Twenty-seven years ago -February 13 1986 - my grandfather died of
liver cancer at the age of 61. I was 10 and it was my first loss
and my first conscious connection with the disease.
Since then cancer has touched so many in my family. Both of my
grandfathers my grandmother aunts and an uncle most recently my
sister-in-law had a minor melanoma removed just this week. She lost
her mother to brain cancer and her father has survived the disease as
Most personally however came when my daughter was just born. She
had an extremely rare tumor - a cervical teratoma which was always
benign. Well almost always.
Emma's malignancy was discovered three moths later following massive
right neck surgery to remove the third recurrence of her tumor.
Hers was the only occurrence of her type of malignancy in recorded
medical history. We were in unchartered territory.
Nearly a decade later Emma is a thriving fourth-grader who displays
more poise and courage than any man woman or child I have ever
met. She still has medical issues - but they don't keep her from
doing anything she wants to do. She has found ways to swim with a
tracheotomy to let her dad know *extremely* clearly ho wshe feels
about things even though she has no voice and is now making her way
through the karate ranks. For a kiddo who has every right to be
pissed at the world every day she is the happiest funniest most
loving individual you could ever hope to meet.
There are other Emmas out there struggling now or not yet born.
Please give generously and help them achieve everything they want
and keep them from the struggles Emma has had to face.