Year: 2015

(Photo taken early in treatment) 
(Photo taken early in treatment) 

This is Michael. Only a few hours remain in the year 2015, and all of us at Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation want to thank each of you that support the Foundation and wish you a safe and Happy New Year.

We have a lot to be thankful for — Cannon remains NED, our Foundation has reached tens of thousands literally throughout the world and we made our first clinical trial research grant.

So much has changed for us as we continue to grow and raise more funding for research so that we can end the horror of cancer in children. And we will do it. But, one thing has not changed. And this is what drives our Foundation: Every single morning in the US, and numerous other times throughout Europe, Asia and Australia, mothers and fathers get up and get dressed for their child’s funeral. A child lost unnecessarily and so unjustly to cancer. Seven children per day in the US, and more worldwide. What is more horrible and devastating in life than burying a child because medical research is not advanced or known to end the disease? Or new treatments, less harsh therapies or ones that don’t cause secondary cancers aren’t available? How many times must parents with a child diagnosed with cancer hear these words: “I’m sorry, there is nothing more we can do”?

Please consider a tax deductible donation to Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation today. We will fund more research this year and in the future so that someday… someday, cancer in children will not exist. cancer in children is wrong. It is unjust. And it is unnecessary.

For all the children unjustly lost to cancer, and for all those parents that have devastatingly buried a child lost to cancer, we honor you every day at Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation. Your loss will forever motivate us. 

Thank you.

Secure link for donations:

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=5403bb30e4b0a7034afbc6dd

Hello CKc Community!

It’s the holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year, right? Well we know that statement is not so true for families who are currently losing/or have lost the greatest gift to their family…their child. We have heavy hearts for some families who we know are at their darkest moment at this time. Our love and prayers are with you and you give us the inspiration to continue fighting for hope and new treatments so we don’t have to lose any more children to cancer.

We know you are probably bombarded with messages for end-of-the-year giving. It makes sense; people are in a giving mood and feeling like they want to spread goodness and kindness to help make someone’s holiday a little brighter. Certainly people also give as a way to help their tax situation. If you are considering making an end-of-the-year gift to a charitable cause, we ask that you please consider CKc. We are working toward the goal of making sure not another child hears there are no more options for him/her. That truly is a wonderful gift to give a child and their families. Please click here to make a donation to our 501(c)(3) organization.

Team CKc was excited to give back and serve families on the oncology floor at Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children in Orlando. We teamed up with BASECamp.org to deliver dinner, movies, popcorn and holiday cards to spread some holiday cheer. We would especially like to thank Hubbly Bubbly for donating all of the food for these special families!!

Melissa and members of our CKc Community successfully ran the OUC half-marathon last weekend for children who valiantly fought or are currently fighting cancer. Melissa was so inspired by each of our CKc Community members who came out to cheer on the team. She said there where people cheering for her at each mile marker! What outstanding support by all of you who ran, cheered or prayed for our team. We hope we were able to raise awareness and touch just one more person that special morning. It takes just one drop to create a ripple effect.

Still looking for some great gifts for the holidays? Don’t forget our CKc Jewelry and our book “Thankful For The Fight” make thoughtful gifts. Not only can you create awareness and help provide an inspiring gift, with each purchase you are making a donation to CKc and you can let your recipient know how the gift also helped us further our mission to eradicate kids’ cancer. Thank you!

Team CKc would like to extend a warm welcome to Lindsay Chamberlin, who is our new Card Club Coordinator. She will assist in helping your lovingly-made card club cards reach kids fighting cancer. We have received some fantastic handmade holiday cards! If you have, or know of, a child fighting cancer who would like to receive a holiday card, or if you work for a hospital and you would like some cards sent to your department for distribution to kids with cancer, please email debra.brett@cannonballkidscancer.org. We will do our best to send along some holiday cheer!

CKc Community, we need your help! We are in need of corporate sponsorships and auction items for our first annual Gold Gala in April 2016. Sponsorship packages are available at a variety of investment levels and we can even help customize a package for your company’s needs. Don’t miss out on this easy and effective way to support CKc and our mission to further pediatric cancer research in pursuit of a cure. Proceeds from the Gold Gala will go directly towards funding pediatric cancer research. Any donation of items or level of sponsorship is appreciated, and you don’t need to live in Orlando to help! If interested, please contact the Gold Gala Chair, Shereen Toffetti, at Gold.Gala@cannonballkidscancer.org.

