Throughout the year people go through tragic and heart breaking experiences. For some people that’s why the holidays aren’t always the best time of the year. People shut down because the tragedy that they feel overpowers the will of happiness. This time of year is tough if you have lost someone to a disease or illness. One illness that not many people think about is childhood cancer.
Science and Optics teacher Mr. Conrow lost his daughter to cancer nearly three years ago. She had a cancer of the brain and spine and was only three and half years old when they found out. She fought hard, but sadly lost the battle not long after she turned six years old.
Coping with a loss like this might seem impossible. Mr. Conrow explains that there are people out there who can help. “There is an organization called Compassion Net. This organization helps families going through this tough time. This organization helps families who have a child sick with a disease. Even if Amanda was cured, they still would’ve helped our family out,” Conrow states.
During this time of year I miss my cousin RJ, who had neuroblastoma cancer stage four. This cancer is found in the small glands on the top of the kidneys. Children ages five and younger are usually affected by this type of cancer. RJ died on February 22, 2012. For a year and a half, he fought long and hard. He was such a happy kid even though he was in the hospital most of the time and couldn’t be home. When he was, we made the best of memories when we could.
This is a very serious situation, a very serious heartbreak. These kids don't get to live their lives like we do. We have to cherish every moment, every memory, good and bad. If we don't then what are we living for? We have to live to our full potential, and live the happiest and the fullest lives we can.
“No day is promised if you dwell on the sadness, if you can’t remember the good times,” Mr. Conrow adds. He is hopeful and gives advice to anyone going through such tragic times. “Find a few people that will just listen when you need to express yourself,” he advises. “It helps to write down what you’re feeling and make the argument to yourself that can still have happy days. Find ways to remember them in good ways.”
So during this holiday, and the next, enjoy your family, enjoy the time, because you never know when your life might change.