Sometimes we feel helpless when faced with something we have no control over or cannot change. We want to do something. Something that will make us feel as if we've made a difference. And sometimes the situation just requires us to sit back and deal. You know, accept the things we cannot change and all that mumbo jumbo. I don't do the "deal" part very well. I want to help. My biggest challenge is finding out how.
Recently, I have learned a lot about pediatric cancer. I discovered that only about 30% of children diagnosed with cancer survive. 30%. That's not even half. The reason for such terrible odds is directly related to how little money is being spent on research by both the government and the pharmaceutical industry. Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 18. In fact, it kills more children than asthma, AIDS, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis combined.
Research can make a drastic difference in cancer survival rates. Take breast cancer for example. Due in part to all the research being done and all the organziations that help fund the research, the breast cancer survival rate now averages 90%. I'm not that good at math, but I know 90% is a lot better than 30%.
One day while glancing through a magazine, I came across an ad for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. The ad caught my eye so I jumped on the computer to check it out. Cookiesforkidscancer raises money for pediatric cancer research through local bake sales. I thought to myself, "Seriously? I love to bake. I can do this. I will do this." I mentioned this idea to someone who did not share my enthusiasm. "Why don't you just ask for teddy bear donations and deliver them to the pediatric cancer patients at the hospital?" While a noble thought, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Teddy bears are nice, but they don't save lives.
So, in a few weeks, we're "doing this." One of my very dear friends is taking on this challenge with me and we are organizing a bake sale. The outpouring of friends willing to help has been overwhelming. So far, we have 20 bakers and counting. We've set a big goal for ourselves, but I accept the fact that whatever we are able to raise will be wonderful. It might be a drop in the bucket, but it's a start. It's something.
In addition to raising money, I hope we are also building awareness. Please visit this site and learn more about how you can throw a bake sale in your area and help fund pediatric cancer research. Or simply make a donation. After all, as the mother/founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer says, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the world to fight pediatric cancer.”