Until next time!

Debra

A Memorable Morning

Team CKc would like to thank everyone who supported us this morning! Whether you were running, cheering, or praying, we appreciate YOU!! Melissa ran an excellent race for the kids and she said there were people cheering her on at each mile marker!! So fantastic!! Thank you, again!! Don’t forget, if you were cheering at a mile marker and were able to get a picture of you or your group, please email your picture to debra.brett@cannonballkidscancer.org. Here are some pictures from this morning. 🙂

And They’re Off!!

Melissa and Team CKc runners are off and running!! For all the kids who have fought cancer or are still fighting, we run for you!! If you are cheering on Melissa and our Team CKc runners at a mile marker, please take a picture of you and your group and email them to debra.brett@cannonballkidscancer.org as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who came out this morning to support Team CKc!!

Giving Tuesday

This is Michael. Today is Giving Tuesday and my first post since Childhood cancer Awareness Month. I want to post today to talk about Giving Tuesday, and why it is important to Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation, what it means and how you as a follower of CKc, Cannon or supporter of cancer research for children can make a difference.

Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

This past week, I got a message on my laptop from Microsoft that I could update to Windows 10. I downloaded the update. When it was complete, I noticed that all of the pictures in my photo album had been rearranged in a different format, and I was able to look through old cellphone photo downloads to my laptop and downloads from Melissa’s past cellphones to my laptop. I came across the photos we both took on our cellphones when we took Cannon to New York in August, 2013 for surgery and removal of his neuroblastoma tumor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. I scrolled through these photos, and saw Cannon with his bald head and weakened. Some of them were of us playing the day before his surgery in Central Park, and I remember that day wondering if this was the last day I was ever going to be able to play with my son. Two of them were pictures of Cannon and Melissa praying at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, praying that God would protect our son the next day and somehow get him through the surgery that we were told in advance was a “10 out of 10” in terms of complexity, and that there was no guarantee that Cannon would make it through and survive the surgery. 

Several photos were of the morning of the surgery, and of me and Cannon in the waiting area at 6:30am, watching YouTube videos on a computer there of trains that he loved to watch. I remember holding him while we watched, and I felt nearly numb because I knew I was about to hand him over to the surgery team and might never see him alive again.

Thirteen hours later at 9pm that evening, Dr. LaQuaglia came out from surgery and said that he believed that he got all of Cannon’s tumor out and that Cannon was on ventilator life support and would survive the surgery. The next month in Manhattan was so hard for us, but even harder for our Cannon just fighting to live. Little did we know then that the experience of that day was just the beginning of the Hell and the suffering that Cannon went through to be in the place he is today. And he is one of the “Lucky” ones… he is still with us, while so many others we have known along the way with exactly the same experiences are now unjustly in Heaven. 

Why do I tell this story?  Because we started and founded Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation to fund research to bring to children with cancer less painful treatments, more effective treatments, treatments designed specifically for children (and not adult forms of cancer dosed down for a child), and ultimately, a cure for all 12 types of children’s cancers. Research funding is the answer to these issues. Waiting on state and federal governments and the National Institute of Health to fund a cure for children’s cancer is near folly. The effective treatments and those designed specifically for children will likely come as a result of private charitable giving.

Would you consider a donation to CKc on #GivingTuesday?  Help us fund additional research to stop the madness of parents being told that their child has cancer and that there are no treatments specifically designed for that form of cancer. Stop the madness of children being diagnosed with several forms of pediatric cancer that have ZERO survival rate. And stop the moral wrong of parents having to bury their child because far more money is spent trying to treat adult forms of cancer than that of children. On #GivingTuesday and this year-end holiday season, help us by making a donation to CKc. Honor all those parents who have unjustly lost their child to cancer and especially those angels who suffered so greatly at the hands of a medical research community that has nearly turned its back on the issue of why cancer occurs in children.

cancer in children is wrong. It is unjust. It is unnecessary. 

Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation is going to change that.

I’ve included the donation link below. Thank you.

