Author: spectaclephoto

2017 CKc Quarterly Newsletter

Second Annual Gold Gala Raises $300,000 To Fund Three New Pediatric Cancer Trials

Due to the incredible support of our CKc Community, our second annual Gold Gala, held on April 1st, raised $300,000 for pediatric cancer research. The money will go towards funding three new innovative pediatric cancer trials. This year’s gala, our foundation’s premiere fundraising event of the year, sold out with 300 attendees and doubled the amount raised from the first gala held in 2016, which raised $150,000. The three new trials will each receive a grant award of $100,000, with two trials receiving their first installment within weeks of the gala.

“I am blown away by the support our foundation has received. To raise $300,000 from only our second gala is a huge accomplishment. However, I am even more proud knowing the money is not sitting in our bank account and that, within the next few weeks, it is going directly to fund potentially life-saving research for children’s cancer,” said Melissa Wiggins, co-founder and executive director of Cannonball Kids’ cancer. “As our motto states, Research Is The Key!”

The three grant awards are:

– A $100,000 grant to Dr. Gregory Friedman at University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) to help fund the expansion of a first-of-its-kind virus immunotherapy trial aimed at saving lives and lessening side effects for children fighting brain cancer. The grant was awarded in honor of Julia Cox, from St. Petersburg, Fla., who died in March 2017 at the age of three from neuroblastoma that had spread to her brain and wasn’t treatable.

– A $100,000 grant to be named the Nolan King Research Grant. During the CKc Gold Gala, the CKc leadership team heard the devastating news of the passing of Nolan King, of Orlando, Fla., at just three years old. The team learned there was no trial available for Nolan, who was fighting relapsed hepatoblastoma, and decided the night of the gala to fund a trial in Nolan’s name for the first-ever trial for relapsed/refractory hepatoblastoma. CKc is currently reviewing an application and meeting with a team in Texas for this trial and hopes to have an announcement soon.

– A $100,000 grant to Dr. David Munn and Dr. Theodore Johnson of Augusta University, Georgia Cancer Center, to expand the first trial CKc funded in 2015, due to the success of the trial thus far. The immunotherapy phase-one clinical trial was originally focused on pediatric brain cancers. The money from CKc will allow the same immunotherapy science to now be used in treating other types of pediatric cancers.


New CKc Board of Directors

On January 27th, CKc’s new Board of Directors met for the first time. We could not be more proud and excited to introduce the new board to you! Our 12 amazing professionals come from five states and two countries. The depth and variety of their industry expertise is immense and we know this board is as passionate as we are to grow CKc. We look forward to working with our new board members during their three-year appointment.


CKc Awards $100,000 Grant for Trial to Treat Deadly Pediatric Cancer with No Long-Term Survivors

In January, we awarded a $100,000 grant to fund a clinical trial for DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a deadly pediatric cancer with zero long-term survivors. The trial is the first-of-its-kind in the U.S. and will be led by Dr. Sabine Mueller at the Benioff Children’s Hospital, University of California, San Francisco. Over the next two years, up to 18 children on the trial will receive the potentially life-changing treatment for DIPG. This trial has a promising outlook for treatment of DIPG, and could impact the drug delivery system for other types of brain cancer as well, saving more children’s lives. The grant was awarded in honor of Gabriella Miller of Washington D.C., who would have turned 14 this month. Gabriella passed away in 2013 at the age of nine from DIPG, just 11½ months after diagnosis.


First-Ever CKc Youth Ambassador: Alex Hurd

Congratulations to Alex Hurd, CKc’s first-ever Youth Ambassador. Alex, of Greenville, South Carolina and a senior at Westminster Schools of Augusta, is inspired and dedicated to helping educate others about the need for increased pediatric cancer research funding and we are honored to reward this young lady for her efforts.

The CKc Youth Advocate recognition program supports an important pillar of CKc’s mission – to educate for change. The program also helps inspire the next generation of doctors, scientists and non-profit leaders who can continue to fight for more funding, innovative research and better treatments for children fighting cancer.

