When I was asked to write a page on my involvement with C.C.F., I thought
that it would be very easy to do so. I've been involved since its inception...actually
since it was just a thought in Dr. Jay's mind. But the length of time I've been involved
really doesn't explain why, and it certainly wouldn't make someone more or less interested
in supporting the Fund.
With so many charities competing for people's donations, why should ours be worthy of your support?
What makes ours so special? I pondered over this question for several weeks. I could stress the fact
that we are a small, local organization made up of all volunteers, many of whom are parents of children
with cancer. I could brag that in our short eight years of existence we have succeeded in raising
enough money to establish and run a research laboratory, we have opened a child friendly outpatient
infusion center, we have hired a part-time social worker, and we have enhanced the services available
for our patients and their families. But although I am proud of being a part of these accomplishments,
they still don't stress why I think C.C.F. is so important. And then this past Sunday the answer came.
I got a call from one of the pediatric oncologists at home. Sarah, a beautiful 2 year old who had been
battling leukemia since the age of 31/2 months, had taken a turn for the worse.
Her parents were asking for me. I hugged my own 2 year old daughter tightly,
kissed her good-bye, and raced up to the hospital. I spent the next eight hours
helping a young couple accept (as best they could) the fact that their baby was
dying. I helped them sit down with their 6 year old daughter and tell her that
her little sister wasn't going to get better this time. I held a fragile, sick
little girl in my arms and tried to comfort her as her parents ran down to the
cafeteria to get some much needed food. And I realized...C.C.F. is so important
because children are dying. It's not a pretty or comforting thought, but it's
the truth. And until all the "Sarahs" diagnosed with childhood cancer survive,
than our research fund remains vitally important.
People say they dream of a world without cancer. I don't believe I'll live to
see that, but I hope and pray that someday when I tell a parent their child has
cancer, I can also tell them that he or she has a 100% chance of cure. Why is
C.C.F. such an important charity? Because our goal is to help find a cure for
childhood cancer...and for someone who has been working with children with
cancer for ten years, there's nothing more important.