive cancer, with an average survival of 9 months after diagnosis. Riah passed away in 2008. Her mother founded Riah's rainbow an organization dedicated to not only imporving childhood cancer survival rates, but to imporving the lives of those childhren in the hospital through art supplies and other toys. http://riahsrainbow.org/index.html
I can tell you many stories of children who have fought and are fighting childhood cancer: Nolan, Parker, Per, Britany, Ariel, Emma, Emily, Talia, Austin, Sarah, Morgan, Amelia, Teddy, and so many more.
Just because your life hasn't been affected by childhood cancer doesn't mean it isn't important, or that it never will be. All children are at risk. Cancer is an ultimate equal oppourtunity disease; it strikes regardless of race, ethnicity, age, financial status and every other factor. Every child has a 1 in 330 chance of being diagnosed. If you have three children, the chance one of them will have cancer is 1 in 110.
Fight Childhood cancer. Show cancer you are going to win.

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