Throughout her high school career, Alex has written essays, given speeches and entered contests to educate the community on pediatric cancer issues. She has shadowed an occupational therapist and volunteered at a research lab in Atlanta. She will be attending the University of Alabama this fall and plans to pursue occupational therapy school. She wants to work with children surviving pediatric cancer.


CKc Community Corner

The Hi5 Bible Study in Ponte Vedra, Florida, did us proud at CKc by holding a CKc Card Club event. The group, around 20 sixth grade girls, were devastated by the loss of one of their friends in her battle to cancer just the week before their gathering. Expressing interest in doing something to honor her memory, one of their leaders, Cari Earle, suggested a CKc card club.

“We encourage them to think of others and make a difference. They chose to make cards for kids with cancer,” said Cari.

After a devotion and some sweet treats, the girls decorated their cards. Along with their cards, they sent in a $100 donation to CKc.

Way to go, Hi5 Bible Study! We and, more importantly the kids that received your cards, are so grateful for your thoughtfulness and support.

CycleBar Spinning Fundraiser

A big thank you to CYCLEBAR in Winter Park, FL, for hosting a super fun, high-energy fundraiser for CKc! Thirty-six CKc supporters came out to cycle, sweat, laugh and, most importantly, raise money to help us fund pediatric cancer research! This one class of riders raised $900 for CKc! Thank you, again, to Winter Park CycleBar and everyone who came out to support us. We can’t wait for the next one!


Thank you for reading our May newsletter!

Cannonball Kids’ cancer Thanks You

(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

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

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

It’s Not WHEN You Finish, It’s WHY!

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

 

 

 

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 two, 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

 

Read about our first grant for $100,000:https://www.facebook.com/CannonballingCancer/posts/816812175101617

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

Living In The Moment

I am the queen of cliche’ sayings, I know. For that, I apologize. But “live in the moment” has to be the most valuable lesson I’ve learned to-date.

Do I always do it? No. Do I do it perfectly? No. But do I TRY to do it? Yes! Yes, I do. 

This moment in this photo had my heart bursting with love and pride and pure gratitude! In that moment! That one right in that photo. I looked at the sky and I thanked God. 

My son is alive. He is thriving. No feeding tube, no life support, no in-hospital stay chemo, no radiation, no transplant, no surgery. Just thriving. Just laughing. Just BEING. 

I’m reading this great book right now called “For The Love”, given to me by a dear fellow twin mum who struggles like I do. To BE it all.

I want to be work mum. Stay at home mum. Homeroom mum. Good wife mum. Great friend mum. Good daughter mum. Inspiring mum. Good home cooking mum. Sports team mum. Football wife, know it all mum. Reads books mum. Pediatric cancer advocate mum. DC lobbying mum. Fundraiser mum. Three boys mum. College kid mum. 

I’m here to tell you it’s impossible. Don’t even try it. Just trust me. Can you trust me? No… I didn’t think so. 

Let me share a little story. My plate is full – agreed? Ok, good. So I’m sitting in my twins’ classroom – they do a morning class three days a week. As they play in the sandpit, I do my usual banter with the teachers (whom I adore), we jest about the big bite mark on Gray’s face and the four big scratch marks on Arran’s and how this is the level of fighting at age 2. I digress… The teacher says, “Hey, can you be the home room number two mum? Help with the silent auction, things like that?” I don’t even pause… I don’t think. I don’t look at my calendar, suggest discussing with my husband, look at my overflowing plate… no delay in my response. Nope, not this. DO.IT.ALL mum… Oh, no.

“Of course I will, I would love to, absolutely put me down.”

No lie, as soon as the words were out my mouth I’m like, “oh crap.” Internally, of course, because remember the above… I’m trying to be all those mums we talked about. 

The truth is, like the book I’m reading tells me, for every NEW YES to someone and something else it’s a NEW NO to my kids and husband. 

