As I said, I wanted to make May a month where I wrote about causes that I felt were important to raise awareness. And then May turned into June. I have been wanting to write this post for awhile, but the perfect words were not coming to me. The truth is that there are no perfect words and there is nothing perfect about this. However, it is deserving of my time and my words. In fact it is deserving of so so so much more than I could ever give. It is a story is about a really serious and important cause, Childhood Cancer. This is just one story amongst far far too many. It touched my heart so deeply I have felt so compelled to do something.
Last year I mentioned in a post that one of the girls little ballet friends passed away from Leukaemia. I used to sit in their class and watch her dance, she was beautiful, and honestly one of the most talented dancers in the class. And she was only 4 years old. Following her passing I was obviously really upset and didn’t know what to do to help. Around the same time I started to get posts coming up in my facebook feed, being ‘liked’ by a few friends about a little baby from San Diego (where I used to live) who had cancer. I don’t usually pay much attention to things on facebook, but I felt compelled to read this story. It was about a little girl named Kylie, her Mum Bree and her Dad Luke. Bree had set up the page as a way to update friends and family on her treatment.
In the months to follow I watched her story unfold through the words, videos and photographs Bree posted. Through their Facebook page I felt as if I had started to get to know them and capture a glimpse of their lives. Bree was so warm and personable and Kylie was so unbelievably gorgeous and her story was so urgent that I couldn’t help but follow along. In telling Kylie’s story, Bree’s faith was unwavering and her positivity and optimism were contagious. Deep down I knew there was so much more going on. I almost couldn’t bare to understand what Bree was going through. I pray I never truly know how much it must hurt and how hard it must feel to live through that fear for your child’s life and desperate hope for their future everyday.
Kylie was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at just 19 months old. She seemed to hit every road bump along the way and somehow get through them each time. Her spirit and thirst for life was so strong! In the videos, photographs and stories she came across as a huge personality, feisty, clever, cheeky and loving. The love she had for her parents was visible in every image. I have no doubt she was able to remain so strong and fight for so long because of the enormously strong bond she shared with her parents.
After 13 months of fighting, on February 7th 2015, Kylie gained her angel wings. To quote Bree, because no one can articulate her story better than her dear mother:
“Kylie won. She fought the good fight never letting it bring her down or take away her smile. She got the ultimate gift, to be cancer free living in heaven. We miss our girl more than words could ever explain, but we get by on knowing she isn’t suffering any longer.” (Source)
The tragic thing is though that there are still so many children and their families going through this. Childhood cancer continues. Every year more than 640 Australian children will be diagnosed with cancer. Every week nearly three Australian children will die of cancer. (Source)
Humans are capable of extraordinary things when we focus and work together effectively. I am certain there is far more that can be done to help prevent and treat childhood cancer. Those numbers are devastating, because they are not just numbers they are peoples babies.
So to kick it off making a difference. I will share with you three links so you can do your own reading.
To find out more about Kylie and her story:
Kylie’s facebook page
To make a donation to Kylie’s Foundation:
Kylie Rowand Foundation
For those who want to make a donation to a charity here within Australia:
Children’s Cancer Institute Australia
I am also running a competition. I will donate AUD$50 in the winner’s name to the Kylie Rowand Foundation and AUD$50 in the winner’s name to their charity of choice.
Please use the Rafflecopter giveaway below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
PS I choose to use a little turtle in the header of this post because Kylie loved turtles! 🙂