Last year, 4LN writer Cody Russell posted an article titled “Thank you DC, from a Marvel fan.” You should definitely read it as it’s a simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring piece about what he and his family have gone through since their son Brooks was diagnosed with cancer, as well as a thank you note to DC comics for all the work they do to better the lives of children and families who are forced to endure this kind of journey.
I bring this up to express that this is something very close to us here at 4LN. One of our own is personally effected by pediatric cancer and therefore we all are.
Recently, a good buddy of ours, Mitchell, was diagnosed with leukemia and at a very young age has had to suffer a whirlwind of tests and treatments in order to get him on a path to wellness. We were all devastated to hear about what Mitchell was going through, as it brought back all the feelings of what Cody and his family have gone through. We wanted to do something for Mitchell to maybe help distract him from all the chaos and commotion that his life had been for the past few weeks, so we partnered with the good people over at Comic Collector Live: The Store and put together a gift basket of toys and comics from all of Mitchell’s favorite characters. (He was really tired when we delivered them, but if you’ll notice he’s grabbing his favorite toy, Spiderman)
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we here at 4LN want to encourage all of you to take part in helping raise awareness of this cause. I’m gonna turn it over to Cody now and he’ll let you all know how you can help!
Cody- Hello, I’m now standing on my soapbox. When we were first tossed into the pediatric cancer world, our heads were turned upside down. I used to see blog posts very similar to this one and read and move along. It’s hard to communicate to you how painful and crazy this journey is as a parent. You watch your child turn into a superhero and handle facing a fear that you know is coming one day, and that is the fear of death. I say that not to be callous, but to be real. These kids are staring most superheroes biggest villain right in the face, and they do so with the biggest smile on their face and a Spiderman shirt on.
As it stands today, The American Cancer Society only dedicates 3% of it’s raised funds to research pediatric cancer . While this number maybe actually be worth about 12 million dollars, it pales in comparison to the number that Breast Cancer Research is funded (and rightfully so, who doesn’t love boobs?) which is upwards of $400 million. Last month an amazing thing happened for the ALS society, the rich and powerful (and just kind hearted) woke the hell up about a cause and put their money where their mouth is, and raised over $100 million for ALS research. While I’m soooooooooo excited (can you tell by how many Os I used?) I’m also heart broken. Ever since my son was diagnosed, I’ve tried spreading the word about the under-funding of pediatric cancer research. My brother and I even tried raising money to help get a documentary about it off the ground (here’s a video we made for kickstarter). The sad truth that I’ve found about people on the internet is that giving you a Facebook like is the same as giving $100 dollars to a charity that could find a cure for your child. People want to read about our misery, and help in their own way, but when it comes down to what might actually help bring awareness to something that could save your son’s life, only 8 people cared enough to back it up. It’s kind of like being treated like a homeless person, some will smile at you and wave, others might bring you food and money, but only some will commit to finding out why your on the streets and looking for a solution to get others off them. You’re probably thinking, ” Hey, whoah, I just came here to read about comic books!” or “we can’t donate to everyone!” and I get it. This is my plea as a parent of a child with cancer. Don’t just be a social media activist where sharing on your twitter and Facebook is all you do. Understand that if you have a child, or grandchildren, or nephews and nieces, that all it takes is one day for your world to flip upside down, and maybe that doesn’t have to happen if we can find a cure. Research can’t happen without money. Cancer is the #1 killer of children. Cancer is the #1 killer of children. Cancer is the #1 killer of children. I’m hoping that reading that 3 times is enough to understand how important funding is. Here’s how you can help.
There is a private organization that I completely stand behind, and is one of the largest privately funded research organizations for pediatric cancer research. They are called St. Baldrick’s and I highly encourage you to make a donation for them to continue the good work that they do. To learn more about them go here:
Or if you’d like to know about donating, go here:
We are also helping raise money for Mitchell and his family by having help to create t-shirts. If you’d like to purchase them you can hop on over to his Facebook and request one to order. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prayers-for-Mitchell/754574891279639
They look pretty awesome by the way.
I’m sorry for sounding so pissed off, and to all the people that were by our sides while our son went through treatment, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your love and support helped us in ways that are unexplainable. Without our local community my wife and I probably would be divorced, depressed, and 100lbs heavier. Thank you so much.