September 7, 2010
Every time I sat down today to write a post, I felt scattered… pulled in lots of directions. Should I write about this… or that? I feel scattered for a really good reason – there are lots of exciting things going on.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Which means we are busy with activities designed to raise awareness and raise money to help end childhood cancer.
Did you know that research dollars designated for Childhood Cancer account for less than 2% of all cancer research dollars annually? This, despite the fact that gains made in treating children with cancer directly benefit adults (the opposite is not true). Chemotherapy was developed for children and tested first on children. When childhood cancer research is underfunded, not only do children suffer, but adults suffer.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer. It is the type that Tanner has, and thanks to those who have funded research in the past, and those who have participated in clinical trials, Tanner’s prognosis is good. In 1960, someone with ALL had an 10% chance of survival, today it’s 80%. Tanner’s chances are even better, thanks to the particular type of ALL she has and her individual risk factors.
Here’s the problem, though. The levels of chemo they give are as toxic as the kids can stand. They can’t just give more to make 80% become 100%. There’s no where to go. We need new therapies, hopefully kinder and quicker therapies.
So, we’re committing to everything that we possibly can this month. Any way we can help raise awareness or money, we’re doing it.
For example, Tanner is now officially a Rally Kid for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Her picture and story appear on their web site at http://rallyfoundation.org/rallykids.php
It’s sobering to me to see her photo among all those stories of battling children. It seems a little too real. Tanner will also be a Rally Rock Princess (along with some other little girls with cancer) at the Rally Mania concert on September 26 at 5 pm at Carnton Plantation. The headliner is Eddie Money with special guest appearances from Kix Brooks, Jars of Clay, Ashley Cleveland, Jordan Pruitt from High School Musical, and many more. It’s a great place to bring a picnic and watch the concert. You can buy tickets at online at
http://www.ticketsnashville.com/WebSales/Pages/VenueListPage.aspx?rguid=7db8544a-97dd-4f7b-a007-60483427206c& or at the gate the day of.
Speaking of Team Tanner… oh my gosh! It has been just 2 weeks and five days since I first posted about our efforts to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk on October 7. Our goal is $10,000. To date, we have raised more than $7,000. Really. We are humbled beyond humble and can’t thank everyone enough for such a great start to our campaign. People have been so amazing. Even the kids at our church are planning a Light the Night walk of their own and getting pledges for Team Tanner. They’re also having a bake sale and Tanner is doing a lemonade stand between services. If you still want to donate go to http://pages.lightthenight.org/tn/MidTN10/TeamTanner
I always say if one good thing comes out of this whole mess, it’s a firm belief in the goodness of people.
P.S. I have shamelessly plagiarized my childhood cancer statistics and info from my friend, Larisa. She, obviously, is much better read than I. I know she won’t care if I plagiarize as long as it makes a difference. She has as much at stake as I do.