Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
 You’ve kissed someone your friends didn’t like.
[x] You’ve been lost in the forest.
[x] You love to read.
[x] You are not shy at all.
[x] One of your family members is a bit weird.
[x] You have done volunteer work.
[x] You have a wild imagination.
[x] You love to take care of people in need.
 You’ve had guys like you only because they think you’re pretty.
[x] You’ve rejected at least one person when they’ve asked you out.
 You’re an orphaned child or have an evil mother.
[x] You have many different hobbies to keep you busy.
[x] You can get really bored.
 You have very long hair.
 Your hair is/was bright blonde.
[x] You’re an artsy person.
[x] You’re childish.
[x] You can’t wait to stop the same routine each day and start living.
[x] You care about others and their feelings.
[x] You like to follow the rules.
 You have/had a pet rabbit.
[x] You love to play cards.
 You constantly know the time.
[x] You get yourself in sticky situations.
 You have been to a court.
[x] You have fallen asleep while doing your homework.
[x] You have had a tea party.
[x] You like hats.
[x] You’re late.
 You know how to play croquet.
 Your dad is rich.
 You are very clever.
 You’ve been with someone way different from you.
[x] You’d never marry someone just because they were rich.
[x] You have set a lot of goals for yourself.
[x] You don’t have a lot of (good) friends.
[x] You’re independent.
 You are wealthy.
 Your parents try to control your life.
[x] Your boyfriend/crush is strong.
 You have gotten involved with the wrong people before.
[x] You are very convincing.
 You have fallen in love before.
[x] You have had your heart broken.
 You find an interest in Greek mythology.
[x] You lie sometimes.
[x] You pretend to be someone you’re not.
 You have been used.
[x] Purple is one of your favorite colors.
[x] Your parents expect a lot from you.
[x] You really try to follow the rules, but it’s hard for you.
 You’re a bit of a trouble maker.
[x] You love to swim.
 Your favorite animal is some sort of sea creature.
[x] You collect something.
 You have/had long red hair.
[x] You are adventurous.
[x] You’re extremely curious.
[x] You believe everything people tell you/you’re a bit gullible.
 You live/have lived with someone other than your parents.
[x] You almost died at a very young age.
[x] You are gentle, loving, and/or thoughtful.
 You have a decent singing voice.
[x] You like to sleep in late on the weekend.
[x] You spend most of your time outside.
 You’re adopted.
[x] You’re very romantic.
 Pink is one of your favorite colors.
 One of your parents is dead.
 You are expected to do a lot of chores.
[x] You love to dress up.
[x] You love animals.
[x] You are waiting patiently for your Prince Charming.
 Your mom is really strict.
 You have sisters who seem kind of jealous of you.
[x] You’re afraid to speak your mind sometimes.
[x] You have left your shoes at a friend’s house before.
 You have/had blonde hair.
 Sometimes it seems like your mom is jealous of you.
 You’ve almost been killed.
[x] You have at least seven good friends.
 You’ve had food poisoning.
[x] You have/had short hair.
[x] You get along with almost everyone.
[x] All of your friends are different.
[x] You love to have a good time.
[x] You’re happier when you’re out of the house than in.
 You get jealous easily.
[x] You loved your childhood.
[x] You like to fly.
[x] You believe in magic.
 You’re 5’2” or under.
 You hate pirates.
[x] You love sparkles.
 People underestimate you.
 You get angry easily.
[x] You have/had a treehouse.
[x] You love to walk around and explore big cities.
 You are more spiritual than religious.
 You’ve been in an interracial relationship.
[x] One of your family members is dead.
[x] Your parents are very protective of you.
 Someone you know has been in the war.
[x] You love nature.
 You have/had black hair.
[x] You would love to move somewhere exotic and beautiful.
[x] You’re very adventurous.
[x] You can be a tomboy sometimes.
 People wish you could be a bit more girly.
[x] You’ve pretended to be someone you’re not.
 You’ve had a physical fight with someone.
[x] You have/had considered running away from home.
 Your parents try to plan your life out.
[x] A lot of your friends are boys.
[x] You sometimes find yourself in bad situations.
[x] You love your family so much that you’d do anything to protect them
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Today, I am thankful for quotes like this that remind me to live my life. I love words, and Words of Affirmation is one of my main love languages. I love being able to touch others through words, and I love when words touch me, like these above. Such a great reminder and a wonderful quote!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I am thankful for every single Friday Night football game I have had the opportunity to be a part of for the past three years! Those are memories that will last a lifetime!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I want to change the world.
I want to make a difference.
I want to break the mold of the society in which I reside.
I want the world to know that I was here.
I want the history books to hold my name.
I want memories to hold my face.
I want generations from now to look back and say 'Remember her? She changed things.'
She made a difference.
She cared for the world in which she lived,
And she set out to improve it.
I want to live this life with everything that I've been given.
Ready, set, go.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Chances are 1 in 300 that any child will be diagnosed with cancer before age 20 (That's 14,500 kids every year!). 20% of those diagnosed will not survive five years. Every 4 hours a child dies from cancer. Of the 80% that do survive, 60% are impacted by the cure; resulting in long-term health effects including secondary cancers, major organ damage (not to mention minor organ damage), infertility, and social/learning disabilities.
