After my first blogpost in learning about all of the benefits and foundations that try to help raise money for childhood cancer, I decided to research more about the children themselves and all of their stories. So when looking up new info on my topic I looked up more personal information of the kids’ journeys.
I found an amazing website,Kids’ Stories | Children's Cancer Research Fund, that gives you the personal stories of children struggling with cancer. I recently read an article about a little boy named Jack who, after many trips to the doctors, found out he had a brain tumor. At three months old he began to sleep a lot more often and also began vomiting. The doctor kept reassuring Jack’s parents that it was just a stomach virus, but his parents knew something more serious was wrong. They finally took Jack to the emergency room, where they finally found out the extremely devastating new of Jack’s cancer. Jack’s tumor has began to grow again, but he is getting by with the support of his family and is still a very happy little boy despite his struggles. His parents decided to start a team for Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s annual event, called Jack Attack. This website provides many more inspirational stories of children with cancer and how they contribute to finding a cure. There were also a couple of other websites that I found that provided really inspiring stories too. Those include, Cancer Basics, which gives a basic understanding of cancer, and Cancer Research, Studies & Clinical Trials at CTCA and Cancer Kids Home Page which provide stories.
After reading about Jack’s story and his cancer team, I did some research of my own to add to my original research. As I said in the first blog post, my aunt is very involved in Alex Lemonade Stand and even has her own team for cancer. My uncle’s mother, Theresa, died from cancer and that inspired my aunt and uncle to create Team Theresa. They hold many benefits for their team, including their softball benefit, in which I attend. The softball benefit is an amazing event which includes different softball teams who have a lot of fun competing against one another each year, entertainment, concession stands, and speakers. The benefits are amazing to go to because you really get to see how many people want to make a change. At the softball benefit this year, the speakers who spoke at the end was one of the best parts. They told their stories and how these benefits affect them in such a positive it. What my aunt and uncle do is very inspirational and more people should join in with the benefits and cancer events. The following pictures are from the benefits and events that my aunt has taken part in, a few of which I have also been a part of.
After talking to my aunt about how the benefits that she does are so similar to those of which some of these kids are doing, like Jack, it has really help me with deciding what I will do for my agent of change. Recently, I attended the Alex Lemonade Stand christmas party, in which all of Alex’s surviving families have a party where each of the children and their siblings gets e to sit on santa’s lap and receive 3 presents each. There is also a huge buffet provided and entertainment. This really added to my understanding of my topic because I got to hear, in person, some of their stories. It was really nice to see all of the children receive their presents because you could just tell how happy and appreciative they were.
Some of my personal opinions include that actually getting my original research first hand has helped me relate to my topic so much better, rather than just reading facts and stories online. I have heard so many stories from the children about how many difficult struggles they have come across and it is just so inspiring to see how strong and happy they still are. Something I still wonder about, though, is the things that keep these kids going. In my further research, interviews, and benefits I want to ask the children what it is that keeps them faithful and happy. I would also like to ask the parents and other family members the same question.
For my agent of change I have decided to create a slideshow including quotes, photos, and video clips of the various Alex Lemonade Stand benefits and events that I have and will be attending. So far I have volunteered at the softball benefit and the christmas party, but there are some more coming up that I plan to go to and volunteer. I have also planned an interview with my aunt’s friends. They are one of Alex’s surviving families and their son Cole has suffered with cancer. I will interview cole, his parents, and his siblings on Cole’s battle and how it has affected their lives. Clips and quotes from this interview will also be found in my slideshow.