Honestly, I’ve been the silent auction mum at St. James when my daughter was in middle school. It’s very rewarding. But at this season in my life with three littles, a college daughter I want to make an effort to see and talk to regularly, a husband who is gone 4 nights a week and a Foundation that I want to nurture and grow into something that can really impact pediatric cancer research, I don’t have any more room on my plate. I wish I did. That’s MY problem.

I guess my point is this: Saying “NO” is hard for us DO IT ALL mums. I’m here to let you off the hook. You can’t do it all and you’re amazeballs (is that catching on yet? ;)) anyways!!

I’m in the process of learning how to say No. It’s not easy for me. But it will help me be better with managing the life I have been given and to my point…

Living in the moment.

Enjoying that MOMENT and trust me, they sometimes don’t last long before my adjudicating and mediating skills come out. But the truth is, that moment of Cannon and his brothers playing was and is hatched in my memory board. 

Life is life. Life has seasons and everyone has good and bad ones. The trick is to take the beautiful moments when they arrive and store them up for the times there are few. Like that time when you walk into your twins’ room to find them screaming and one with a bruised bite mark on his face and the other who looks like a cat attacked him. Trust me, your patience and love will be way better if you stored some good memories.

I am, I continue to be one big work in progress. Learning as I go. This parenting gig – cancer kid or not – is hard. 

Enjoy your Sunday. Mumma-bear’s favorite day of the week. 

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

 

 

Cancer Took Our Dog Winston

I’m not sure if God feels I need more fire in my belly for this war I have waged against cancer – I want to scream “Enough!!!”

Cancer took my auntie, aged 32, leaving three young kids and her husband behind.

My son will fight cancer for all his days and the damage it has left behind.

Cancer tried to take my grandmother, my mentor and many others I’m close to.

Now cancer took my dog. Our Winston! Our first CKc mascot! Our bullmastiff. 

Yesterday we said goodbye to our dog Winston, or “Winstonian” as we used to call him sometimes. 

You would think logically after witnessing my 2 year old son endure 108 hours of straight chemotherapy as just one part of his treatment that finding out your dog is terminal with incurable cancer would be bearable. It’s not. It wasn’t. 

A little about my boy. We got Winston right when I moved to the U.S. Olivia, Michael and I picked him out from the litter and had him in our new home from 6 weeks old. He will forever be 5 years old. Michael and Olivia had adopted a bullmastiff before and he died at age 4 so we wanted to get one from a breeder this time. It didn’t quite work out how we planned – but such is life! 

He was my first dog as an adult. My first baby before babies. The first dog I ever loved and lost. What’s the stupid quote “Better to have loved and lost than never loved”… True, perhaps, but it hurts like heck!

Calling Olivia and Michael last night on the phone, neither whom are in the state I am was painful. That’s not what I want to tell my freshman daughter in her first semester of college. And certainly not what I want to share with my husband. Olivia, while home, walked Winston. In his last days he would go in her room and just lay on her floor. He missed her since she left for college. I have lots of nice memories of her being goofy with our big Winston. 

Michael and Winston got the paper together every morning and while Michael would work at his desk, Winston would lay under it and on his feet. Michael would scratch Winston’s chest forever – they had a special bond. It was hard to watch tears in his eyes as I told him yesterday. 

At first Winston wasn’t allowed on our bed. Then Michael would travel and Winston would go on the bed with me. Slowly but surely, it was our nightly ritual. He would follow me around… the dog would sigh! No joke! He would sigh at me as all he wanted was for me to sit down. He couldn’t relax until I was on the bed and until then he would follow me around as I tidied up after the boys. 

Two months ago I had the carpets and sofa cleaned and I stopped Winston from sleeping on the bed with me and bought him a bed. How much do I regret that? More than anyone can know. This past week he slept in my bed until he wasn’t able to get up on the last night and I slept on the floor with him. A very hard, valuable lesson for this mumma bear. One that weighs so heavy on my heart. 

