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DeeJo

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY FOUNDATION
July 24, 2009

I was involved with the Relay For Life for 6 years before my 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. While she was in treatment I kept a website to keep people informed. Here is an entry from 2004: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 9:30 AM CDT Sat. Sept. 25: Nausea's ugly brother, mouth sores, appeared in the middle of the night. She was in crying, screaming pain. It was awful. Thank the Lord for continuous drip pain medication. It almost helps relieve the pain. It won't help with the open sores. Mostly the pain med and the anitmedics help her sleep and then she's not crying in pain. She can't talk, open her mouth more than a slit or even swallow her own spit. It hurts her to cry. I hate the mouth sores more than the nausea. Let me explain the mouth sore thing. The chemo drugs kill the fast growing cancer cells, but since they can't distinguish between the bad (cancer) and good fast growing cells they kill them all. That's why their hair falls out too. The cells inside your mouth, throat, and gut area are all fast growing. Three of her chemo drugs cause mouth sores plus in the doses she's getting it was pretty much a sure thing. There isn't much they can do. She swabs her mouth with a gel to try to prevent the sores from getting infected and swishes a mouthwash with Benadryl and Lidocane. She hates it and it hurts, but she's a good patient and she does what she's supposed to do. She just keeps on enduring. I'm going to hop up on my soapbox: Having helped with the Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society I thought the research had come a long way (and it has) and bragged about how much better treatments are today (and they are). But, I am now the mother of a 13 year old cancer patient and I've changed my goal: Cancer just needs to be eliminated! There is never a good age to get cancer and as I found out (I thought I already knew, but I didn't really) cancer can happen to anyone at any age. We need to keep funding the research until they can determine who has cells that are going to mutate into cancer and provide a way to prevent it. I am so grateful they know how to cure Hannah's cancer, but the process is beyond what I ever imagined. I am now 100% behind the ACS goal to eradicate cancer. Just wait until the Relay For Life comes around again. You'll be hearing from me. Okay, I'm off my soapbox. Thanks for listening. She endured 7 more months of chemo only to have her cancer return 2 months later. There was no proven treatment available and she had a less than 20% chance of survival so she was enrolled in a clinical trial for the drug Rituxan. This is one of the drugs that helped save her life! It kept her cancer at bay during an infection when she couldn't receive traditional chemo. This drug was funded by the Relay For Life! Relay For Life really does save live! I know because my daughter is alive to tell her story.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being a part of a community that is passionate about eradicating cancer, educating America about cancer prevention, raising awareness and supporting those in our own community. It's an event to be shared with others who share your passion!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

PASSIONATE!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save more lives!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Co-chaired a local Relay For Life event.