The inaccessibility to health care in Syria is only adding to the death toll of the war. A country that was once envied for its government-funded healthcare system is now only a shell of that, with 60 percent of its hospitals destroyed or damaged, and many doctors exiting the country as swiftly as everyone else.
I've shared stories with parents whose children, like my own daughter, have or have had a brain tumor. Many parents say that it took weeks, or even months, for their children to be correctly diagnosed. In our case, we were one of the "lucky" ones -- although I hesitate to use that word because my child died, albeit five years after diagnosis.
Among his many achievements, Dr. Sender developed the joint Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at CHOC Children's and UC Irvine Health and is currently the chairman of the United States' largest AYA patient advocacy group: Stupid Cancer. I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Sender to discuss his views on the AYA movement.
Times are changing. These kids are fighting harder and longer. Their stories are getting out there because the chemo drugs are not curing kids, but they are extending their lives. People ARE aware of them. Awareness of pediatric cancer is out there. But now we are getting stalled because the movement is not moving.
I've criticized St. Jude in the past, for failing to draw attention to those childhood cancers with prognoses that have remained unchanged for decades. But our family participates in its marathons and walks and will continue to do so. However, something's up with its latest campaign to get its repeat donors to dig deep.