I was trying to make my life easier. I would dress the boys and they would get hair and drool on them from all the shedding. I should have just loved on my dog. Regret is truly a useless emotion in my opinion but I do feel regret and remorse. 

Being the eternal optimist that I am, I want to focus on everything we had.

Even on his last day, I only left him to pick up the boys from school. When I got home, there he was as I opened the door – wagging and so happy so see us. I had only been gone ten minutes. 

Imagine if we humans were as kind and loving to each other. Imagine if we opened the door to our husbands and acted that encouraged to see them. Excited even though we just saw them ten minutes before.

Winston loved me. He would bypass the boys just to get to me. I loved Winston. My first dog. My first baby. 

He has left paw prints on my heart. 

This will be a transition. Not making him breakfast this morning and not getting to love on him before anyone was even up – it feels so painful. 

I had a home vet hospice called Lap of Love (an amazing organization) come and Winston went to Heaven in our front yard where he would sit nobly looking after the boys and me as we played. He had to be aside me and if I stopped rubbing him he would put his paw on me like “don’t stop”.

As he went to Heaven, Winston laid on me. He was 142 pounds but he thought he weighed 3 pounds and that he was a lapdog. Bullmastiffs are gentle giants. He was scared of cats – no joke! 

I remember one time at the dog park Winston had a dog bite his neck and he was bleeding. Winston didn’t even retaliate or anything. In fact, he just wagged his tail and on he played. I took him to the dog park yesterday but his breathing was so bad he only lasted 5 minutes. He got his fix of peeing on the bushes and smelling other dogs. That’s all I wanted for him. We hit Petco for his favorite biscuits then we sat on the porch and I rubbed and loved on him.

When Cannon was diagnosed with cancer and the twins were with Angela and Nicole and Michael was with Cannon at the hospital, I would come home and Winston was the one who was there for me. I could cry to him. I didn’t need to be brave for him – I could be me. I could be vulnerable. What a gift Winston gave me. 

All Winston wanted was to be part of the family and loved. He was! We never played outside in front or back without him by our sides and last night, with no Winston to watch us play was rough. Even tougher was coming downstairs from storytime last night with the boys and no wagging tail to walk around with me as I cleaned.

Today we got in from school and our usual wagging tail, banging at the door wagging wasn’t there. The house feels so quiet and strange.

What an adjustment for all of us.

The truth is, Winston was a gift to my family. We are beyond blessed that we got to be his family until Heaven. I am not sure a dog could ever measure up to him. He really was special. I am forever changed for having him in my life. 

He has been there with our family through some awful and amazing times! 

As I spent my last moments with him I told him not to worry about me… that Cannon and the boys and Daddy would take care of me. I told him Olivia missed him so much and how Daddy was so thankful that he protected all of us while he worked. I thanked him for loving me and I said over and over, “It’s okay, Mumma loves you.” I’m not sure he heard any of it through my tears.

This was a first for me. I have never experienced the loss of a dog and I never want to again. What a horrible ordeal.

My only saving grace is that he is not in pain now. Those huge, cancerous tumors hanging from his neck are gone! He is happier and healthier than ever! He is playing with my brother, I am sure of it. James will love on him.

Just know Winston that you will always be my first dog and my favorite!! I love you with all my heart. I am forever your mumma! 

If you’re not a dog lover or have ever lost a pet you probably think I’m crazy! That’s okay. It’s best that way.

Thank you to my special friends who stayed with me until Winston was gone yesterday. It meant the world to me but more so to Winston – he loved the attention. Thank you! 

I was fueled for this war against cancer before, that has not changed! I will continue to fight for our kids and your kids and our future generations. 

Goodbye, Winston.

Mumma loves you.

