Can­cer: How should we re­act to the news?

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Dawn Davis

Once upon a time, there was this guy and this girl who fell in love. As most happy end­ings go, they were mar­ried and both were start­ing new ca­reers. They soon found out that they were ex­pect­ing their first baby. The big day came and it was a boy! Happy birth­day lit­tle man! This baby boy was per­fect! He was hand­some, smart, ac­tive and a quick learner. His par­ents could only dream of how far he could go in life.

Then one day, be­fore he turned 2, he got the flu for the first time. Af­ter about a week, he was still sick, so his mom took him to the doc­tor like all new moms would. The doc­tor as­sured her it was just a bad virus go­ing around and it could take as lit­tle as another day or as long as 6-8 weeks to run its course but to keep in touch to make sure he got bet­ter.

Eight weeks came and went along with mul­ti­ple doc­tors vis­its, and their per­fect lit­tle boy was still sick. They took him back to the doc­tor, who in­sisted it was another virus and wouldn’t even poke his fin­ger to check his blood, even though their son no longer had the energy to play, sit up or even eat. The next morn­ing, when his mom woke him up, his tummy was so large that he looked like a 2-year-old who was nine months preg­nant. So his mom took him to another doc­tor, who sent them straight to a hos­pi­tal to meet a pe­di­atric sur­geon for a CT scan.

In less than an hour, their world came crash­ing down. Dur­ing the test, the sur­geon pulled them in to watch the scan and told them, “Your son has can­cer.” To him, it looked like a very com­mon can­cer, but in the worse case, the can­cer had an “evil twin.” Their son was sched­uled for im­me­di­ate surgery and chemo.

The mas­sive tu­mor was re­moved and sec­tions were overnighted to mul­ti­ple labs, in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety and a renowned doc­tor in Eng­land. Within two days, they had all come to the same con­clu­sion. It was the “evil twin.” Not only did their son have can­cer, there are no known sur­vivors of his can­cer. That’s when the doc­tors told the lit­tle boy’s par­ents that the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety had just come out with a new pro­to­col of che-

mo treat­ments to try for his can­cer type and asked if they would be will­ing to let them try it on their son in hopes of sav­ing him. There were a cou­ple of nights when they were told their son might not wake up or be with them in the morn­ing. But he fought. They fought. To­day, their per­fect lit­tle boy is 21 years old and is go­ing to school to be a ra­di­ol­o­gist. Be­cause of the ad­vance­ment in re­search through the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, their son lived. How do I know? Be­cause this is my story. The lit­tle boy is my son.

Now we vol­un­teer with Re­lay for Life to con­tinue the re­search so that we can see a world with more birthdays. It’s my dream that some­day no other par­ent will have to hear the words, “Your child has can­cer.”

Each of us knows some­one who has been touched by can­cer, and there may be more peo­ple that we aren’t even aware of. How can you help? Get in­volved with your lo­cal re­lay. It is the num­ber one fundraiser for the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety. The Nebo area has one com­ing up on Satur­day, Aug. 29, on the Salem Hills High School Football Field. It will start with a 5K at 7 a.m. fol­lowed by a sur­vivor/care­giver break­fast at 9 a.m. The day then kicks off with the open­ing lap at 10 a.m. that will be walked by the sur­vivors. There will be live en­ter­tain­ment, team fundrais­ers, ven­dors, ac­tiv­i­ties for the fam­ily, con­tests and more!

Form a team, register as a ven­dor or come out to sup­port and have fun! Ev­ery dol­lar raised goes to the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety to con­tinue the fight. There is so much for us all to live for. To register a team or as a ven­dor, con­tact Kathy at 801609-8231 or Dawn at 801-856-0057. Help us “Pack the Track” with a com­mu­nity of car­ing. To­gether we can make a dif­fer­ence!

Dawn Davis’s son was di­ag­nosed with can­cer at age 2, but through a new treat­ment from the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, he won his bat­tle with the dis­ease and is now 21 years old.

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