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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Self-doubt

I want so badly for Keeghan's story to be written. Maybe while he was alive and I was writing all the time I let other people's comments about what a good writer I am go to my head. But I read the writing of other parents who have been through similar experiences and I think, "Wow . . . she writes so much better. How can I possibly think that I can do Keeghan justice?" His life and his story deserve the very best storyteller, and I guess today I'm having doubts about whether or not that is me. I miss him so much, and want him to come alive through my words, but I don't know if I'm good enough to do it.

I'm having a serious self doubt day. Can you tell?

Also, the two little girls that I spoke about in yesterday's post? Well, one of them died yesterday. The other died today.

So much sadness in this world. I only hope that all of these fabulous children are having a good time where they are now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is it going to take?

A little girl I know of is expected to leave this world today. All because of a brain tumor.

Again with the brain tumors . . .

I'm not sure exactly how old she is, but I'm pretty sure she's either 9- or 10-years-old. Not very long on this planet to be sure.

Yesterday I read about a different little girl - this one only about 8-years-old I think - whose lungs are so full of tumors, she has difficulty breathing. Her days left here are short, but she repeatedly tells her mother, "Mommy, I don't want to die."

What kind of world is this that these kids have to go through such horrible things? I know many of you think that I should stop reading about these other children, that I've been through enough after watching Keeghan die. I'm sure my husband and daughter think that. For the record, I don't go out seeking these kids' stories to read. I read them when they are presented to me. In the case of the little girl with the brain tumor, her father played baseball in college with my brother. The other story was posted on Facebook yesterday by one of the moms on my St. Baldrick's team. If you could see the beautiful smile of this little girl . . . well, you'd feel compelled to read her story too.

But really, more than anything, I read the stories because I don't want to forget. It's so easy for some to "move on" from cancer. I'm sure many of the people who read about Keeghan religiously on our website when he was alive still think about him occasionally now. Some of them even throw a few dollars at a cancer fundraiser once in a while too. But for the most part, I'd be willing to bet that they do everything possible to NOT think about him because it is too painful. The problem is, there are still 46 kids out there (on average) who will get diagnosed with cancer today. Of those, nine will not survive. Six children will die today.

Again, all of this is based on averages, but you get my point. What is it going to take to get people to sit up and say, "Hey! This is wrong!"

I understand that everyone has their own cause though. For many it is autism, while for others it is cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, Down's Syndrome, birth defects . . . the list goes on. So many of these causes revolve around children though. So many kids suffer, and yet so many adults turn their heads because "it's just too painful" or because it hasn't affected them directly.

Trust me, it will. At some point, you will know a child who suffers from some type of illness. The world is too small, and cancer is becoming too rampant. If you think you're immune, you're a fool.

So why do I keep reading about these kids who suffer and die? Because it keeps me motivated. Motivated to spread awareness. Motivated to raise money. The sad thing is, the more motivated I become, the more I think people shy away from me. I've become too painful for them. I can tell this by how the visits to my website have dropped since Keeghan died. When there was hope, people read all the time. Now they don't. But there is still hope. Not for a cure for Keeghan - he found his cure. But for so many other children. I just wish I knew what the magic formula for reaching people (without scaring them off) was.

Any ideas?

I know that to give up helping in any way that I can to find a cure would be letting Keeghan down. He wanted that cure. But he didn't want it just for himself. He wanted it for all kids. His heart was just that big. If only everyone else's was as well.