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=5403bb30e4b0a7034afbc6dd

Hello CKc Community!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day holiday with your family and friends. Team CKc has so much to be thankful for, including each and every one of you! Without you, we wouldn’t be able to raise the money we need to raise or spread the word about how much pediatric cancer research needs our help. Most of all, we wouldn’t be able to provide hope and new options to the children who are fighting for their lives. We wish all the children could be NED, like Cannon. With new treatment options and new research, we know we can work toward making this wish a reality.

We are also so grateful for the support of our corporate sponsors who graciously provide donations to help us accomplish our goal of funding new and innovative pediatric cancer research. This week, we were humbled to receive two fantastic donations! XL Soccer World in Orlando held two big events during Childhood cancer Awareness Month in September. As a result, they raised $30,000, and made three $10,000 donations to a hospital and two organizations that support pediatric cancer, including CKc. Thank you, XL Soccer World family, for your continued support, investment, and belief in what we do!!

In addition, we were blessed to receive another corporate donation from Enterprise Holdings Foundation in Central Florida. Michael was invited to make a presentation to their team about CKc and the needs of childhood cancer. In response, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation presented us with a check for $2,500 to further pediatric cancer research. As you can see, Cannon thought this was pretty cool! Thank you, Enterprise!

Thank you, again, to Style Encore in Orlando for hosting a fantastic ladies night out event in support of CKc. Melissa autographed books, holiday cards were made for the CKc Card Club and most importantly, money was raised to help provide hope for kids with cancer. A super fun night! Thank you to the team at Style Encore!!

We also received a bunch of cute, creative and cheerful cards handmade by the lower school at St. James Cathedral School in Orlando. We teamed up with BASE Camp in Orlando to deliver these Thanksgiving cards to kids celebrating the holiday in hospitals. These cards were sure to create some smiles for the kids, as they certainly did for us!

Our CKc Card Club is going strong and we are working with several schools who have adopted the card club for a holiday project. If you have, or know of, a child fighting cancer who would like to receive a handmade holiday card, or if you work for a hospital and you would like some cards sent to your department for distribution to kids with cancer, please email debra.brett@cannonballkidscancer.org. We will do our best to send along some holiday cheer!

Melissa is running the OUC half-marathon next weekend, on December 5, in Orlando. Please come out and cheer on Melissa and our CKc team as they run each mile for a different child who has lost his or her life to cancer or continues to fight this horrific disease. Please read Melissa’s blog post on why this race is so important to Team CKc.

CKc Community, we need your help! We are in need of corporate sponsorships and auction items for our first annual Gold Gala in April 2016. Sponsorship packages are available at a variety of investment levels and we can even help customize a package for your company’s needs. Don’t miss out on this easy and effective way to support CKc and our mission to further pediatric cancer research in pursuit of a cure. Proceeds from the Gold Gala will go directly towards funding pediatric cancer research. Any donation of items or level of sponsorship is appreciated, and you don’t need to live in Orlando to help! If interested, please contact the Gold Gala Chair, Shereen Toffetti, at Gold.Gala@cannonballkidscancer.org.

Until next time!

Debra

Hello CKc Community!

Fall is here and we are FINALLY getting a glimpse of it in Orlando today, with a high of 79 degrees. Much better than the record-setting 90 degree temperatures we experienced earlier in the week! For all of our Cannonball Community members in cooler climates, we are envious of you! 😉

Cannon and Melissa did get a taste of the cooler weather during their trip to Michigan this past week for Cannon’s brain MRI, MIBG scan, CT and other tests related to his DFMO clinical trial requirements to ensure he is remaining NED (No Evidence of Disease). The Wiggins family is so very excited to report that the scans were clear and sweet Cannon remains NED! Way to go, Cannonball!

We are excited to have reached 22,000 Cannonball supporters on Facebook this week! We hope all 22,000+ of you are learning more about the needs facing the pediatric cancer world and are sharing your knowledge and passion. It takes a village and we need you to help us end the suffering of children with cancer. To our newest members, and to those of you who have been there from the beginning, we are THANKFUL for each of you. Thank you for joining our CKc Community!

CKc Community, we need your help! We are in need of corporate sponsorships and auction items for our first annual Gold Gala in April 2016. Sponsorship packages are available at a variety of investment levels and we can even help customize a package for your company’s needs. Don’t miss out on this easy and effective way to support CKc and our mission to further pediatric cancer research in pursuit of a cure. Proceeds from the Gold Gala will go directly towards funding pediatric cancer research. Any donation of items or level of sponsorship is appreciated, and you don’t need to live in Orlando to help! If interested, please contact the Gold Gala Chair, Shereen Toffetti, at Gold.Gala@cannonballkidscancer.org. Our Gold Gala team is truckin’ along and just signed on a fabulous caterer for the event! We will be launching an event page on our website soon that will contain all of the details you will need to know about the event. Stay tuned!

