As we raise awareness this month about childhood cancer, we show the harsh side of it; the devastation, the heartache and pain that our children go through. The posts about childhood cancer facts are very much appreciated, because facts don’t lie. When we are faced with the truth, we can no longer sit back and be complacent.
There are many ways to create change and face a cancer diagnosis. Abby Sayles and her family have shown us a positive and powerful way to battle cancer that is not only effective (Abby is about a year cancer free), but also has caused a ripple effect across the cancer community.
I first met Abby and her family after she married her nurse, Matt Hickling, in a touching ceremony at The Melodies Center. Just this act alone started by the tremendous support Matt showed Abby, raised awareness around the world about what a child with cancer goes through.
Dance to be Healed began to celebrate that support and is now an annual event where children and their families get dressed up, dance, and take time off from their treatment and worries.
For a few years, Abby has walked in our July 4th parade and jumps right into the activity of handing out candy and bags. She truly teaches us that Nothing is Impossible. She is living proof of that.
If that wasn’t enough of a ripple effect, Abby and her family started a lemonade stand where she raises money for The Melodies Center and this year for Nick’s Fight to be Healed. Giving back builds community and provides strength to the families who open their hearts to the support.
Community makes a huge difference in healing. I truly believe that Abby’s positive attitude helped her to heal. She learned this from her parents and the amazing staff at the clinic.
Now that Abby is done with treatment, she stays connected to her cancer family, because connection continues that ripple effect. The more people understand what a child goes through, the more they will help. When someone who never knew about childhood cancer sees what Abby and other kids have done, then they move forward to create change. Before we know it that ripple turns into a wave of action.
How will you create a ripple effect? What will you do today to help a child with cancer? Doesn’t have to be huge. One stone can cause a ripple.