Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children in our country. Every day, 46 children and their families will have to hear the words, “your child has cancer.” On July 13th, 2013, Todd Schultz, at fourteen years old, became one of those 46 children. His life was forever changed when he was diagnosed with the high risk Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. From that moment on, he would never live the life he was living before he heard those words. Cancer took more than anyone could put into words. It took his ability to go to school, to go out in public, to play sports, and to just be normal. Cancer stole what was supposed to be some of the best years of his life. Because of that Todd knew he had to do something to try and prevent other kids from having to experience what he experienced.
Todd realized just how scary of a monster cancer is when he was forced to watch two of his friends that he met during treatment die because there was no research or medicine that could save them. So, this is his mission. This is our mission. We want to bring awareness to the statistics of and raise funds for pediatric cancer research throughout the month of September on a community wide level. In Todd’s words: “I believe that God has given me a purpose, and that he has brought me to this to use my voice as a voice of change. The only way that we can begin to tackle this killer is by spreading awareness and raising funds for research. Cancer is killing kids; it’s that simple.”
Why the need for more research? There are over twelve different types of pediatric cancer and almost all of those have their own subtypes. This makes it very difficult for researchers to find cures. That is why research and funding are so important. Whether the patient is two days old or 99 years old, cancer is a monster that destroys everything in its path. We admire all of the work that all cancer organizations do, but the only way to make changes in the pediatric cancer world is to provide better research and for better research, we need funding. So join us. We have long known that the Edwardsville Glen Carbon area is one of the best areas for families and that is why our community is perfect to be one of the first in our country to host an event of this kind. They say it takes a village to raise a child, so we need a village to start saving them. We are kids and we deserve a fighting chance.
As pediatric cancer patients and families, our goal is to increase the awareness of the incidence and devastation of cancer on America’s children. By raising awareness of the fact that pediatric cancer remains the number one killer by disease of American children, we can also raise the awareness of the need for greater research funding. Please click here to learn more about the startling statistics that make up the world of pediatric cancer. Working together to promote awareness in this way, we can begin to find much-needed cures for America’s youngest cancer patients.