Team CKc is also working on developing a formal grant application and review process. Lots of hours are being poured into this project and we are moving the ball forward at a steady pace. Our plan is to launch, early next year, the ability to apply for a CKc grant.

Get a jump on your holiday shopping and support Cannonball Kids’ cancer! On Wednesday, November 18, Style Encore in Orlando (4910 E. Colonial Dr. Orlando FL 32803) is hosting “Ladies Night Out Benefiting Cannonball Kids’ cancer”. Meet Cannonball Kids’ cancer co-founder Melissa Wiggins and learn more about what CKc is doing to eradicate children’s cancer. Melissa will personally autograph copies of her book, “Thankful For The Fight“, which will be available for sale (all book sale proceeds go towards pediatric cancer research). You can also participate in a CKc Card Club opportunity and enjoy making holiday cards for kids with cancer. Enjoy lite bites and wine and shop for a great cause! A portion of the evening’s sales will go towards raising money for pediatric cancer research.

Melissa is running the OUC half-marathon on December 5 in Orlando. Please come out and cheer on Melissa and our CKc team as they run each mile for a different child who has lost his or her life to cancer or continues to fight this horrific disease. Please read Melissa’s blog post on why this race is so important to Team CKc. Sign-up for the half-marathon before November 19 and run with us or stand along the route and cheer on Team CKc!

Our CKc Card Club is going strong and we are working with several schools who have adopted the card club for a holiday project. If you have, or know of, a child fighting cancer who would like to receive a handmade holiday card, or if you work for a hospital and you would like some cards sent to your department for distribution to kids with cancer, please email debra.brett@cannonballkidscancer.org. We will do our best to send along some holiday cheer!

Until next time!

Debra

I Wanted To SCREAM…

Last night I got to spend time with Amanda, Oscar’s mum. For those who have followed my blog for a while, Oscar died at age 5 of cancer. Cannon and Oscar had an unspeakable bond. Oscar was Cannon’s first friend. The first time I ever saw Cannon play and giggle with another child was here in Michigan with Oscar and Sally (Oscar’s sister). I truly love and loved that kid – Cannon still watches videos of them playing together.

 

Last night as we had dinner at the house we stay in which is attached to the hospital, this man serving dinner was asking us about our stories. Amanda said “My son passed away at age 5 of cancer… our sons were friends.”

 

The man’s response blew me away…

 

“Ohhh, that’s unfortunate.”

 

It took every ounce of my 110 pound, 5’2″ Scottish soul to not scream “IT’S NOT UNFORTUNATE, IT’S UNNECESSARY!”

 

My belly was in fire mode. But someone once told me “Pause when agitated”, so I did. I paused..

And paused.

And paused.

 

And now my fingers are burning to write about it.

 

All night I tossed and turned…

 

Unfortunate?

Unfortunate?

 

I am not blaming this man or angry with him.

 

Rather, what he said is wrong! It’s simply wrong and inaccurate.

 

It’s not unfortunate, it’s unnecessary.

 

It’s unnecessary that my two friends’ kids battle relapse now after years of No Evidence of Disease (NED). It’s unnecessary that 10 of the 13 miles I will run in a few weeks have children on them that are no longer alive and that’s just in the 2.5 years we have been in this cancer world.

 

I will get down from the podium in a second but the fact remains:

 

We need to educate.

We need to raise money.

And we need to FUND trials.

 

I have said it before and will say it again – we must fund trials. NOTHING! NOTHING else can change it! The scientists are waiting, they have solutions but no money to fund their research. How sad is that? That our kids could be alive today?

 

I appreciate every one of you reading this as childhood cancer is UGLY! It’s painful.

 

BUT… it exists because we can’t fund trials.

 

I had a conference call last week with a potential editor for my second book “After The Fight”. It will be released in May 2016.

