Hannah’s Cured Campaign
Amount Raised: $1,698.00
join me in the fight . . .
This week marks my official “cure date” where I am no longer in remission but am considered cured of my Leukemia! To celebrate this last milestone, I am continuing to raise money for those still fighting.
The summer after my senior year of high school, a year that I spent the majority of the day in bed, my symptoms caught up to me. With searing abdominal pain and a body covered in bruises, my parents took me to the emergency room. They drew my blood and something was “off”. The ER doctor came in and sat down. He asked if we were praying people. Then went on to say something about Leukemia and next thing I knew I was being transferred in an ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. In the middle of the night I was diagnosed with Leukemia and admitted to the oncology floor where I started chemo 2 days later and didn’t leave for 30 days.
My world was turned upside down in a matter of hours. I was thrown into this unknown space that I knew nothing about. I had never met anyone that had cancer before. I remember sitting in the ER at PCH with my mom. I looked at her and I said, “This doesn’t happen to us.”
After hair loss, mouth sores, drastic weight loss and weight gain, feeling car sick for 3 years, emotional trauma, countless bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There were times when it was really ugly. But for however many ugly or scary times there were, there was always hope. There was always light at the end of the tunnel.
Throughout my experience, I had an amazing support system. Friends, family and strangers rallied around us. I realized that this is not always the case. The majority of the families I saw at the hospital did not have that. They didn’t have anyone to bring them meals or to bring them a gas card.
I decided I couldn’t just be done. My cancer may be gone, but so many others are still fighting. And I’ve never really been one to just stand around and do nothing. That’s where Lighthouse comes in.
Lighthouse for Hope strives to fight alongside families experiencing pediatric cancer by providing them with support and assistance for daily necessities. I know the emotional, physical and financial challenges these families are facing and know that even the smallest contribution would make a world of difference.
Lighthouse works to provide families with items that insurance doesn’t always cover, like gas cards, groceries, cleaning supplies, and other daily items that are needed. Childhood cancer is not rare, in fact, it’s common, and it can happen to any child, any time, in any family. And it’s expensive. We are committed to alleviating financial stress so that families can focus on helping their children heal.
I am passionate about the families that sort of get lost in the crowd. The kids that have stories that nobody hears about. Often times they are struggling on top of having a child with cancer. I work directly with social workers that help us find families that would best benefit from our assistance.
The majority of the families we help financially are really struggling. We have helped families that were homeless, families that don’t have a car, families that we buy Christmas gifts for and then find out they don’t even have a Christmas tree to put all the gifts under. I’ve seen a mom cry and thank me for toilet paper. Things that you and I would maybe take for granted.
Life has become something that I refer to as before and after. Before cancer and after cancer. It’s hard to think about the before, or what the alternative after would have been like if I didn’t make it. Survivors guilt is real. Why am I still here and so many others aren’t? There must be a reason. That’s why we have to keep fighting for the kids that are still in it.
Cancer brings many things with it. There are joyful moments and then there are harder, painful moments. Moments that make you take a step back and re-evaluate everything. Like most, I wish I could take away everyones pain. Just make it disappear. I would take my cancer 100 times over again if it meant that other kids didn’t have to go through it. But, I must remember that light at the end of the tunnel. I am grateful for experiencing cancer and all that it has brought to my life.
So this week, to commemorate this final milestone in my personal cancer journey, I have started Hannah’s Cure Campaign. Help me raise funds and awareness for those that can’t celebrate their cure date and for those that are still fighting. I have seen what this Lighthouse community can do and know that this can be big. Any amount makes a difference, and I am so grateful.