International Childhood Cancer Day takes place on February 15, 2018. However, every day is “cancer day” for the families of a childhood cancer warrior. As a mom of a preteen daughter, I can’t even begin to imagine the physical, financial, and emotional challenges familes of a childhood cancer warrior face on a daily basis.
Sadly, there are an estimated 15,270 children diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States (https://www.cancer.gov/types/childhood-cancers/child-adolescent-cancers-fact-sheet#r1). The average cost of childhood cancer to a family is $833,000 (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/niehs_epa_childrens_centers_impact_report_2017_0.pdf).
The Grahams are a family of four living in St. Louis, MO, and they are one of these precious families. Dad Jeremiah and Mom Jennifer are the parents of Jeremiah (LJ) and Johah. LJ was diagnosed with leukemia in March of 2011, three months before his sixth birthday. He relapsed in June 2013 at the age of eight and had a bone marrow transplant in September 2013, donated by his younger brother Jonah.
LJ’s first treatment took place in St. Louis, but his specialized treatment took place in Philadelphia, PA. The travel back and forth from St. Louis and Philadephia and the need for Jeremiah and Jennifer to take off work proved to be financially impossible for the Grahams. That’s when The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) stepped in to support LJ’s family through its Travel Assistance Fund. Proceeds from this fund made it possible for the Grahams to travel between Missouri and Pennsylvania, while also giving LJ the best possible shot at survival. LJ and his family were honored at The NCCS’s an “Evening with the Cardinals” fundraising event in St. Louis, MO on January 20, 2018. Learn more about LJ’s story in this video.
Please join me in supporting and honoring the Grahams and other families of a childhood cancer warrior by donating to The NCCS.
The NCCS supports warriors of childhood cancer, like LJ. With more than three decades of experience, The NCCS has distributed more than $65 million dollars and served nearly 42,000 children, helping families get where they need to be – physically, financially and emotionally – to give them hope and to give their children the best possible shot at survival. Whether that be helping ensure children can get to the treatment center where the best care is available, understanding the many issues that accompany survivorship or simply being there as a source of hope and compassion. The NCCS is on a journey with each family, and The NCCS is with them for life – no matter what.