 

I said I want it to be more optimistic and illustrate that After The Fight is easier. Here is the problem – I am not sure it is? When you stop the BIG fight, the treatment fight, and you slow down it hits you like a 40 ton truck what just happened. And I can’t lie, it takes a minute to pick up the pieces. You so badly want cancer to have stolen nothing else from you but the reality of that is that it has stolen many things in your marriage, your younger children’s lives, your older children’s lives, old friendships have gone, new ones have emerged. Everything, and I mean everything, is different and you need to put it back together like a BIG complicated puzzle. The one thing cancer can’t take is our faith that it will get better and that’s what my second book talks about. Keeping faith in unspeakable circumstances no matter what.

 

Cancer may have taken many things but don’t ever let it take that FIRE in your belly! That, my friends, is what makes it all doable!

 

I’ve decided book three will be a comedy… show my funny side. I use to be a funny person – cancer stole my humor. I want it back!!!! Maybe I will call it “Stay Silly”. Sorry, I digress. Trying to stay busy while Cannon is under. Four hours… yuk!!!!

 

I’ve said it before – prayer works – truthfully. Some of you know this but my husband was very sick when Cannon was 4 months old. Long story short, he had an immune disorder and they told us it was doubtful he would walk again. Cannon would sit on his knee while I would push the wheelchair. We prayed, we prayed, we prayed and we prayed and my husband is healthy as can be. You would never know he fought so hard.

 

So when I ask for prayers I’ve seen what they do. I have witnessed it and no one can ever convince me they don’t work. This is why I am ever indebted to all of Cannon’s warriors. I know sometimes, many times, prayers are not answered but that doesn’t mean we don’t ask. I will never stop asking. I pray for all the Warriors – the ones in Heaven and the ones on earth. You know when I write these words I think of the mother reading it who has prayed fervently and her child is no longer here and what does her heart feel when she reads that?!I wonder would I say this of prayer if Cannon was gone? I don’t know the answer to those questions, only that my heart aches for those mothers and parents.

 

Dear cancer:

 

Note that I never capitalize you – you’re not that important.

 

Just wanted to let you know that Cannonball Kids’ cancer and its warriors are growing in numbers and strength. We are in this for the long game. We are creating more awareness and funding for two more trials to kick your ass. 

 

My life is committed to beating you.

 

Quitters never win and winners never quit!!!

 

I am NOT

I will NOT

 

QUIT!

 

Regards

Mumma-Bear

 

We should get Cannon’s results today because this hospital is amazeballs. Stay tuned for NED post.

 

 

 

I am

I continue to be

Thankful For The Fight

 

Read about our first grant for $100,000:

http://www.cannonballkidscancer.org/blog/2015/8/19/our-biggest-swing-at-pediatric-cancer-yet-and-were-just-getting-started

Posted by Cannonball Kids' cancer on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

 

Purchase our Book – “Thankful For The Fight” – all proceeds to research:

https://www.createspace.com/5409855

 

Make a donation to our pediatric cancer research projects:

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=5403bb30e4b0a7034afbc6dd

 

Host a card club event:

Melissa.wiggins@cannonballkidscancer.org

 

Melissa M. Wiggins

Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation

Co-Founder

www.cannonballkidscancer.org

Kids can have a heart for serving, too, as proved by sweet Lauren, from Orlando, Florida. She baked 1,600 dog biscuits to sell during Childhood cancer Awareness Month. Her efforts raised $400 for CKc! Plus, she recently hosted a CKc Card Club event for her ninth birthday.

Thank you, Lauren, for being a shining example of serving others and for choosing to help us change the face of pediatric cancer.

Ok, it just got real people!

Check it out!!! Our incredibly talented Creative Director,  Richard Johnson, designed Team CKc T-shirts for runners and supporters of the half marathon on Dec 5th.

So far, Team CKc consists of:

Melissa Wiggins

Gregor Alexander

Jay Hanna

Jayme Bryan

Olivia Wiggins

Richard Johnson

 

I am trying to get some girls on our team. Where are my girls? Any takers?

If you don’t want to run and just want to support, you can pick a mile and be a mile marker and yell at us! Who doesn’t love a good yell?

The T-shirt is “Running To Zero”. We want zero childhood cancer deaths and until that happens CKc won’t stop.

You don’t need to fundraise at all. This is an awareness run. We want to create more awareness as we know that the long game is: awareness = funding = cure.

