The cause of most childhood cancers are not known. Research for better, safer treatments is critical to keep kids alive and well. Click To Tweet
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Did You Know?
- 43 Kids are diagnosed with Cancer Everyday
- More than 40,000 children are in a cancer treatment center each year
- It is the LEADING cause of death by disease past infancy
- The cause of most childhood cancers is still not known.
It’s unimaginable to me how one day anyone, especially a child, can go from being seemingly healthy to not. It’s hard to talk about and to listen to when you bring up childhood cancer. So many people have a connection one way or another to cancer. Whether it’s themselves, a family member, a friend, a mentor, someone they know that was affected by cancer. It’s not easy on anyone (at any age) and for a child going through it, how do you even try to explain things? There’s no cause and effect. It’s not a situation of because you did ‘this’ then ‘that’ happened. There’s no logic to it.
We have to talk about it. It’s difficult and painful to try and think about let alone talk about but we have to raise awareness. We have to push through so that research is done to find safe ways to treat childhood cancer. Treating a child is different than treating an adult with almost any medical circumstance. If we push it away and try to avoid it because we don’t know how to deal with it and it makes us uncomfortable, nothing gets better.
The Adventures of Super Sammy
A while back, I had stumbled across a Facebook Page called “The Adventures of Super Sammy.” From the moment I saw a picture of this little boy, there was something about him that captured my heart. He’s strong, he’s a fighter and I’d be willing to bet he’s got some feisty-ness…you can see that in his eyes. I don’t just say that, I absolutely believe it. In following their Facebook page and website I can’t see that these are qualities that he has probably inherited from his parents. His story is not an easy one to read, but it’s important and that is why I want to share it with you.
On her website, Sammy’s mom tells their story. “On Wednesday October 19, 2016 our lives as parents was shattered” Sammy who at the time was a healthy 4 year old suddenly started showing symptoms of neurological problems. His mom recalls how he was sick early on Monday but had gotten better by that afternoon. Wednesday when picking him up from school she learned from his teacher that he had been sick about 10 minutes before she got there. He wasn’t quite himself, not wanting to play his favorite “red light, green light” game at PE as well as being very calm and a bit more clingy than usual. When they arrived home, he stumbled backwards when he tried to walk. In that moment, his mom realized this was not just him not feeling well. She wondered if he was feeling dizzy. She recalled when her spouse had vertigo and he was dizzy, nauseated and threw up with it. This lead her to wonder if it was something neurological so she called her pediatrician who instructed her to take him to the ER. By six o’clock that night, she was told her son had a tumor on his brain. “What started as a normal day on Wednesday was now ending with brain surgery on Friday morning.”
Surgery & Diagnoses
In the days following the surgery, they were told that Sammy had Medulloblastoma, a form of pediatric brain cancer.
What is Medulloblastoma?
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood, and it accounts for about 20 percent of all childhood brain tumors.
• Between 250 and 500 children are found to have medulloblastoma each year in the United States.
• Most medulloblastoma tumors are found in children younger than age 16, but they can rarely occur in adults.
• Medulloblastoma is slightly more common in boys than in girls.
On top of all this, they found that Sammy had been impacted by the surgery and suffers from Posterior Fossa Syndrome (PFS).
What is PFS?
The symptoms of posterior fossa syndrome include problems with speech and language, motor skills, and mood changes. Symptoms can be different for each person. Most symptoms improve in weeks or months while some symptoms may continue for years following surgery. People who have more severe posterior fossa syndrome symptoms early in recovery are more likely to have symptoms that last longer.
This meant that on top of having to go through chemotherapy, his ability to talk, swallow as well as his gross motor functions had been impacted. He couldn’t walk, sit, or have purposeful movements. While these symptoms can improve with time, he would still have to go through physical therapy to help re-learn these things.
Sammy got to go home in June 2017, however on September 2, 2017 he had a relapse. On his Facebook page his mom noted that after reviewing their options they will be moving forward with proton radiation therapy.
Follow Super Sammy and his journey through Facebook or their website adventuresofsupersammy.com
Please keep Sammy and his family in your prayers. Regardless of how the situation may appear to our natural eyes, I ask God to guide his medical team and his family, and to heal him completely. I’ve seen him do it in the past and I know that he can provide that miracle for Sammy.
Isaiah 53:5 tells us that “By his stripes we are healed.” I’m praying that scripture for Sammy. I’m asking God to heal him and know that he and his family will give God the glory for it. Remember his family as well- his mom, dad and little brother. I pray God holds them all extra close and gives them strength as they face this battle together.
Let Sammy Know You Are Fighting With Him
I hope that you’ll visit Super Sammy’s website and/or Facebook page. You can leave him an encouraging note or just let them know you’re praying (http://www.adventuresofsupersammy.com/p/pray.html), You can also donate to his the Puma Family and/or send a Challenge Coin (http://www.adventuresofsupersammy.com/p/challenge.html) to Sammy as well.
Raise Awareness To Support Childhood Cancer
I encourage you to raise awareness and support about childhood cancer. Whether financial contributions to a charity, running a race, participating in an event, writing a blog post, whatever it may be. Kids deserve better. In a world where cars can drive themselves, and we can hold a computer in our hands, I have to believe that if we keep looking we can find safer, more effective treatments for childhood cancer. Fight for Sammy, and all the children and families that are affected by childhood cancer. It’s a difficult subject, (one that I’m crying through as I write) but we can’t try and avoid it by looking away.
If you’d like to support Sammy and his family