“Treat others with kindness. You never know what burdens people bear or what they are going through. You may have power to lift their spirits or break them.” – Nishan Panwar
This quote was something that I always remember when I think about the time my daughter was sick with cancer. Her hair didn’t start to thin until months and months of active treatment. She wasn’t super thin either. In fact, she actually gained weight because of the steroids she had to take. She didn’t look sick but she was in fact very, very sick. When strangers saw her, I would wonder if they had any idea that she had terminal cancer. I’d wonder if they would have treated her differently. Would we have gotten sympathetic smilies for saying yes to every new toy request? Supporting her as she fought the disease was a battle. Every medical professional told us that it would take her away from us – how can you fight against that? Hope was something that came in waves and then got swept away again. It was hard to have hope, yet at the same time, we needed to hold on to desperately. We were so blessed to find hope through our community, even when we had little to hold onto. There were so many people in our lives, some that we had never even met, who through their actions and words brought us hope. From the little things like sending a sweet note, to big fundraisers, we were reminded that others cared about Ava. They were there for us. And those acts showed us how to hold on even when there was so little to hold onto. It really was amazing to be on the receiving end of so much kindness.
How many people do you encounter everyday who may need a bit of kindness and hope? Sometimes it’s easy to spot who needs those things. Other times, you have no idea what someone else may be going through. Why not give HOPE to as many people as you can?
September is a big month for us at The Gold Hope Project. While we work to bring awareness to childhood cancer year round, it is the one month out of the year that the country has set aside for children with cancer. It is the month that we as a community can come together and let everyone know just how devastating childhood cancer can be. It is the month where we raise our gold ribbons and unite under the common desire to fight childhood cancer.
Did you know?*
- The causes of childhood cancer are unknown and can not be prevented (unlike some adult cancers).
- Childhood cancer consists of 16 different types of pediatric cancers.
- Some pediatric brain tumors such as DIPG are terminal upon diagnosis and have a 0% survival rate.
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) annual budget is $4.9 billion. All 16 different childhood cancers will receive 4% of that budget.
- There has been little innovative new treatments for childhood cancer since 1970 and only 3 new drugs have been approved for childhood cancer treatments.
Why does awareness matter? It’s simple…more awareness…more research…CURE! The Gold Hope Project brings awareness to childhood cancer by giving a voice and a face to the children that are diagnosed and in treatment for cancer. Everyday approximately 33 children are diagnosed with cancer. Seven children lose their battle with the disease. Our #randomactofhope campaign is your time to inspire others with hope and kindness. With a small donation of $7 or $33, you can sign up to receive a #randomactofhope kit. We hope this campaign will bring joy to others and open people’s eyes about the reality of childhood cancer.
It’s easy and fun to participate! What can you do to inspire HOPE? It may be something as simple as treating a friend who is having a rough time to lunch, or bringing flowers or a book to the hospital for a lonely patient, or reaching out to the frazzled mom juggling her kids at the park. This is a great activity to get the whole family involved in and a time to be observant of those around you. Just sign up with the link below and you will receive detailed instructions and a postcard to leave with those you gift with your #randomactofhope.
*Information from http://www.thetruth365.org/cancer-facts/; http://www.cancer.gov/types/childhood-cancers; http://www.kidsvcancer.org/facts/.
To make a donation directly without participating in the #randomactofhope, click here.