A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Dr. Anna Meadows’

The Incentive is Love, not Money

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

I just conducted a very interesting childhood cancer experiment. I Googled “Childhood Cancer News.” The results I found are puzzling, and frankly disturbing.


The first article I found is dated October 11, 2006. Yes, really. Let’s see… nearly five years have passed, but this is listed at the top:

“ABC News: “Dark Side of Being Cured of Childhood Cancer”

If you do read this article, notice that it mentions Dr. Anna Meadows… the doctor I have written of before, telling how much I admire the work she has done in the area of childhood cancer survivorship. As more children are “cured” of cancer, this area of childhood cancer survivorship and quality of life issues will become something health care professionals must address.

“Today 80 percent of children with cancer become long-term survivors.”

“By the time survivors are 30 years out from their cancer diagnosis, however, almost 75 percent of them have a chronic health problem and 42 percent die or have severe life-threatening conditions.”

Hmm…. a little unsettling, no?

I love what Les Robison has to say:

“The No. 1 lesson is that we have to pay attention to long-term consequences,” said Les Robison, chair of epidemiology and cancer control at St. Jude.”

We desperately need less toxic therapies that will still assure a cure, but won’t leave permanent damage. Still, nearly five years after this article appeared in print, it is “current” news for childhood cancer.

Really? Really, really?

The reason?

Drug manufacturers cannot find a way to profit from the development of new, less-toxic treatments for childhood cancers… if they cannot profit from it, why would they ever do it? Instead, they stick to the development of new therapies for adult cancers that they can make huge profits from.

Arms Wide Open Foundation, established by Dena and Billy Sherwood, is on a mission to change this. There is even pending legislation that will hopefully encourage companies to take the plunge into helping children with cancer with incentives.

I can think of forty-six “Incentives” —the number of children diagnosed with cancer in the United States every school day.

I can think of seven more “Incentives”—the number of children who die from cancer each day in the United States.

A child’s life is worth so much more than “Incentives.”

Cure Childhood Cancer

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Thank you Dr. Anna Meadows

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Rolling along on the same subject of survivorship, I want to tell you about Dr. Anna Meadows. In 1962, at the age of 31, she wrote to the dean of Harvard and told him of her desire to become a doctor. The response she received was to stay home with her three children. Fortunately, for many childhood cancer survivors, Dr. Meadows did not take this advice. She achieved her dream.


Dr. Meadows will be honored at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for her 38 years of distinguished service and contributions to the world of childhood cancer. She is fondly known as the “matriarch of childhood cancer survivorship.” I hope she has inspired many others to follow her lead in recognizing the importance of studying and lessening late effects from childhood cancer treatments.

And now, a personal story about Dr. Meadows. A year ago, I was doing a lot of research about childhood cancer. From all of this research, I chose people and organizations that I wanted to ask to look at my book for a possible endorsement. Well, when I found Dr. Meadows and saw all that she has done—she really stood out! My mom picked up the phone and called her.

Guess who answered?

Dr. Anna Meadows herself.

What a lovely woman she is! Her schedule did not allow her time to take a look at my book, but my mom truly enjoyed her conversation with Dr. Meadows. This is going to sound really weird, but I will admit I was truly happy she didn’t have time.

This meant she was taking care of the children!

Thank you Dr. Meadows… is there some way we might clone you before you retire?


*Jade’s surgery went well. Thank you for your prayers…

Jade Waiting for Surgery

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