“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” ~Ghandi
Each time I speak at a book club, I learn something new. Last Friday’s Book Club for AAUW (American Association of University Women) was no exception. This is one thing I learned: if a woman is highly educated, it does not necessarily mean that she knows anything about childhood cancer. One woman admitted to me that she had wiggled and struggled to get out of reading my book because the subject of childhood cancer is not one she wants to explore. She then admitted she was very glad she did read it. She went on to ask excellent questions, even giving me multiple opportunities to explain that when children are diagnosed with cancer, 80% have advanced stages of the disease. They were dumbfounded when I told them that this figure is only 20% in adults—because adults are much more aware and those who treat them are as well.
Their intelligent minds went on to develp another important question, “What causes childhood cancer?” I will bet that most Americans can tell you what causes cancer in adults. I will further bet that most Americans cannot tell you what causes cancer in children.
Top medical professionals cannot tell us what causes cancer in children, so how would anyone else know? I answered their question by telling them the truth, “We do not know what causes any of the twelve major types of childhood cancer. We just don’t know.”
This is one huge reason why we need to pour money and time into childhood cancer research. I learned yesterday about Gabrielle Sassin, who is raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of his sister, who is a survivor.
“My son is participating in the math-a-thon to raise as much money as he can for St. Jude in honor of his big sister a cancer survivor and many others just like her. He only has 2 more days left, Will you please help him in his effort, each day he comes home from school he asks me to check his page, it would be really awesome if I told him he made it to $300 today:) Here is the link to his page, if you cannot donate anything please share his link, at least go check out his page because he feels very important and cool to have a page of his very own. Here is the link….”
This reminds me of how Lily Nunn shaved her head to raise money for St. Baldrick’s to honor the memory of her brother, Max. When I see young children acting for the benefit of other children in need, it gets me. It really, really gets me. Instead of claiming their “right” to be a carefree, self-centered kid, they decide to turn the care in their hearts into more than just care. Instead of being carefree, these special children give their care freely.
When I see children leading the way to work for good, creating hope, and shining like brilliant examples of goodness, I feel blessed. Kids like this give the rest of us a good rep!
Thank you to all the Little Hope Creators.