Surviving is always the number one goal. But Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation (CKc) believes that not only should we be fighting for more survivors, but those survivors should have a better quality of life after cancer treatment. The participants in the This Is Treatment campaign share what it is like to live with the secondary effects of pediatric cancer treatment. These effects, both seen and unseen, will follow children long after they are considered “survivors” and will continue to impact their future physical, mental, and social well-being for the rest of their lives.

We believe this is not good enough. There has to be a better solution, and that research is the key.

We are eternally grateful to the cancer warriors participating in the This Is Treatment campaign. It is through their courage that CKc can fulfill its mission to educate for change.

Please honor these children by taking time to learn their reality and then share, give, and stay informed as to how YOU can change the status quo for children with pediatric cancer.

Grayson, Age 2

Treatment: Cerebral Shunt to drain cerebrospinal fluid from the brain into the abdomen.

Side effects include: Life-long visible scar tissue.

What it means to Grayson: “There are things Grayson misses out on, like jumping on trampolines with his friends. It’s hard sometimes because people stare at Grayson’s scar and ask what’s wrong.” – Julie, Grayson’s mom

Isabella, Age 3

Treatment: Radiation & Chemotherapy

Side effects include: Transient global amnesia – A sudden, temporary episode of memory loss.

What it means to Isabella: “She will constantly struggle academically to keep up with her peers. Our family relies on repetition and schedules to help her learn.” – Claudia, Isabella’s mom

Aidan, Age 4

Treatment: Radiation

Side effects include: Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Permanent loss of hearing caused by damage to the inner ear

What it means to Aidan: “Aidan can’t hear certain instrumental keys or letters of the alphabet without hearing aids. It means wearing hearing aids all the time and adjusting to yet another life change. After all he’s been through, the thought of him feeling different or being bullied – it’s not right.” – Elena, Aidan’s mom

Cannon, Age 7

Treatment: Chemotherapy

Side effects include: Oculosympathetic Palsy – Injury to the nerves on one side of the face and eye, which causes abnormalities in pupil size, decreased sweating, and eyelid droop on the affected side.

What it means to Cannon: “Squinting in bright light, wearing sunglasses every time he goes outside, no matter what, no exceptions.” – Melissa, Cannon’s mom

Jay, Age 12

Treatment: Chemotherapy

Side effects include: Fungal Osteomyelitis as a result of immune suppression – A bone infection that can spread throughout the body and organs, requiring surgical intervention and long-term IV medication.

What it means to Jay: “The amputation of his arm at the shoulder, in addition to seizures, kidney insufficiency, and heart damage were devastating. A lost childhood.”   – Maggie, Jay’s mom

Hannah, Age 12

Treatment: Radiation and Chemotherapy

Side effects include: Gatrointestinal Dysfunction – Chronic digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. 

What it means to Hannah:  “This is just one of a long list of side effects Hannah deals with daily. Having gone through cancer three times, the treatments are often eaiser than the aftermath caused by the necessary medications and protocols. Since that first diagnosis, every day has been filled with fear because we have to decipher if an issue is cancer-related or “normal.” We will never be the same. We will FOREVER be in fear. – Elizabeth, Hannah’s mom

Reese, Age 14

Treatment: Chemotherapy

Side effects include: Peripheral Neuropathy – Weakness, numbness, and/or pain from nerve damage, usually in the hands and feet.

What it means to Reese: “She has no feeling in her left leg, which affects her ability to play sports. She deals with sporadic, shooting pain throughout her legs, and blisters and ulcers on her foot. She wears a brace to help with foot drop when walking. Reese must wear shoes at all times when going outside.” – Jodi, Reese’s mom

Tyler, Age 18

Treatment: Radiation

Side effects include: Growth Hormone Deficiency – Decreased pituitary function with endocrine abnormalities resulting in growth failure and short height below expected growth curve.

What it means to Tyler: “Daily injections into my leg or abdomen for two years after cancer treatment with little to no positive effects so treatments were stopped.” – Tyler

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#ThisIsTreatment • #ResearchIsTheKey

 

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