I am asking, no, begging for your support in the fight against childhood cancer! On December 6, 2006, my beautiful son Sam was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called DIPG, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma-he was 4 1/2 years old. Within days we moved our family temporarily to Memphis, TN. There, at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Sam received 31 radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and various other treatments and procedures over the next two month. Sam fought valiantly and bravely for the next year. His positive attitude and courage were nothing short of awe-inspiring. He endured needle pokes, took his meds, learned to compensate as his body began to fail him, all without complaining or ever asking why this was happening to him. He traveled frequently, started kindergarten, flew back and forth to Memphis every month for follow up visits, played with friends, enjoyed his superheroes but mostly, he LIVED his life to the fullest. Sadly, Sam lost his battle to cancer on February 25, 2008, two months shy of his 6th birthday.
When I think of St. Jude, I'm thankful for so many things! I'm thankful for the many brilliant doctors and researchers. I'm thankful for the skilled nurses and therapists, and the entire staff who are so thoughtful, considerate and compassionate. I'm thankful that St. Jude takes care of everything, so all we had to focus on was our son. I'm thankful for the Child Life specialists, who took care of not only our son, but our entire family. I'm thankful for the bright murals on the hospital walls and the many activities to entertain the kids. Most of all though, I'm thankful that St. Jude gave us the most precious gift we could ever receive, more time with our son. Thanks to St. Jude, our family had 14 glorious months with our precious son. He was able to do normal things, in spite of his very abnormal circumstances. With his bravery, endurance, strength and his beautiful smile, he showed us time and time again what a little superhero he was! We were able to travel, play, start him in kindergarten, make memories, and just LOVE him!
So, in honor of my favorite little superhero, Sam, and all the other little heroes who are in the fight of their lives, I am running as a St. Jude Hero in the 10K portion of the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN, on December 5, 2020, one day before the 14 year anniversary of Sam's diagnosis. I, along with my friends and family, have formed Team SuperSam, and we are committed to fundraising for St. Jude and fighting to put an end to pediatric brain cancer. This race is for Sam, and all of the other angels who lost their battles, as well as for all of those little heroes who are still in the fight of their lives.
I'm so very thankful for the 5 1/2 short years I had with such an incredible little boy, and I'm thankful for superheroes and dragonflies! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for joining this fight with us!
Did you know:
- Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food - because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
- Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer.
- St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
Donate today to help me reach my goal. Even when the race is over, the fight to end childhood cancer continues.