Updated: Sep 5, 2019
In the last week, I have watched two kids die from Pediatric Sarcoma. Those two kids were around 16-18 years of age; those two kids were the same age as my son, Arnav. I have seen their families devastated. I know this devastation well because I have lived it.
In the past week, I have seen countless families moving from hospital to hospital to get the best and most advanced treatment for their children battling Pediatric Sarcoma. In this season of Back To School pictures, I know the grief that these parents feel because their kids will not go back to school as a Freshman, sophomore, junior or Senior. Arnav did not go back to school as a freshman; he was cyber schooled so that he could fight this horrific disease. On Monday, Arnav will not go back to school as a Senior, even though I can picture it perfectly in front of my eyes.
These kids, like my own, are dying because they have cancer in their bones. Their lives are cut short because it is too hard to find a cure. When a kid has cancer, he suffers, but his entire family suffers too. His friends and his community suffer. Everyone surrounding him feels the pain and the burden of this disease. We try to find comfort in memories on certain dates or milestones. The reality is that we endure the daily torture of “what ifs?” along with the memories. We live in the past as opposed to thinking about the future.
I want to change this thinking for myself, for my family and for the community that has supported us. I want to think about a future without Pediatric Sarcoma. Will you join me?
Will you join me in calculating the numbers of kids hit by rare pediatric cancers and thinking about the numbers based on the years the world lost by them dying early? Will you join me in calculating the numbers by thinking about the difference they would have made in this world through their relentless positivity and hope if cancer had not taken them? Will you join me in outrage that the percentages of survival are based on 5 year spans? Really! For those of you who are parents, do you ever look at your teenager and hope that they live for 5 more years?
I have confidence in the medical science today. I know I could not save my son, however I am determined to find a cure for this cancer and save all the other teenagers that are dying today.
What does it mean to eradicate pediatric sarcoma? It means to save at least one teenager’s life everyday. It means giving them the 65-70 years that the cancer wants to take. It means saving a future Oncologist, like Arnav, or a musician or a business person everyday.
Will you join me on this mission? Let's do it together. We are looking for ideas and volunteers for fundraising. We want to save lives…in memory of Arnav...in pursuit of #relentlesspositivity #teamarnav
(Arnav and Dhruv's Mom)