To purchase a shirt for support or racing please follow this link:

https://www.booster.com/runningtozero

Below is my original blog where you can find the link to register for the OUC Half Marathon on December 5th.

Come join me, people! Let’s do this!!! Feeling pumped up!! Although I ran 4 miles yesterday and almost collapsed! Help!

 

**************************************

 

You Started This, Cannonball (Emotional Post)

 

So it’s official – I am signed up for a half marathon!

In TRUE Melissa Wiggins fashion I ran twice last week and think I can train for a half in four weeks. Yes, I’m addicted to insanity!

The truth is, no matter the pain, it won’t compare to what kids with cancer face, so with that said I have written 13 names of kids who have deeply affected my LIFE in this cancer world. But for three, all of them are in Heaven. All of them taken too soon.

 

Mile One: Brooke

I dedicate this to you, Brooke. No one can compare to that big smile I met in Michigan. Cannon and I made paintings for you and then you gave me a beautiful flower for my hair. You fearlessly fought relapsed neuroblastoma and were taken at age 7. Your smile is sketched in my heart! You were and ARE special. I will run mile one for you.

 

Mile Two: Johnny

I dedicate this to you. I will run mile two hard for you, buddy. I met you while YOU fought so hard in the ICU. You fought so hard. The next time I saw you, you were in a coffin, no longer fighting so hard but resting in Heaven. Watching you being lowered into the ground at less than two years old – well… it is difficult to breathe typing this. You, my boy, are at the forefront of my brain when I am in DC fighting for change!!! Kisses for you, baby boy.

 

Mile Three: Talia

I dedicate this to you. The first person we ever met with neuroblastoma. I am not sure I have ever seen a more beautiful young girl in my life – makeup or no makeup. You were naturally gorgeous. You had a bright light – and funny, too. I got to pray over you in your room as you were in your last few days. Cannon was doing chemo across the hall from you and we would pray so hard for you and your family. I will never forget where I was when the news came you had gone to Heaven. I had to get out of the house and I cried for days! I will run mile three thinking of you and that day. I pray baby girl that Heaven is as beautiful as you are!

 

Mile Four: Kylie

Kylie, I will run mile four for you! A baby. You were taken as a baby. I just close my eyes and see you in that pink tutu and and the headband and pearls on your neck. You proved them wrong when so many times they told your mum you won’t make it another day and YOU, baby – you said “yes I will!” I will run with the same determination as you, baby girl. I promise to try and make you and your beautiful family proud.

 

Mile Five: Alex

I first met you in the elevator when I was with Cannon and you were finishing your chemo and you told me Cannon was so cute. Your smile lit up the whole elevator! I congratulated you on your last chemo. Sadly, your cancer came back and took you to Heaven too soon. I will never forget meeting you and I will think of your smile as I run. I promise to make you proud. I hope Heaven is making you smile.

 

Mile Six: Jase

Sweet Jase. I met you when you and Cannon were doing transplant. Your mum and I would text to get each other through the tough nights. I remember your mum saying “they say he won’t last long.” Your mum and I would say “they don’t know this kid.” Your cancer kept coming back and you kept fighting back – longer than anyone could ever have expected. But you showed them, buddy!!! Jase, you changed me! You just did! Mile 6 is getting tough and when I get there, you, my friend will be in my mind – smiling with that huge smile and I will hear that giggle of yours. You, my friend, will forever be in MY heart.

 

Mile Seven: McKenze

I will never forget the last time I saw you. You had on the blue Cannonball shirt. I remember you smiling in the last room before you exited the floor. When I was in Philly with Cannon, your mum told me you had gone to Heaven and how you slept with your Cannonball shirt aside your bed. You were so beautiful. Bald never looked so beautiful, sweet girl. I was shocked when I heard you were in Heaven as the last time I saw you, you were so happy and healthy looking. It broke me, sweet girl. Just know on mile 7 I will think of you! I will think of you every time I train for this race. You motivate me. I am sorry cancer took you! So unfair.

 

Mile Eight: Sal

Sal, although I never got to meet you, I want you to know that as soon as Cannon was diagnosed, your mum was on the phone helping me navigate where and what type of treatment to get for my baby. I know you fought fearlessly. Your mum visited Cannon when he was sick in the ICU at the hospital in NY. She is so brave. It was hard for your mumma as you fought where Cannon did and yet she did it because she knew it would make YOU proud! Sal, your mum is the most beautiful soul and she yearns for you. I will run mile eight for you and for all the mums like your mum and parents who don’t get to kiss their babies goodnight every night. I will make you proud!

