If you haven't visited my page before, then you should know that I am TK-66613 of the 501st Legion, Florida Garrison, Makaze Squad, First Imperial Storm Trooper Detachment. I started this blog when my father was diagnosed with multipul myeloma, and I undertook a crusade against cancer of all forms, as well as other diseases. In the time since that decision I have become a soldier in a different kind of war, one that is fought with fundraisers, hospital visits, laughs and smiles, lending a hand, and hope.
During one of the aforementioned hospital visits, which is a part of my service to the 501st legion, I was struck by the sheer number of cancer patients we saw. Then I started hearing the statistics.
-Every day, 42 children are diagnosed with cancer.
-12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
-Children's cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
-The average age of children diagnosed is six.
-More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
-60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
From St. Baldrick's Foundation:
"In the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease—more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease—more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined."
"All types of childhood cancer combined recieve less than 4% of U.S. federal funding for cancer research."
September is the month of the year dedicated to pediatric cancer awareness, which is usually signified by a yellow ribbon. So to show my solidarity to the kids and families affected by childhood cancer the Troop for the Cure page is going gold for the month of September.
Pictured throughout this blog are the faces of children fighting this battle. These are kids who want nothing more than to lead normal, healthy lives. They are children that I have worked with on a one on one basis, raising funds to help with medical bills, sending care packages and encouraging letters, visiting in the hospital, or just giving a smile. These missions are close to me, and these children are close to my heart. When they hurt, I hurt. When they are sad, I am sad.
But I am a soldier, and soldiers don't cry- they don't mope, they don't lose hope- not in front of the kids, not in front of the parents. Soldiers fight. And that is why, as much as these missions mean to me, as important as is is to smile, and laugh, and ease the burden, it is more important to strike back.
I have completed 2 consecutive years of Operation: Strike back which has raised a cumulative $7,000+ for the american cancer society with my Relay for Life team the Imperial Walkers. But the more I troop, and the more kids I meet, the more I know that this is not enough. These children deserve more than 4% of funding. They deserve better treatment than that which will cost them their quality of life. They deserve progressive, effective treatment for their illness and we are not giving it to them.
This year I start a new tradition, of participating in the Cure Search walk for pediatric cancer. I am offering stickers for donations of $6 (including shipping worldwide) that bear the Troop for the Cure Helmet and a yellow ribbon. Normally the ribbon is red, symbolizing cancers of the blood, like my father's cancer-- but what started as a battle for my father has grown into an all out war.
Please help me in my fight against this terrible disease. I have 13 days from when this blog posts until my walk. Let's see how much we can raise in 13 days.
When these children soar, I soar. When these children win, we win.
In the war on suffering, we are the soldiers. The weapon is hope.
Never tell me the odds.
Order Stickers here: Order Stickers
Or make a direct donation here: http://www.curesearchwalk.org/orlando/troopforthecure