To help bring even more awareness to childhood cancer this September, we at The Gold Hope Project decided to give a platform to all the childhood cancer heroes. Their story in their words.
What is your child’s name? Tara S
What is their diagnosis and prognosis? Astrocytoma Grade 2 brain cancer. Her prognosis is good but she is in her second round of treatment due to relapse.
How did you discover they had cancer? She had a seizure in March of 2012 and was treated for encepholitis for 8 months until she had a cognitive decline in December 2012. Four days before her 8th birthday in February 2013, she had a brain biopsy and then 9 days after her birthday we were told she had cancer.
What was your perception of childhood cancer before your child’s diagnosis? That it won’t happen to my child. That it’s rare.
What kinds of treatments and procedures has your child been through? Are there any struggles your family faces because of treatment? She went thru 70 weeks of IV chemo. She did become allergic to her first line drug of Carboplatin and had to go to the second line treatment of Vinblastine. She finished treatment in July 2014 and then in January 2015 it was discovered that one of the three tumors in her brain had stated to grow so we are on a oral chemotherapy regimen for one year. We face many struggles that other cancer families do too because of the financial strain. We struggle to pay the bills each month. We are not able to do simple repairs on our house because all of our money is tied up in treatment costs.
What did you learn about childhood cancer after your child was diagnosed? Was there anything that shocked you about the disease? We have a whole new perspective on childhood cancer and the first is that it is NOT rare. I find it shocking that there has not been a new childhood cancer drug in over 25 years. That our kids don’t get the funding that they need to come up with better treatment options.
If there was one thing you wish people could do to help a family with a child battling cancer, what would that be? From my perspective it would be to know that this is not rare and our kids deserve more. Fundraising to help families with the simple things like groceries, gas money for their travels or helping with any repairs that are needed on their homes. Taking off the financial strain on a family is huge and mean more than people realize!!
What do you think about The Gold Hope Project’s mission to bring awareness to childhood cancer through photography? I LOVE IT!!!! It really brings it into the spotlight that our kids deserve more than they are receiving and that we need to help these kids and families get through this!
Has your family received a Gold Hope photography session? Yes
If yes, please describe what those images mean to your family and what receiving the gift of photography did for your family. They were amazing. Having my daughter photographed at Nationals Park was a dream for her. I would love to have her photographed in nature or doing her favorite things like play softball and helping animals out. But the pictures we took back in 2013 are awesome!!!
Thank you so much to Tammy for taking the time to share Tara’s story. Keep up with Tara here. Pray for Tara.
Ready to do more? How about joining the #randomactofhope movement?