Canadian children are worth more than just 5% of cancer research dollars

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When our daughter was 18 months old we were told she had a brain tumour. I had lived in ignorant bliss until then, absolutely unaware that a child so young could be fighting a monster so big.  

We watched for two years as our daughter was pumped full of medications that were not developed for children but for adults, we watched her endure the horrendous side effects of these adult drugs on her tiny body, wonderful doctors doing all they could with the resources they had to save her.  The goal was to save her life, as parents it was all we could think about, please save our baby girl.

Each week for two years she would receive these medications and eventually the tumour was smaller and no longer growing, she had survived, little did we know that the battle was far from over, little did we know that now 10 yrs down the road she would suffer such neurocognitive challenges, unrelenting pain, and nausea. Having your child beg you to make it better and you having to tell them you can't. My daughter asked me if because she had cancer did that mean her child could get it, I didn't have the heart to add to everything else she was enduring to tell her that the same drugs that were causing her so much grief may also have taken away her ability to have children.

When your child is going through cancer treatment you feel so very much alone, the world is racing by oblivious to your pain, oblivious to the reality that today their children are healthy and they believe untouchable, feeling the same as we all do the day before we hear the word cancer and our child's name in the same sentence. The reality is, however, that unfortunately, we are not alone, up and down the hallways of hospitals are rooms where children lay fighting the same monster. Each with at least one exhausted parent watching over them.

I have spent years wanting to make a difference, frustrated that it seemed to be only the exhausted families touched by cancer advocating for our children and demanding that the Canadian government double the current 5% of cancer research dollars to childhood cancer.  

As I stood in line a week ago to say goodbye to another precious child taken from us because of this monster that is cancer, I had an epiphany, us parents, the ones that are exhausted beyond comprehension are fighting not for our children but for yours, your child is healthy today but tomorrow without warning the monster could strike and he or she could become one of the 1,700 children that will be diagnosed this year with cancer in Canada. I know you feel that it would never happen to your child because I have at least 100 other parents in my life that I consider friends that all said the same thing until they heard the words "your child has cancer."

We can't do it alone, we as parents owe it to our children to stand collectively in solidarity, demanding that the government of Canada take immediate action to double the cancer research dollars allocated to childhood cancers.

We are parents hear us roar! Canadian children are worth more than just 5% of cancer research dollars. Please sign this petition, help us show the government of Canada that we are serious.