Today is World Cancer Day. There are many pictures I want to post, pictures of kids we lost, pictures of kids still fighting, pictures of survivors. But today I think of one picture. This is the picture of Joey’s little brother playing with other kids on the oncology floor in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. You probably notice that they are not the kids from this country. I met a lot of them in Cincinnati Children’s. I saw the signs in Arabic every where in the hospital. I saw their moms covered up in black every where. I saw the interpreters and I even saw the oncologist from their country. These people are very friendly and often offered me food they made. Little David played with them every day, although no one speaks English.
Me:” It must be very expensive that your whole family moved here, for a year now.”
Arabic mom:” Oh no, our government pays all our treatment, all the hospital bills.”
Me (shocked and envied): “wow, you are lucky. How about the living costs?”
Arabic mom:” Government also covers some. They pay all the traveling.”
Me (more envied): “How about your other kids here.”
Arabic mom:” The local public schools are all open to us. They go there free. They can speak English now.”
Me:” So how did you find out these best hospitals in the US?”
Arabic mom:” Our government has the contracts with the top children’ hospitals in the US and send us here. We don’t have good doctors like here.”
Today even more than two months after Joey passed away, I’m still struggling with hospital bills coming. I’m still arguing with insurance company. When our own kids, in this country, can’t afford good hospitals because of the insurance, yet these families from countries like Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi arabia, etc. were sent here FREE by their government. Their governments are WISE because they know where to spend money, spend money on the hope of the country, spend money to win the respect from people. This is how a government needs to treat their kids!
Every week, a classroom of kids die of cancer in this richest country of the world. Yet they have to rely on lemonade, cookies, moms shaving their heads to raise money to save them. How pathetic is that? Americans spend 20 times more on potato chips than on pediatric cancer research. If we can just use a tiny part of what we spend on junk food, presidential election and war to the pediatric cancer research, we can bring that number down! And we can even save children from other countries! We have best doctors, facilities, talents from all the world, but the government doesn’t want to invest money? What makes a country strong? The way you treat your children!
What you can do to make a difference? You can talk to your representative about the shortage of funding for pediatric cancer research. You can donate to a childhood cancer foundation which uses 100% money to research or children’s nutrition, like St. Baldrick’s, The Ethan Jostad Foundation For Childhood Cancer, MaxLove Project, or our newly foundation Joey’s Wings Foundation. You can come out to run for these children, run for a good cause.
Today is World Cancer Day and kids get cancer too.