June is a time for graduation parties and weddings (and allegedly nice, warm weather). Saturday found us in Fond du Lac for the high school graduation party of our great nephew. It was such a nice time as the families of four high school buddies came together to celebrate this milestone in a park. It is a scene which takes place in small towns and big cities throughout our great country. It is a scene however which families whose children have been touched by cancer and blood disorders never take for granted. Graduations, like Proms and Homecomings are always special for these young people. Sadly, far too many never get the chance to have their graduation party which reminds us once again that we support research to honor those who have died.
Following this very special event, we headed south to attend the wedding reception of a very special young woman whom I have had the good fortune to know since her days as a toddler. Now a beautiful 31-year-old, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (cancerous tumors behind the eye, to the layman) when she was 3 months.
Nothing was said of her battle with cancer as an infant, yet there was a heartfelt reference to the MACC Fund. You knew from what her dad, a beloved member of the MACC Fund family, said – which was affirmed by the approving nod of his wonderful wife – that their hearts were full of gratitude to the researchers and the doctors and nurses who cared so lovingly for their little girl that this day which they always dreamed of was here. One can’t help but think of the range of emotions from looking back to that fateful day when they learned that their beautiful baby of three months had cancer to the image of her walking down the aisle as a 31-year-old bride with her dad on her arm. Ironically, the beautiful bride’s proud husband is a pediatric neurology researcher working in the MACC Fund Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in epilepsy.
June is indeed a month filled with graduation parties and weddings. They may be commonplace for most, but for those whose life has been touched by cancer or a blood disorder as a child, they are never taken for granted.
John Cary, Executive Director
Filed under: Notes of Hope |