Monday, May 2, 2011

'Notes Left Behind' - The Cure Starts Now

May 2011 - Brain Tumor Awareness Month -- Wear gray to support those battling and those that have passed!

I couldn't bring myself to read the book Notes Left Behind when I first heard of it because Oliver had been recently diagnosed with the same kind of brain tumor as this little girl had. I didn't think I could make it through the book without becoming a sobbing mess. It's been 16 months since Oliver was diagnosed and I finally picked it up to read and I'm amazed at how similar my feelings are to her parents, Brooke and Keith Desserich, who wrote this book about their journey. I'm only a few chapters into it and have bought a copy for my mom as well as myself. Another friend who lost her son to a different type of brain tumor read it and loved it as well. I pray for all the families that have lost their babies and those that are still going through it as well as those that are yet to be told the horrific news that their child only has months to live. A cure needs to be found. Every single day new children are being diagnosed while others are taking their last breaths here on earth. It makes me sick to think about. I will ALWAYS do all I can to raise awareness and funds that will lead to a cure for this. NO CHILD should have to go through what our children go through. NO PARENT should have to wonder how much longer they have with their child. It is a nightmare that we can't wake up from.

I know at some point I will be involved with The Cure Starts Now, the foundation that Brooke and Keith started to raise awareness for all pediatric brain tumors. See my hero, Oliver, on this website. May is Brain Tumor Awareness month and I plan on contacting the area schools asking them to help with a fundraiser called 'Caps for the Cure', where students pay $1.oo to wear their hats to school and the proceeds go to The Cure Starts Now Foundation. I may not have lots of money, but I have a new found passion to raise awareness and find a cure. I lived in the dark before, like most people that haven't had to walk in these shoes. I was too busy with the cares of my own family, my own life and rarely reached out to others besides my family and friends. It's hard to talk to people about it, but it must be done because our babies are dying. We can't change the channel, we can't look away because it is with us every second of every day. Will he be here long enough for a cure to be found? Will we find something that will give us more hope that he will survive this? I don't know the future, but I know that I can do something. We ALL can do something to spread awareness and help others. I wouldn't wish this journey on ANYONE. I try to see how I've grown and changed through it and I know I have changed in positive ways as well as negative ways. It is truly a nightmare, but I hope that no one else has to go through their lives in fear of when a tumor will start growing again.

MAY is brain tumor awareness month. I honor all those that have it now and those that have passed. Oliver, as he struggles with it currently, all those little ones that have passed and are fighting to stay alive, my step brother, Alex Swygman, that passed away from pediatric brain cancer when he was 23 years old -- Oliver was only 6 months old, as well as all of the adults fighting and those that have left us too early. There are so many different types of brain tumors that it makes it difficult to treat them all. I won't stop fighting and being an advocate for others. I can't stop...

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