My name is Melinda Marchiano, and I am 16 years old. I will admit right up front in this message that I am desperate for you to bring attention to a cause– childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children, and I discovered– at 13 years old– what it is like to fight cancer. The reason for my desperation is not because I need or want anything for myself, but because I need you to make the choice to give childhood cancer a Voice.
Childhood cancer is overlooked, underfunded, and grossly misunderstood. The NCI and American Cancer Society give little of their time or resources to childhood cancer. The eleven drugs used today to treat children with cancer were all developed before the 1970’s; we absolutely must develop new targeted treatments that cure, yet are far less toxic (for example antineoplastins and oncolytic virotherapy.) With the research tools that are widely available now, enormous strides toward this goal are highly possible—with adequate funding for research.
By now, your producers must be shaking their heads, thinking, “Wow, this girl really means it.” I wonder what the thought is that comes after that. Is it, “What are we going to do about this?” Or, is it, “Wow, is she ever dreaming?”
I have people posting on my Facebook wall, telling me that writing to you is a “Big waste of time.” Even if your answer is no, I do not view writing to you as a waste of time. I truly believe there is goodness in you that will cause you to open your heart to this passionate plea. I have to try. Do you know why?
Children are suffering.
Children are dying.
Here is the thing; it does not have to be this way!
Let’s round up The Giving Pledge with childhood cancer experts to create an everlasting Pledge for a Safe Cure for all Children with Cancer.
We can do this. Let’s do it.
Not giving up hope,
A seven year-old boy named Max Nunn taught me about advocating and raising money for childhood cancer research. Max said, “I mean it!” Thanks Max for still teaching me– all the way from heaven.