Not a day goes by that I don't think of when our lives were changed forever...
We thought we were going to the hospital to rule out an appendicitis, then the unthinkable happened...a man came flying through the door announcing he wasn't who we thought he would be, the surgeon, but he was a pediatric hematologist/oncologist saying "Molly has leukemia"...my heart stopped! What no parent EVER wants to hear...your child has cancer!
Molly was a month shy of turning 12 years old, in the 6th grade at her beloved Visitation Academy. I then hear Molly say, "so I am going to die in three weeks?" Why in the world does she think this and "no, of course not", I say. So many thoughts run through your head when you hear news like this...and being a surgical nurse, probably a few extra thougts came to mind, like first and foremost, is this the place for treatment? Are these the right doctors? Oh, wait, Molly still needs surgery, she is having an appendicitis!
Little did I know what was ahead of us...surgery, PICU, chemo, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions and after 6 days in the PICU to hear "we are going to have to transfer Molly to a Pediatric hospital, we aren't capable of handling her issues, and boy did she have issues!
One thing I do know is remembering, I wished we could be at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
As it turned out, Molly had a rare form of cancer, typically seen in adults not children, called acute promyelocytic leukemia. At that time, survival rate was not great unless caught very early and maybe if you didn't have any other strikes against you, like an appendix that ruptured!! Not good! Sadly, it was three weeks from the time Molly was sick at home to the day she died...my birthday, February 7th. However, after much research, due in part to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, outcomes have improvedfor this diagnosis over the last 10 plus years. I wish we had the opportunity to experience St. Jude's expertise. Who knows, maybe Molly's outcome would have been different. I do know that it is the same for all of us who have had a child diagnosed with cancer...you have no idea what lies ahead except that you will do anything to help your child surive, which includes being at their bedside day and night, which comes at a cost. You can't be at work, but you need to work in order to pay the bills that are about to amount to who knows how much! If you are like some, the long haul could be 2-2 1/2 years of treatment. At St. Jude, no family has these issues; families are never given a bill. The family's only concern is getting their child healthy again.
Anyone who knows me, knows running is a huge part of my life! I come from a family of runners, thankfully, because it has been my saving grace through the loss of my daughter, Molly. Running has given me so much...temporary peace of mind from greiving, physical and mental strength, lots of time with my running peeps who provide the best therapy, laughter! I have challenged myself over the years to obtain personal bests in running races, which I am able to continue to do, but now I am challenging myself again this year by running as a hero in the St. Jude Children's Research Hospitals marathon weekend, trying to pay it forward to all those families who like me, will hear the worst words EVER..."Your child has cancer"
Running isn't the hard part for me, but asking for your support is. I am not good at asking for money, its uncomfortable, but I am going to get out of my comfort zone and ask you for support. Could you please help me raise money for the children and their families of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, help these families who have no idea what they are about to endure. Doesn't every child deserve the best care available to them?
My hope is that you will take this opportunity to help my fundraising goal of $3,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I'm dedicated to using my running to make an impact as I train for my race, raising funds for the children of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
I am a St. Jude Hero! I have chosen to run for a reason bigger than myself by fundraising for the kids and families at St. Jude. I am training to cross the finish line on race day and with your donation we can cross the fundraising finish line together because the money you donate helps find a cure for childhood cancer.
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 is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and they 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.