“Lousy Luck” Leading Cancer Death For Children

Recently, I read SuperDylan’s blog trying to remember what I was doing at 5-years-old. At that age, I was learning to tie my shoe while Dylan had to learn to deal with medullloblastoma— a tumor in the back of his head. After his tumor was removed, he suffered from post fossa syndrome (similar to a stroke), causing this child to take nine months of high dose chemo including a stem cell transplant.

Not hereditary. Not pre-natal care. Not contagious. Just what Dylan’s oncologist calls “lousy luck.”

Pediatric brain tumors are the highest rise of any pediatric cancer, and the leading cause of cancer death for children.

“Childhood cancer is much harder to deal with than an adult,” said Dylan’s father, Eric. “An adult who has lived a full life, perhaps made certain choices that could have caused the disease.”

The misfortunate disease continued in 2009. At age seven Dylan had re-lapsed and the meldulloblastoma had manifested into Leptomeningeal Disease. Through his blog, I learned the chemo and radiation causes hair loss, additional hearing loss and damages his intellectual functioning. Dylan’s family has had to deal with all too many inappropriate questions and gawks from onlookers.

I, too, found myself in awe—not because Dylan looks different from other children, but because he innocently strides through life despite his medical circumstances (such as making goofy faces during blood transfusions). With the rise of pediatric cancer diagnosis, the demand for further research on treatments must be more vocalized. In the time being, we could help these families in many ways with or without money.

“Give your time— visit sick kids, join a cause that helps, writer letters and send cards to families, write congress and sign petitions; give your talent— cook meals, dress up as a clown, pirate, Scooby Doo, sing to the sick or play instrument or paint a nice get well card; give your blood— there are ALWAYS shortages of blood and platelets, contact a local hospital to see how you can give,” recommended Dylan’s father.

And to think that, at age five, just learning to tie my laces with bunny ears was hard.

A week after being motivated by SuperDylan, Lizette (the other YourCause writer) and I donated blood to help those living with lousy luck.

In hope for a cure,

Amy

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