September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Caroline Menendez promotes childhood cancer awareness to help save lives. Many of us may think childhood cancer is rare; however, this is a huge myth. A child is diagnosed with cancer every 36 minutes. According to www.cancer.org; Leukemia (30%), brain and central nervous system tumors (26%), Neuroblastoma (6%), Wilms Tumor (5%), Lymphoma (8%), Rhabdomyosarcoma (3%), Retinoblastoma (2%), and Bone Cancer (3%) are the most common cancers among children. Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee once said, “No child should die in the dawn of life.” St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital was founded in 1962; no child pays anything for treatment at St. Jude’s. This allows the family to focus on the child and not the burden of worrying about the expenses while their child is treated.
Recently, while interviewing Elite Pro Mark Menendez, he told me that his daughter Caroline just turned eleven. At her party she requested no gifts; instead, she requested that children and adults attending bring a check made out to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Oncology Department. Mark said that since Donna passed away, Caroline has attended many functions dealing with Pancreatic Cancer; this is where she recently learned that childhood cancer is underfunded. In dollar terms, the National Cancer Institutes funding for pediatric clinical trials is $26.4 million while funding for AIDS research is $254 million, and breast cancer is $584 million. Caroline wanted to make a difference in childhood cancer research and raised $200.00 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at her birthday party.
I spoke with Caroline Menendez, and the 11-year-old is wise beyond her years. I asked her to tell me why childhood cancer is important to her; Caroline said, “Money is scarce for pediatric cancer research. Kids of today will be the adults of tomorrow. I would like to see more funding for all cancer research.” Caroline’s mother, Donna Menendez, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2014. Before passing, Donna went to Washington DC to fight for more funding for pancreatic cancer. Caroline told me cancer changed her life in a positive way by watching her mother fight cancer. I asked Caroline to tell me one thing she would want everyone to know about cancer. She said, “Cancer exists in the world, and we must do something to change its ability to harm people.”
Of course, Caroline and I couldn’t avoid talking about fishing and her father’s career. Caroline also likes to fish and as she puts it, “It has always been part of life”. I asked her to tell me about having a dad who is a professional fisherman. She explained, “I am very proud when I see my dad on the stage, but it is hard having daddy away from home. Tournaments are fun to attend when we have time.” Caroline made sure to tell me that she was a better fisherman than her younger brother Max. Caroline wants to be a Librarian when she grows up.
Caroline Menendez Promotes Childhood Cancer Awareness How To Help
If you would like to honor this wonderful child and send a donation to St. Jude’s in her honor, you can donate at www.stjude.org. Please reference Caroline Menendez using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org so that Caroline will get a notification of any honorary donations.
On a personal note, I live in a small town in North Carolina with Sam Rosebrock, a 5-year-old hero. During Christmas when Sam was two, he was complaining about a stomach ache. After a trip to the emergency room, Sam was sent directly to Levine’s Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina and was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. This type of cancer occurs in infants and young children. Rarely found in children older than 10. Neuroblastoma tumor can start anywhere, but is usually in the abdomen. Noticed as swelling, it can also cause bone pain and fever. Sam went into remission; however, the neuroblastoma returned within a year. Typical with any cancer return, Neuroblastoma is harder to cure with each reoccurrence. Sam’s prognosis was not a good one. His mother, Denielle, decided the doctor’s response “there is nothing else we can do” was NOT an option she was willing to accept. With much research and prayers, Sam was accepted into a new trail. A vaccine of Hiltinol, combined with chemotherapy at the University of Kentucky at Louisville has changed Sam’s prognosis. Sam just finished his 6-month trial, and officially started kindergarten on Monday, 14 September.
Cancer takes a lot away from life for an adult, but it strips many children of their lives. I didn’t realize, until my little hero Sam, how important research and funding is for childhood cancer. Sam was missing out of the little things like swimming and bubble baths because of chemo ports. Playing with other children and his preschool graduation, because of his compromised immune system. For more information on childhood cancers, please visit www.cancer.org and consider donating to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for cancer research funds.
Special thanks to Miss Caroline Menendez for helping me with this article. Caroline your mother would be so proud of you and the young lady you are becoming. Prayers for all children who are battling childhood cancer right now, especially my hero, Sam Rosebrock. Go Sam!
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