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

 

 

Day 30 – Children’s cancer Awareness Month

This is Michael. Today is the last day of September, and the last day of Childhood cancer Awareness Month. I can’t say that it has been fun or that I have enjoyed it; every year, I say that it has further educated me, and hopefully you, as to what is going on in the world and in our country with respect to those kids and their families unfortunate enough to be struck with cancer. It has certainly done one thing for sure:  solidified the commitment of our family to helping Cannon beat cancer and grow up to be a healthy boy and man, helping others that find themselves in the same horror story, and to forever raise awareness of children’s cancer issues and funding for research that is critical to improving treatment methods and finding a cure.

Over the past two years, Melissa and I have detailed Cannon’s continuing journey — our return and continuing rehabilitation from his surgery in New York, his   chemotherapy and stays at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, his nearly one week stay for a post chemo fever, his twice a week trip to the outpatient clinic, his blood and platelet transfusions, the 3 month stay in Philadelphia for stem cell transplant and how difficult and harsh that was for Cannon, and his good days and his not so good days.  

His journey has been like the other children with cancer, unfortunately:  He had days of play and smiles, but during that treatment, he had more of nausea, severe vomiting, diarrhea, pain from his incision, pain from his medications, continuously woken during the night while in the hospital by nurses doing their jobs or at home by me, having to sit him up while sleeping and inject horrible medicines in his mouth at intervals during the night, and needle biopsies and radiation scans that required sedation. And, not to forget, all the needle injections that we had to give him at home daily, sometimes twice. Pain and misery suffered by a child, and I just wish that more would take a short visit to a children’s hospital and visit the oncology floor and see our kids with cancer — it would change our focus as a society, and it would create new heroes in our world among those that currently have none. 

I hope that the post I wrote on the “Cost of cancer” detailing the outrageously long list of medications, treatments and therapies opened some eyes as to what a child with cancer endures… yes, endures. And I hope that the post I wrote called “DNR” outraged all of you to the point of action. Hanging a sign on a child’s wrist instructing all to let the child die because we as a society have chosen not to adequately fund research to prevent the death is morally bankrupt and should be ended, quickly. And that is the purpose of why we do what we do for Cannon and all the kids with cancer on behalf of Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation.  

Last year, some video was shot of Melissa and me recounting our journey with Cannon and why we have fought for Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation. Some of that was reading posts that we have written in the past, primarily during Cannon’s stays in the various hospitals he has been in across the country. On this last day of the month, I want to talk about all of of these children and the fact that they are the TRUE heroes in our world — along with our military, our police and firemen and first responders, no others deserve it more. Here is that video, and the script is below:

https://vimeo.com/97463408

When I was a kid, my hero was a baseball player named Mike Schmidt. Mike Schmidt played third base for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1970’s and 80’s, and was a Major League All Star in 12 different years, hit 548 career home runs and is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I remember many days and nights as a kid, listening to my radio and hearing the broadcast of another super home run hit by Mike Schmidt for my favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies. I wanted to grow up and play third base and be Mike Schmidt. Even as an adult, I always said my hero was Mike Schmidt. 

I have a new hero in my life. In fact, many new ones. It is Cannon, and all these kids that suffer from cancer. I have witnessed so many of them screaming in pain, crying in the middle of the night or early in the morning, exhausted because of continual sticking, prodding and examining, vomiting in their sleep and the fear in their eyes that no child should experience. I have said before that I truly don’t understand human suffering; I just don’t get it. It is more so in children. The admiration that I have for these kids is beyond my ability to describe it. It has brought tears to my eyes. 

I have walked the halls of Arnold Palmer, Sloan Kettering, New York Presbyterian and Shands University hospitals at all hours of the day and night. I have seen babies, infants, toddlers, kids and teenagers, all with bald heads, their eyes sunken and dark circles underneath, no eyebrows and malnourished — and all with ports or broviacs or some way to access them intravenously to continuously take blood samples, infuse new blood, or pump more drugs into them. All to live. Just to live…   just to play one more day, or to be able to go home to brothers and sisters or to go back to school. And do you know how they complain? They complain with their tears, and I walk down these halls and I see these kids and tears are streaming down their cheeks, and it rips your guts out. I’ve walked into Cannon’s room and seen him listless on a hospital bed, tears running down to his neck. And he is 2.

