Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for a few days of rest and relaxation. While in the airport waiting to come home, I had the opportunity to meet Susan Berg from Houston. We struck up a conversation because she noticed my LIVESTRONG bracelet and jacket that I had on. We talked about her son, his health issues and how families cope with health issues, especially when it’s their children.
Subsequently, she connected me to several families touched by pediatric cancer. There is so much that needs to be done in the world of cancer ranging from prevention, to detection and research. Building awareness around those issues is vital to making progress in each area.
The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1553, the “Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act,” earlier this month which promises to significantly increase federal investment into childhood cancer research. There is companion legislation (S.911) in the Senate that is exected to come up for vote later this summer.
One of the families Susan connected me to, the Piniewskis lost their son, Alex John known as AJ, to cancer earlier this year. Alex’s Dad, Bob Piniewski, recently watched a 20/20 show with Diane Sawyer interviewing Randy Pausch. He’s living life with cancer. A Professor at Carnegie Mellon, he wrote the “Last Lecture”, and it’s been #1 on Amazon for the past couple months. Bob wrote me he’d NEVER seen a show on Childhood Cancer. And, after spending 8 months on a pediatric cancer floor, he knew that these kid’s stories were just as good and NEED to be told. So, he started a petition with the goal of having just that, an hour long show specifically devoted to childhood cancer. And, during the show, we hope to promote a book about the way these kids have changed the lives of those around them. Our hope is to raise public awareness and funding specifically for childhood cancer research. The petition has been up a month and has nearly 7,000 signatures, all though their contacts at Care Pages and Caring Bridge sites.
But frankly, they need more publicity to achieve their goal. You can check out the petition here.