in pediatric cancer
A pediatric cancer diagnosis means complete upheaval of everyday life. When that happens against the backdrop of a pandemic, it would make sense if two isolated mothers fighting for their child’s lives never made time for friendship again. This is not that story.
By the time Catherine and Quanesha actually met, they already knew their kids were best friends. Jax, Catherine’s son, and Jon Wesley, Quanesha’s son, were inseparable at Aurora Day Camp, a camp for children fighting pediatric cancer.
Upon meeting, they discovered not only was it healing to see their boys having fun together, but they found comfort in sharing each other’s experiences too. “It started as talks about the cancer journey to just checking in on each other,” said Catherine. “People don’t realize how isolating pediatric cancer is,” said Quanesha. “It’s more than our friends not being able to relate to what we’re going through. We lost friends. They said, ‘your child might die.’ They didn’t want their kids experiencing that kind of loss. We lost so much to cancer.”
The moms developed a deeper bond and as time passed, their friendship started to inspire hope. Jax and Jon Wesley finished treatments for their cancers, and while the boys survived, they will forever suffer from the side-effects of their cancer treatments. And their parents will forever wonder “what if?”
Catherine and Quanesha share their story of pain, isolation, connection and hope so that things change.
After spending years in survival mode, watching their children struggle through brutal lumbar punctures, stem cell transplants, rushing to the emergency room at the first sign of fever, and second-guessing every decision, these families are settling into a rhythm of life “after” cancer.
They will always have the mementos of the time Jax and Jon Wesley spent in treatment: Jax’s beads of courage and Jon Wesley’s teddy bear. Jax received a bead for each visit to the hospital, each treatment, fever, and poke. Catherine strung them into a devastatingly long chain.
Jon Wesley carried Flash, the teddy bear, through all his treatments. When we spoke with Quanesha, he had just removed Flash’s band aids because, “I’m almost done with my treatments and so Flash is getting all better too.”
Show these moms you care about their kids! Stand with Jax and Jon Wesley’s families to create better, less toxic treatments for kids! Donate to Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation in this season of giving. Your donation funds innovative treatments for pediatric cancer, increases length and quality of life, and educates for change.
Today, Catherine and Quanesha share their story of pain, isolation, connection and hope so that things change. “We started to look for things we wish our kids had. We want to keep the next child and their family from experiencing what we went through,” said Quanesha. They share their story with organizations like ours, to help inspire you to make an impact by investing in CKc. “We’re so grateful whenever anyone joins the fight. It really is how we change the reality for kids,” said Catherine.
We know what you’re thinking: ‘I would not be that person. I would not turn away from a friend in need when they were suffering the most.’ Please, stand with CKc now and show these moms they’re not alone! Invest in research with CKc today to help create better treatments and less toxic cancer journeys for kids like Jax and Jon Wesley! Your donation funds innovative treatments for pediatric cancer, increases length and quality of life, and educates for change.