Yes, I admire the courage of these kids, and the absolute hell that is the children’s cancer world, and they are my heroes. Looking for a hero? Take the elevator someday to the 9th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York and it will open to a huge glass encased play room. And it will be filled with 15 or 20 or more bald heads of children with cancer. Or walk 5 blocks north and walk into the lobby of the Ronald McDonald House on East 73rd in New York, and see the families coming and going as they head to or return from treatment at Sloan. These are the heroes — the kids trying to live, pulling their own IV pumps along the floor and the families trying all they have and giving everything they’ve got, literally, to save their kid’s life.

___________________________________________________________________________

Childhood cancer Awareness Fact of the Day:  The average age of those diagnosed with the ten most prevalent adult cancers is 65 years of age. The average age of death of men and women combined is 77. Cancer represents the loss of life of an average of 12 years per case. The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is 6 and the average age of children that die from cancer is 8. Cancer represents the loss of life of nearly 70 years per child.   

Source:  Curesearch.org,  People Against Children’s’ Cancer (PAC2). 

Really nothing more to say to that statistic other than no society should morally or ethically allow it. Period. If I died next year of cancer, I would say I have lived a very good life and was fortunate to see a lot of the world, have an awesome family and meet a lot of great people. But a child that dies experiences none of it. That is wrong, and any system, government, industry or profession that chooses adults over children because there are more and are more profitable is wrong, morally and ethically. Thank you to all who have followed the posts during this month, and especially to those that have taken the facts I have gathered and discussed and made others aware, participated in an awareness event or donated their time, money or blood for children’s cancer. I’ll go back now to my once-every so often of posting, but rest assured I will not stop my efforts to continue to raise awareness for kids’ cancer issues and  correct this wrong. Melissa and I and all of us at CKc have a mission and passion —- we will save Cannon first, and then we will spend the rest of our lives helping children with cancer and their families. Someday there will be drugs developed specifically for children with cancer and on a yearly basis; someday there will be more federal funding of each of the individual types of children’s cancer; someday research and medicine will be developed to be preventative and curative of each of the children’s cancers; and someday, parents won’t bury their children because not enough cared, thought the numbers weren’t high enough or got it done because it was right and just and not because kids aren’t old enough to vote and have no voice.

Last, we are always asked for Cannon, for kids with cancer, for Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation:  “What can we do?” Here is the answer:  Pray. It costs nothing, and would mean more to us than any gift, toy or any other gesture towards Cannon or our family. I just want my son to live, and I want a cure for cancer in children, but I know that it can’t happen without prayer and the Divine Mercy of Christ. Thank you to all who have done so in the past and to those of you who continue every day (and there have been so many). Thank you. Truly, thank you.  

Please help Melissa and me and CKc to continue to raise awareness for children’s cancer. Don’t stop just because September is over. Every day, remember that at least five children will die and five sets of parents, grandparents and small brothers and sisters will have lost their most precious blood. It is unjust. And it is unnecessary. For all the parents who have lost a child to cancer, and for all of us that are fighting every single day not to, please help us and tell others about childhood cancer, continue to donate blood, time, money and your efforts to help fund research so that someday this torture of our kids will end. It can be done. It can happen. Believe in it and never quit. Don’t ever give up and help us, so that someday, someday… cancer in children will not exist. For Cannon, Patrick, Ava, Ella,  Calin, Sally, Parker and ALL those fighting, do it. Honor the souls and memories of the TRUE HEROES — Sal, Eddie, Oscar, Addison, Talia, Christopher, Cole, Brooke and ALL the kids that have gone to heaven because of children’s cancer.  

Do it. Honor them. Stand Up for Kids. Stand Up.

Thank you.

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

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