September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month–But Every Day Children Suffer

Today starts the daily campaign for this month to raise awareness about how many children are diagnosed with cancer–90 children a year just at The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center.
Today we need to understand the support that each and every one of those 90 children and their family need in order to survive a cancer diagnosis. It’s emotional, financial, physical and spiritual support.
Today we push to find a cure. According to the National Cancer Institute, the most common types of cancer diagnosed in children and adolescents are leukemia, brain and central nervous system tumors, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, bone cancer, and gonadal (testicular and ovarian) germ cell tumors. 
Nick Rychcik may not be familiar with these common forms of cancer, but he knows way too much about the cancer that for the past year has turned his life upside down. 9-year-old Nick was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Sarcoma in October 2013, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. His tumor was found on September 25. In addition to the surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and other painful procedures, Nick is currently undergoing treatment at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital.
Nick Rychcik and his mom, Kelly (photo courtesy of Elizabeth Fox Photography)
Nick’s procedure is called Intraperitoneal Therapy. Anti-cancer drugs are delivered directly into the abdominal cavity and are left there to bathe the cancer. This study called I-8H9 phase 1 has only been done on 20 patients so far. Nick will feel a lot of abdominal pressure, his breathing will be faster and heaver due to the large volume of fluid. Currently, Nick is home, but the treatment has caused him to be continually sick. He goes back to Sloan tomorrow and will get his schedule for three weeks of radiation. 
The Rychcik family is one of the 90 children dealing with a similar situation of being separated from siblings, parents, and friends. Nick should be school shopping and preparing to hang out with his friends at school, but instead is battling to save his life. 
Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation fights for Nick and is supporting this family to help get them through this difficult time. Nick is our warrior for Nick’s Run to be Healed 5K on Sunday, September 28, 2014.  Go to www.fighttobehealed.org to find out how you can participate and support our never-ending mission.
On September 13, the Capital Region Childhood Cancer Coalition is sponsoring a September Gold Family Day. This is for every family battling cancer or wanting to support a family with cancer. There will be a ton of fun events. Please spread the word about what we do.

Everyone is invited to come to this event. Please help us make it a huge success!

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