 

Mile 9: Cannonball

Cannonball – my first born child. My first son. At age 20 months stage 4 cancer tried to take you from me. No matter what cancer left behind, it left behind what’s most important – IT LEFT YOU!!! Mile 9 Cannon – I’m tired now and I want to go as fast as I can. I will do so remembering that MY boy, although a short time ago, you were on life support fighting to beat cancer. That on race day, my son – this day – you wait for Mumma at the finish line and I get to cuddle and kiss and high five my baby, unlike the other babies on this list, Cannon. So Mumma fights for them and I know someday YOU will, too!!

 

Mile Ten: Eddie

Eddie, you were my first experience of seeing the reality of kids’ cancer. Relapsed neuroblastoma stole you at age 5. I remember meeting your mum in NYC. She was coming out of the Chapel and I was going in. You, my boy, were identical to my Cannon: diagnosed at age 2, same symptoms in the leg and issues in the knee clearing. Later the cancer came back in your knee and cancer stole you. A few months ago I saw your mumma in DC. She, like me, is fighting. She fights for you, baby boy. She spoke of you. You were the first handprint on my heart and I only prayed that YOU would be the last, that I couldn’t watch one more child die. I wish that was a reality. I will work all my days so that families don’t endure what you did and the heartache of your mum and dad and siblings. I put you on mile ten as I know this is when I will really, really struggle mentally and physically and I will think of you! I will make you proud.

 

Mile Eleven: Trevor

Trevor, when I met you it was in the radiology section at the hospital and your parents asked if Cannon was my son. Since then, sweet boy, you stole my heart. You may be 7 but you’re so much wiser. Now you fight to live in Philly, away from your family. Relapsed cancer is not rare and I fight for you on this mile. Cannon and I pray every night for you! This mile is hard and I’m going to channel your fierce but also charming self as I run it.

 

Mile Twelve: Ava

Ava – it’s simple: I love you. I love your mumma. You are special. Your mumma called me the first week Cannon was diagnosed and since then our families have bonded weekly and sometimes daily. From prayers to videos to each other to calls. You’re special, Ava. I am sorry your neuroblastoma came back and now you’re fighting to beat it again when you should be at school and playing dress-up. The hospital is not where a 6 year old should be! Period! Ava, it is almost the end of the race and I’m tired but I will run this whole mile for YOU. I will think of all the prayers you have done for Cannon and us for you. Cannon says “Pray for Aba” as he can’t say Ava right. This one is for you! Going to finish Ava strong!

 

Mile Thirteen: Oscar

The hardest mile. Oscar. You. Where to start? No other death has changed me more. You changed me! Forever. It’s been almost a year since you went to Heaven. But in this last mile I will not think of that. I will think of your grace to Cannon. Although Cannon couldn’t talk and would always rub your bald head, you loved him. You helped him when he would fall down as you tried to play. Cannon still watches videos of you two. You were Cannon’s first friend. You took him from this socially awkward little baby to a live, crazy, running around boy. You never got to hear him talk, but every night at prayer he now says your name. I love you, Oscar, and this last mile I will run as hard as I can in memory of you and Cannon’s amazing bond. Forever 5, sweet angel.

 

Four weeks of training. December 5. Downtown Orlando.

I’ve already convinced my daughter Olivia to do it and my good friend Dr. Gregor Alexander. Who else will join Team CKc? No money needed, just support for the kids because AWARENESS = FUNDS = CURE.

If you want to join me on race day or come support me by doing a lot of yelling and screaming for these amazing kids, please follow this link:

http://www.trackshack.com/events-detail.php?id=102

I am not asking for donations, merely support in numbers to yell at me to speed it up.

Cuddle your babies this post-Halloween week. Some wish they could have just one last kiss and this is a hard time of year for them.

Please share this post so that we can spread the word!

 

Mumma-Bear

 

I am

I continue to be

Thankful For The Fight

 

 

 

CANNONBALL KIDS' CANCER FOUNDATION,
POST OFFICE BOX 547797
ORLANDO, FL 32854
(321) 325-5392
INFO@CANNONBALLKIDSCANCER.ORG

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