Christmas and Cancer

katie's stone-editI know…..it’s Christmas but childhood cancer doesn’t take a holiday. Today there are children who were just told they have cancer. There are those in hospitals getting chemo, radiation and bone marrow transplants. Some are learning what terminal means having been told they have run out of options or there are no treatments. A few children are breathing their last as their parents hang on to every precious moment with them. And, yes, many families are learning what the holidays are like without their child, sibling, grandchild, nephew or niece.

So to those who would say, “Can’t you take a break?” I reply, “Cancer doesn’t take a break.”

For the approximately 224* families who are discovering for the first time what Christmas is like without their child this year cancer didn’t give them a break. Add those families to the 224 who are enduring their second Christmas in mourning, 224 going through their third and on and on it goes.

Childhood cancer doesn’t go on vacation so neither do I. I will continue to do what I can to raise awareness, to attempt to highlight the importance of this issue and hopefully help make childhood cancer research a priority in 2014. I hope you will join me. If we don’t…. nothing will change and next Christmas 224 more families will visiting a grave stone.

*Statistic taken from the Public Health Agency of Canada website. It is the sum of the number of deaths listed for children under 15 and adolescents. Deaths are only counted up to 5 year post cancer diagnosis and only includes those who have died from cancer. It does not include children who have died from the side effects of treatment.

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cancer/fs-fi/cancer-child-enfant/index-eng.php
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cancer/fs-fi/cancer-adol/index-eng.php#inc

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I’m in militant mode!…..

Don’t tell me that it can’t be done!  I have been working on gathering patterns, knit/crocheted in gold to publish a collection for childhood cancer awareness with all proceeds going to childhood cancer research.

It has been slow going…..to say the least.

I know…….I’m a nobody in the fibre world, just another enthusiast among millions.

I know…….designing patterns is a lot of work and a big ask, especially when asking people to do it for free.

AND I know…….children are dying around me because they have run out of options due to lack of research!
…….children, I personally know, are being diagnosed with cancer for the first time. Two in the last month! Add those to the 1,500 children diagnosed this year in Canada.
…….children, I personally know, are relapsing because what is being done is NOT WORKING!
…….children, I personally know, like my daughter, are suffering from huge, chronic and life-threatening health problems because the toxic treatments damaged them so severely. [98% of ALL childhood cancer survivors suffer this fate.]

I am SICK of this crap!

Yes, I know that a collection of patterns is not going to change the world BUT
maybe, just maybe it could help more people become aware of the issues,
maybe, just maybe the funds raised will help find better treatments.

I can’t do the research. I can’t change the policies that allocate pennies to childhood cancer research when compared to the millions invested in adult cancers. I can’t make my daughter all better.

BUT this I can do! Don’t tell me I can’t! Don’t tell me there are not fibre designers out there who, like me, are willing to donate some time to try and make a difference. I know there are! I know the fibre community to be full of big, generous, fluffy hearts of love! I have found a few but not enough. I keep running into roadblocks and people telling me what a difficult thing I am trying to do.

So I am doing what I should have done months ago…..

HELP!

I am asking all my friends and followers to please help! Looking for something good to do this Christmas? This is it: Ask your friends and followers if they can help.

I need DESIGNERS to donate a knit/crochet pattern, in gold [Gold could be anything from delicate and creamy to bright and happy to dark and splendid and it is the color for childhood cancer awareness.] for free. Contact me for more details.

I need YARNIES to dedicate a colourway in September, 2014, to childhood cancer awareness. [Not looking for yarn donations.]

I need a LOGO DESIGNER to donate time and talents.

I need EDITORS to donate time and talents.

I need PROMOTERS to donate time and talents.

I need KNITTERS/CROCHETERS willing to donate time to make some things to help with promotion.

I need ……SMART PEOPLE, with big hearts, willing to help, to donate time and talents, to do whatever needs to be done.

Thank-you and Merry Christmas!

goldcraft-1

ps: still working on naming the project……really need a logo designer ASAP.

Link

CNN Reports on Gabriella Bill

Click to watch the story CNN did on the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research act, a bill just passed by Congress in the USA to help fund pediatric cancer research. It’s a beautiful story about Gabriella’s parents doing their best to carry on her fight but it includes controversy as politics usually does.

5,000 Strong Choir Sings Zach’s “Clouds”

Has it been a year already? On December 6th, 2012 Zach released his original song and last message to us all, “Clouds” [with over 9 million views]. On May 3rd, 2013 SoulPancake told his story on his last days [over 11 1/2 million views]. On May 6th they published a crowd of celebrities doing a cover of “Clouds” just for Zach…..and on May 20th osteosarcoma took Zach away………

December 6th, 2013: Five thousand gathered at the Mall of America to remember. This is the best, happiest, thing you will see all day!

