“There is a large mass in your son’s head,” the pediatrician stuttered, as tears flushed down her cheeks. And just like that, a family’s life was forever changed.
Today, I want to share a very personal story. A story (with permission) of some very dear friends of mine. Their son, Joseph, was one of my son Alex’s best buds from the time they were just tiny one-year-olds, when they took to each other that very difficult first week of preschool.
Soon after that, I meet Jon and Joy -Joseph’s parents- and Joy and I became instant friends. What I remember most about that time, was her disposition of embracing motherhood and all that it would bring, the good and the bad. Joy is a fighter, someone I’d want on my team.
The words no parent should ever hear about their child were said to Joseph’s parents on a hot July day in 2011. That fall was possibly one of the most difficult times any parent should go through, and I will forever be grateful to Jon and Joy’s openness with their son’s treatments and their emotional journey. It’s because of this story, that I witnessed first hand the devastation suffered by a family because of childhood cancer.
Joseph was diagnosed with a very aggressive brain tumor (highly malignant glioblastoma), one he tirelessly fought for five months. His journey and the one of two faithful parents is one Joy has written about in the book Joseph’s Joy: Living With Unstoppable Hope.
Joseph was one of 7,800 patients that are seen at St. Jude yearly from all 50 states and around the world. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers. It’s the place where I’d want my children treated.
In the 50 years since St. Jude’s doors first opened, pediatric cancer survival rate has increased from less than 20% to more than 80%. Their groundbreaking research is not only used to cure kids at their Memphis Hospital; but also shared with physicians all over the world.
This holiday season, I give thanks for my healthy children and have chosen to give to those who are not by supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because no child should have to lose their best bud to cancer -ever.
Whether you choose to donate online or when shopping at one of their partner businesses, you’ll be supporting the lifesaving mission of St. Jude so that no child dies of cancer.
To donate to St. Jude Research Hospital during this time of Thanks and Giving, click here.
A big thank you to the Scott Family, for giving me the privilege to share their story and family photos. Joseph dearest, “to infinity and beyond!”
Today’s post was not sponsored. I have a heart for families like the one of my friends John and Joy and wish to support others who are fighting for their children’s lives. For more information on Joseph’s story, visit JosephsJoy.org.