There is no doubt that having a child changes a person’s perspective on, well, just about everything. For example, I think a lot of parents, myself included, become more passionate about things we believe will improve our children’s lives from the environment to social issues. In many instances, we learn from our experiences and want better for our kids. For me, I have learned first hand the pain of losing someone to leukemia and I don’t want my children – or anyone – to experience it.
My father was diagnosed with leukemia in February of last year. I was shocked to hear of his diagnosis. Actually, shocked doesn’t begin to cover it. One reason is that I had always associated the blood cancer with children when, in fact, most leukemia cases are diagnosed in older adults like my father. It was horrible to see my father going through treatment. Horrible. But every day I got to go home from the hospital to my healthy children. I know there were parents in the cancer hospital who were not so lucky. I think the only thing worse than a parent with leukemia is a child with the disease. I honestly can’t imagine.
My dad passed away 3.5 months after he was diagnosed. He died six weeks before I learned I was pregnant with Max. I hate that they’ll never meet, but am comforted by some similarities between Max and my dad.
After being personally affected by leukemia, it’s impossible NOT to work to find a cure. Last year my kids (and Max baby bump) walked in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. I begged (and begged) friends to donate and it was incredibly rewarding to raise money for such a worthy cause. I know in the scheme of things my time and money are just a drop in the bucket, but every bit helps and I am doing my part to make sure my children grow up with a cure to leukemia and other forms of cancer.