I’ve had the word “Donna” on my to-do list for a week or so now. Every year I participate in something known as “Donna Day” a blog-a-thon that helps raise money for children’s cancer research, specifically St. Baldricks.
The blog-a-thon is in honor of Donna, the daughter of friends of mine. Donna died before her fifth birthday. Most years I’ve had an idea of what I wanted to write about a week or more before the blog post was due. This year, I’ve got nada. The name has stayed on my to-do list because I’m tired. I’m tired of childhood cancer. In the past year, two kids I know have gone in to remission and one new child has been diagnosed. I guess overall that’s a win, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like a loss, an exhausting and sad loss.
I know I’m lucky to have the luxury of being tired of thinking about kids with cancer. Like all of us whose children are not sick, I can move in and out, helping when I’m able or when I want to, pushing it to the back of my mind and leaving it on a to-do list when I do not want to think about it.
Those whose children have cancer, or survived cancer, or did not survive cancer, do not have that luxury. Once childhood cancer comes for a visit, it stays permanently, leaving little unwanted gifts: deafness, infertility, fear of strangers, brain damage … the list is long and unpredictable.
This year I have nothing new to say. So I will say the same old thing:
If you’d like to support children and families with cancer, those who can not simply write a name down on a to-do list and let it sit, and certainly can’t cross it off the list, but have to live with cancer every day, may I suggest you donate to St. Baldrick’s.
Donna Day is organized by Jeremy and Sheila, Donna’s loving parents who continue to parent Donna by raising awareness of and funds for childhood cancer. You can contribute directly to their annual St. Baldrick’s Fundraising event here. You can also learn more about the event and how you can participate.
You can learn more about St. Baldrick’s and the pitiful state of funding for childhood cancer here.
If you know someone that you think this message will resonate with, please share this post. If this message doesn’t resonate with you, that’s fine. Check out the Mary Tyler Mom blog or FB page (MTM is also Donna’s mother) or the Donna’s Good Things Facebook Page. Donna’s mother will have a list of other blogs participating, maybe one of their posts will hit the spot for you.