While September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, it’s one particular day during the month — Sept. 24, the date of this week’s issue — that brings the full scope of childhood cancer into focus for our family.
A few minutes before midnight on Sept. 24, 2009, doctors confirmed a mass on the brain of our 2-year-old niece Belle — and from that moment, life changed forever for her and all of us.
Those who have known me a while know the joy she brought to so many and why I contend my heart is forever streaked in hot pink (her favorite color).
We are nearing six years without her now, but the mark she left will never fade.
Belle taught me how to love like Jesus (consistently showing grace, mercy and forgiveness), live life to its fullest (despite the obstacles that undoubtedly will appear in our path) and laugh as much as possible (even amid the pain and fear). She knew how to celebrate life — and I want to be like Belle when I grow up.
So many of you have walked a similar path and understand all that is involved in the battle against childhood cancer.
Our family and friends continue supporting efforts to fund research and assist families currently in the heat of the battle.
If you are one of those families, then I hope you are letting your church family surround you with love, prayers and various forms of assistance. They want to help.
If you are a church family or small group with a family on the childhood cancer journey, then know there are multiple ways to help even if the family is too overwhelmed to know what they need at the moment.
I’m happy to share suggestions if you want to contact me, but the main thing to remember is that the journey will be a long one, no matter the end result. And it will always be part of who they are from here on out.
Finding steady, consistent ways to relieve some of the pressures of everyday life truly makes a difference and definitely shines some Jesus on them.