September means back to school, but some kids aren't getting on the school bus. Among them are bald-headed children in hospital rooms with chemo running into their veins, kids with dreams and hopes of becoming vets, artists, mechanics, and astronauts.
I'm not sure what my son Daniel wanted to be, but I do remember his desire to get his hair back. He fussed one day that people made fun of him. I didn't ever hear anyone, but I'm sure many looked at him and turned away. He didn't see the compassion or pity in their eyes. He just saw his reflection in the mirror and even at age three and four missed his full head of soft blond hair.
Some days when I see his hair-less photos I want to turn away. But he'd tell me to fight. If he had lived through the eight months of chemo and radiation for neuroblastoma, that's what he'd tell me.
As a nation we need to look. We must take our head out of the sand and believe truth- kids do get cancer, children of all ages, and of all ethnic groups. One out of every 330 children in the USA will get some form of cancer before age 20.
While advances have been made in childhood cancer research, there are still so many miles to go. A petition for a childhood cancer stamp has been in the works for over two years and yet isn't receiving enough attention. There is no stamp to commemorate the fight against this number one killer disease among children and to make us aware of the young innocent victims who need a voice in our society.
It's time to bring these children and this disease out into the open.
Visit this web site to learn more about the cancer stamp and action you can take to help: http://www.kidscancerstamp.org/
Alice J. Wisler, founder of Daniel's House Publications, lost her 4-year-old to neuroblastoma treatments in 1997. She is an advocate of childhood cancer research. More resources can be found at her web site: http://www.geoci/griefhope/index.html