It is widely recognized that the progress in cancer survival rates among children is the result of successful clinical trials, where work from our nation's laboratories is translated into clinical application. For children, the standard of care today is to be treated in a clinical trial, and more than 70 percent of children with cancer participate. That compares to only about 3 percent of adults (and only 1.5 percent of adult Medicare patients) with cancer who are enrolled in clinical trials. Many of the breakthroughs in adult cancer treatments actually come from pediatric clinical trials.
The triumphs over childhood cancer are to be celebrated, but there continue to be limitations on pediatric cancer research. Just a small fraction of the dollars spent on research in this country is directed to pediatric cancer.
When my child was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea the plight of pediatric cancer in this country. I have received quite an education in the trenches and have felt God's calling on our family to make a difference in this fight. I have had many conversations with individuals about much of this information. I have written posts about many of these facts, figures, and organizations. But I have never taken the time to consolidate all of my research and writing. So here goes...
Childhood cancer is severely underfunded both publicly and privately. All 47 pediatric cancers combined only receive 3% of the national government funding! For every dollar spent on a patient with breast cancer, less than 30 cents is spent on a child with cancer. What does this mean for a bottom line? In 2007, breast cancer research received $843million in government funds and $256million from the private sector. The combined total for childhood cancer was $130million. Why does this discrepancy matter?
The current treatment for breast cancer involves targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and genetically-tailored treatment plans. The survival rates for breast cancer are 90%. The average age for diagnosis is 61 years and quality of life and health is preserved in most cases. For children the exact opposite is true. The average age of cancer diagnosis is 6yrs and 80% of cases are metastatic disease (already spread). The prognosis is fatal for 20% and lifelong debilitation and disease for 60%. The remission rate is only 27%!! That is a loss of 71 years of healthy life. The average age of diagnosis for all the other types of cancer is 67 years and billions of dollars are being poured into research. Prostate cancer for example has a 99% cure rate, but receives the third highest level of government funds (after breast and lung cancers).
Sadly, this bias continues in the private sector. The American Cancer Society is probably the most well known national cancer organization For every $1 raised at a Relay for Life event, less than half a penny is given to pediatric cancer research grants or patient support. Some may wonder why we Relay? To raise awareness for our children! We have participated, but do not fundraise for them. Our kids are the forgotten ones no one wants to think about.
I'm sure everyone is aware that October is breast cancer awareness month. It is a tremendously successful fundraising campaign. Breast cancer awareness... from product labeling, to network recognition, to corporate donations, to media attention, and pink ribbons.... continues to trump every other type of cancer. It is our hope that we can follow in that same successful footsteps with childhood cancer.
How does underfunding affect childhood cancer treatment?
Of the 120 new cancer therapies for adults approved by the FDA between 1948 and January 2003, only 30 have shown use in children. Of those 30 drugs, only 15 acquired any labeling for pediatric use during that same 55-year period. Source: Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, August 2006.Over 55 years, 15 new cancer drugs labeled and approved for children, compared to 120 for adults. In the past 30 years, when medical science has exploded, only 1 new drug has been developed for pediatric cancer. ONE!!! We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Everyday parents are given the life shattering news that nothing more can be done for their child. Can you imagine anything more heartbreaking than having to tell your child you can't help them? These courageous children who want to fight and want to simply live have nothing left to do. In a country that happily spends $5 BILLION every year on halloween and $56 BILLION every year on their pets, you can't help but question our national priorities.
All of this probably leaves you wondering, why is pediatric cancer funding so neglected? This is the million dollar question.
I think there is a large misconception that it is being "taken care of". We live in the richest country in the nation. We step up to help whenever catastrophe arises. We have the best medical institutions and researchers in the world. We are the home of St. Jude hospital and they never turn any child away. Right?! Well actually, St. Jude's serves 400 families a year (of the 40,000 total in treatment). The children accepted must fit into their current clinical trials. The rest are turned away. St. Jude research does benefit other patients and they do consult on other cases, but of the total money they raise 20% goes to fundraising and administration, 60% goes to the comprehensive care and treatment of the 400 families in their care, and the only the remaining 20% goes to research. They have tremendous facilities, extraordinary doctors, and a comprehensive approach, but they are like the country club of cancer, that serve an elite few. St. Jude's is doing amazing things and have made tremendous strides for all children with cancer, but the majority of the country thinks they have it all under control and any child with cancer can be treated at their hospital. That is far from the truth.
The majority of children with cancer (90%) are treated at a group of 200 local hospitals who belong to the COG (Children's Oncology Group). This amazing organization was formed ten years ago to unite the clinical trials and research being conducted worldwide. This ensures that no matter where a child is treated they are receiving the most current protocol and their results are benefiting research everywhere. The COG combined with the National Childhood Cancer Foundation to form CureSearch. Here is a link to their major successes so far. And 95% of their funding goes directly to research!! Only 1% of charities can make that claim. Curesearch needs to become the name and face that everyone associates with cancer. And second and third in that running would be St.Baldrick's and Alex's Lemonade Stand who are committed to pour money directly into research for kids' cancers and are funding additional grants at COG hospitals.
And for the nitty gritty of how childhood cancer ended up in this predicament, there is a wonderful article from the American Association for Cancer Research. It essentially boils down to the following:
As I finished typing this post my new favorite commercial came on TV, not a coincidence. You may have seen it. The Hyundai Hope on Wheels campaign has a new ad. They have given $14.2 million to pediatric cancer research grants in the past few years. It is a glimmer of hope that the nation is taking notice...
(and a cool feature... one of the handprints on the wall is for our own Vinny :) love it!!)