Just seeing the smile on Tori’s face tells you that this lovely young lady is ready to take on life at full speed. We never think that our child could be diagnosed with cancer, but it seems that everywhere we turn, someone we know hears this news. People need to know that childhood cancer is becoming very common and more needs to be done to raise awareness.
But beyond awareness is action. If we just read these stories and say, “Oh how sad.” or “My child is healthy, so this doesn’t affect me.” or “Let someone else do something,” then we are missing the change to improve our children’s lives. Children will continue to get cancer, have major side effects their entire lives, and we will keep losing our children, our future.
Not only is Tori affected, but her entire family struggles. Schedules are changed, siblings may not be able to do the activities they are use to, children who are hospitalized miss school, connection to friends, and this all adds stress to the family.
Not only does it affect family dynamics, but a cancer diagnosis affects the parents’ abilities to work. 1/3 of family income is lost, because a parent has to stay with their child. If it’s a single-parent home, then that parent has to depend on family and friends, so they can be with their sick child, but then they aren’t working. Everyone hurts. A large part of Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation’s mission is to help family pay for medical or other bills, while their child is being treated.
Hope is found in Tori’s attitude. She has never once asked, “Why me?” She takes it all in stride, is positive about chemo, her hospital stays, and has fun with the nurses and pca’s. She especially loves her grandma bringing her pizza. Her family follows Tori’s lead, and they have learned to stay positive in order to persevere through these hard times. Being positive helps healing, both emotional and physical.
Tori gets it and even though she has more treatments down the road, she says, “Oh surgery? Well I don’t mind. I get to sleep!” Children are resilient, and we can all learn from this amazing gal!