11 years ago the twin towers fell and our sense of freedom and safety was forever changed. 11 years ago we lived in our old house on Cambridge Avenue. Both my boys were with me.  Stephen in kindergarten and Nick in 2nd grade.  The natural urge to protect them from the ugliness in the world was compelling. It was a different kind of fear.

Although 9/11 struck harder than any homeland tragedy, I didn’t personally know anyone who died.  I had friends and associates who lost loved ones, but not someone whose loss struck me to the core.  However, I still felt my sense of peace shattered, as well as empathy and sadness for so many, even 11 years later.  The grief lingers and it’s imperative that we always remember, that we honor and mourn all those lost, that we take action so that it never happens again. 


Today I am sad for all those lost in 9/11 and it reminded me of my son lost to cancer–a different kind of terrorism that invades stealthily until very often it’s too late. Every day I hear a story of a newly diagnosed family, a loss of a child due to complications, a new need or request from the clinic.  Every day I work to raise money and awareness for Nick’s Foundation in the hope that we can continue to fill the endless requests.

The foundation isn’t run just by me.  It encompasses my whole family. The board consists of dedicated volunteers who have spent hours upon hours of their time away from their own families helping fight cancer.  Then there are the many other volunteers who work at events, bake cookies, raise awareness, or organize an entire fundraiser.

We could NOT do it without YOU.

It’s hard and I know that sometimes you may prefer to spend that time with your families or you are faced with another cancer diagnosis that hits the heart once again and it’s emotionally devastating.  Sometimes there are a million things I’d rather be doing than working daily for the foundation. Sometimes I wish cancer would just go away.


I NEVER FORGET that my oldest son is dead.  That cancer took his mind, his body, his life away from me and my family.  Every child’s shocked or pained expression is etched in my mind.  The tears a parent cries when they bury their child runs through me like an angry fire.


And I urge you to not forget–even if you haven’t had a child with cancer or suffered such a horrid loss.  Always remember why we fight cancer every moment of every day. Because one more child with cancer is one more too many.

Thank you for all you give. We definitely don’t forget.

2012–Stephen first day of school.

4 thoughts on “NEVER FORGET

  1. Janine. Thank you for sharing your stories. You are an inspiration to families, friends and patients who are experiencing cancer and remind all to remain hopeful and strong.



  2. Jody,
    Stories heal and I'm glad this helps. There is always hope and our children are the ones who inspire it in all of us. Their strength, resilience and humor in the midst of what they go through helps us remember why we are here. Feel free to share any stories of hope! There are so many and I love hearing them.


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