You may remember following our friend's battle and ultimate win over cancer. If you haven't, go over and read from beginning to end. It's a happy ending story but you'll still need your tissues. Unfortunately for others, they don't get to chalk up the W, so the fight against childhood cancer continues.
One way is with the CureSearch Walk and our second annual local one was a couple of weeks ago. This is the first year that Splenda Daddy I had the chance to join in, and I have to say - it.was.inspiring!
There were so many people. Families. Little children. Grandparents. Siblings.
All united in one cause. Each cancer child participant put together a team to walk with and of course ours was Team Brinley!
Love the shirts that they had made for us!
The committee (composed of these special children's mom's) had 3 different bandanna's for walkers to wear. Lightest green indicated they were walking in memory of a child who earned his/her angel wings. Darkest green was for those currently in treatment and the middle tone green was for survivor's. I loved how some families found other ways to show their child was a survivor.
They started with a small program and my friend Kristin was chosen to speak as a cancer mom. I couldn't have been more proud of her. She was so composed. Spoke just the right words and made sure to address all the right issues. Cancer doesn't just affect the child and the parents, but siblings pay a high price as well. She talked of the scary times, the emotions, the fear of and the reality that your child might not make it. She was real. She was raw. She was on.point. I couldn't help but tear up. And yet, she was hopeful and radiated happiness and peace that can come even in the middle of the horrible nightmare that is childhood cancer.
They released some balloons and had a moment of silence for those children who didn't make it. Whose fight was more than their little bodies could take.
And then they took the time to have each child with cancer - either currently in treatment, remission or or declared "cured", to have a moment on stage, say their name and be awarded a medal. The gentleman who did this part couldn't have been any better. The only negative thing I could think of is that there were too many damn kids. TOO MANY FIGHTING THIS HORRIBLE DISEASE!! As I turned around to mention this to Splenda, he reminded me that for those kids now on the stage, how awesome it must feel to look out and see such a huge crowd of people that were there to show love and support for them! One little one, clearly in treatment with her mask on to prevent against infection, couldn't hide the smile. It was in her eyes. If we brightened their day for just a minute. Made them take their mind of their pain and sickness for even 1/2 an hour - it was totally worth it.
And then the walk began! The kids led out behind a banner and the crowd followed, generally sticking with their teams.
It was fun to be with our friends the Cebrowski's. Lot's of chatting, joking and giggles. One lap around Sugarhouse park. That was it.
That one lap at a slow walk with so many strangers all united in one cause was indeed inspiring! I looked around and thought of about the fact that every single person there had been touched in one way or another by cancer. Their child, grandchild, sister/brother, friend, friends child....on and on......no matter the connection, this walk united everyone in the same cause of FIGHTING IT!
I am grateful that I had very healthy children. I am thankful that I was never asked as a parent to face this horrible nightmare. I admire, love and support those who do. I'm thankful for the example of Brinley and her awesome family. They will likely never know how inspiring they have been and continue to be as they stay involved in this fight. It's a privilege to know them, know their story, watch their strength and hopefully learn from them. Thanks for all the hard work and effort to the cancer mom's, aunt's and grandma's that worked tirelessly on this year's event. It was so much bigger and more successful than they imagined. And that's a good thing.
To the little ones: babies, toddlers, teens - who are fighting cancer - KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT! You got this! And know that there are so many of us who are praying for you and working hard to find a cure!
** All the GREAT pictures come from Shanna - you can find her here or here
** The crappy ones came from my cell phone
** Primary Children's Medical Center is the local hospital that takes care of these children and work so hard to save their lives. Remember that Festival of Trees is a major fundraiser for their efforts. (just a 'lil plug)