A pain crisis is hard to put into words. Every person with sickle cell disease describes it differently. For me, it is a sharp, excruciating pain that runs throughout my entire body.
It is estimated that nearly 10 percent of children with cancer have the disease because, like Megan, they carry predisposing gene mutations. That percentage may be even higher, because some children carry genetic mutations that have not yet been identified.
Each September is "Childhood Cancer Awareness" month. This acknowledgement of a problem means more than beautiful photos of smiling bald children. It highlights the urgency of generating action to eliminate cancer as the leading cause of death by disease for American children.
How does one sleep when the to-do list has been wiped clean except for one task "save my son's life?"
After two-and-a-half years of treatment, I made the important transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor. My experience made me realize that I wanted to be a doctor and help children through their cancer journeys.
Adam was diagnosed with ALL at age 17, underwent treatment at St. Jude, and is currently in remission. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Adam has set a goal to raise $100,000 to give back to the place that is giving him both hope and a future.
When I get home today, I will wrap my arms around your rosy-cheeked face, sweet-smelling hair and strong body, squeezing you tight until you giggle into my ear.
When Kyllian Warman's father was diagnosed with cancer when she was just a high school freshman, her family, determined to have her father see her graduate high school, fought the disease with all their might. But while treatments may have failed him, Kyllian did not.
It's an incredible sight to see all of those people lining the streets for miles, with seemingly no square foot of concrete left uncovered. As I look around I will also see hundreds of runners wearing a "St. Jude Hero" singlet just like mine.
Like all good parents, when Anna and Jason first noticed unusual behavior in their young son Ian, they visited their pediatrician. Perhaps his irritability and rapid eye movements could simply meant he needed glasses. Instead, what they found out they were about to face is every parent's worst nightmare.
"What did I learn from my experience with cancer? It was not fun, but it gave me the ability to handle things better. Life can be hard, but you have to push through it and trust that God is in control. Give thanks to God every day for what you have. And do your best with it."
Even seasoned runners often feel a dip in their motivation and seek out a catalyst beyond their own personal or selfish reasons for running. Enter the charity race, because when your running become less about you and more about humanity, you can't help but get out the door in the morning.