Humanity lost so much when childhood cancer took Zach but humanity is doing the best it can to honour him and never forget.

Click here to donate to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.

“I want everyone to know, you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.” -Zach Sobiech

How Not To Cry

My favourite ‘cancer mom’ blogger is Nicole Scobie. She just gets it like only the parent of a kid with cancer can. Her latest entry is called How Not To Cry.

I had to read it. I have become an expert at not crying. I rarely cry in public anymore. I do my best to be ‘numb’. It is possible to be so tired of crying you can control it, even in the most difficult situations. If you ever see me not crying an wonder how I am doing it maybe you will also see that kinda clued out look on my face as I disconnect what is happening from my emotions. It’s a copying skill many parents have had to develop just to get through the days, weeks, months and years we are under intense stress because our children’s life is being threatened by disease.

How Not To Cry is also a tribute to a little girl who refused to let her cancer take her spirit for play!

Give it a read. Maybe Nicole will become your favourite too.

Olivia Wise’s Last Song

It was all over the news. A teenage girl, dying of inoperable brain cancer, recorded a cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar”. After it went viral Katy Perry, herself, responded with a video message.  We all were so touched by Olivia’s sweet voice. We loved that Katy reached out ……. and then we were all devastated when it was reported that Olivia was gone. Lovely that Katy tweeted about her sorrow at hearing the news. The simple truth about this Simple Girl is Olivia died because of the lack of childhood cancer research. Nothing could be done for her. Her doctors knew her cancer was inoperable from the beginning.

Just days before she died Olivia’s parents posted this video of the song Olivia wrote. I was stunned at the haunting beauty of Olivia’s voice and words. Please listen…..then pass it on. This is the song Katy Perry and the rest of the world need to hear. When you are done listening to Olivia’s last song ask yourself this: How many beautiful children have to die before childhood cancer research becomes a priority?

Please donate to the Liv Wise Fund in Olivia’s name to support research into childhood brain cancer.

A Wish and a Wig Trade with Karen Gillan

Bronwyn’s Make A Wish Wish

When Bronwyn was first asked what she would like to wish for it was all about Dr. Who. She wanted to go to the Dr. Who Experience in Cardiff, visit filming sites in the area and maybe even the studio. If her treatment had gone according to plan she would have been done in the summer of 2012. She would have been able to travel soon afterward and had her wish. Maybe we would have even been able to meet Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston or any of the other wonderful people who have had a hand in Dr. Who’s creation! Who knows what would have been possible!

When Bronwyn suffered heart failure her dreams of any future were forgotten for a time. When she survived one of the things we came to realize were no longer possible was Bronwyn’s Wish. It would be quite sometime before she would be able to travel again and there is a real chance once she is able she will be too old to qualify for a Wish. Yes, it is possible to age-out of the Make a Wish program.

There was a day, not to long ago when Sinead announced, “Today Matt Smith filmed his regeneration.” With that statement I knew our last chance to maybe see Matt as the Doctor was gone. Yes, I realize there was a slim chance we would have been able to visit a Dr. Who filming with Matt ….but…..one can dream.

One thing we will strive to do once Bronwyn is well is go to Cardiff and see her wish fulfilled, come what may!

Wig Trade!

On July 12th, 2012, only days after her first steps after open heart surgery, Bronwyn and her sister, Sinead had a remarkable day thanks to the Prom the took place at Sick Kids for all the teen patients. They supplied hair and makeup services and helped with clothes and accessories for those that needed them. Sick Kids is fantastic at going the extra mile!

Bronwyn took a wig sent to her by her cousin, Kiri Butter, to the hairdressers. She went from this:
prom day-2
 to this:
prom day-14
And then the makeup took her to this:
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Amy? …..As I was snapping away, capturing the moment, I was stunned at what I saw through my lense. With just a wig and a little makeup Bronwyn was transformed into Amy Pond…. Karen Gillan!

When we got back to Bronwyn’s hospital room I had to take a few pictures of Bronwyn with her poster just to prove the resemblance:
amy-2prom day-31

On July 20th, 2013 Karen Gillan showed up to Comic-Con looking like this:
N0012591374486839358A
and in a surprise move…..
N0012601374486839877A
….ended up like this:
Karen-Gillan-at-Marvel-Studios-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-conference-2071421
FANTASTIC!

Now Karen and Bronwyn have something in common: they know that the best part about being bald is at the end of the evening you can take off your hair:

prom day-55
“Mommy, take off my hair.”

Bonus shots from the Prom: SISTERS!
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