Please read this very important post from guest blogger Maria Schulz

 

In honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, we are pleased to welcome guest blogger Maria Schulz to our site. Please read this very important post!–Melissa

Did you know that September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month?

There was a time that I didn’t know that fact at all. Like most busy parents, I often rush headlong from one chore to the next. My husband’s dry cleaning has to get picked up, my kids need help with homework, the house needs to be cleaned, I don’t know what I’m going to cook for dinner most nights, and I always have a deadline looming at work. There’s never enough time in my day.

But one day, a flyer on the window of my local supermarket stopped me cold.

There was a photograph on the flyer of a pretty little girl who had recently died of a brain tumor. She was 9 years old—just two weeks older than my younger daughter.

Her parents had started a charity called The Lexiebean Foundation, and they were trying to raise money for other families who were facing the emotional and financial hardships that come along with such a devastating diagnosis.

There are so many worthy organizations out there, so why did this one call out to me?

Perhaps it was because that little girl made me think of my little girls. Or maybe it was because Lexie’s parents were trying to help other families in Lexie’s name.

I love kids and hate to think of any child suffering. But how could I help? I’m not a nurse or a doctor, and I’m afraid of needles and blood. Getting an in-hospital visit from me would be awful if I passed out during the visit.

Fear, however, is not a good enough reason to stay away. Here’s what you need to know for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month:

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under 15
  • 7 children will die from cancer each day
  • That’s  2,555 kids every year
  • One in 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they’re 20 years old
  • Childhood cancer occurs constantly, randomly, and strikes people of every ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic group
  • A pediatric cancer diagnosis can have drastic financial and emotional consequences any family

But The Lexiebean Foundation works to:

  • Provide comfort to children, parents and siblings as they cope with the extended hospital stays often associated with care and treatment
  • Supply comfort packages chosen specifically for patients, their siblings, and parents
  • Make a difficult time a bit more bearable, and show families that they are not alone
  • Provide financial help with mortgages, car payments, and other household expenses on a case-by-case basis

The Lexiebean Foundation is as thrilled to receive a $5 donation from a lemonade stand as they are to accept large grants from corporate donors. No matter what your talents are, they are always ready and willing to invite you into their Foundation. Whether you want to run a marathon with their running team or do administrative tasks at their offices, they will be delighted to welcome you to the fold.

I never had the privilege of knowing Lexie, but I think about her often. This year, my little one is going to be a teenager– just like Lexie would have been if she’d lived.

Maybe that’s why I feel compelled to volunteer. When I saw Lexie’s beautiful face on that flyer a few years ago, I thought: there has to be a way that I can help the kids whose challenges are still to come. I wasn’t able to help Lexie. But maybe I can help another child in her name.

This year, as you see the statistics for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, you can make a choice. You can:

  • Walk away (pediatric cancer is scary, after all)
  • Make a donation (that’s a great way to help)
  • Give of your time, energy, and talents—whether it’s in our offices or at one of our events
  • Spread the word about The Lexiebean Foundation on social media (make sure to tell all of your friends)

Whatever you decide, just know that it’s a great feeling when you can play a small part in making life better for the children, parents and siblings whose lives have been forever changed by pediatric cancer.

As for me, I’m glad I didn’t just walk away from that flyer at the grocery store. I’m so happy to help The Lexiebean Foundation.

I hope that somewhere, a little girl named Lexie is smiling.

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Maria Schulz is a freelance copywriter and The Lexiebean Foundation’s newsletter and article writer. She writes a humorous blog called Tales from a Hungry Life. You can read all of her posts at: www.talesfromahungrylife.wordpress.com

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