September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 2, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Miley Parker. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time. Donate to Miley’s Fund.
Miley Parker’s Story:
Miley was diagnosed with hereditary retinoblastoma (tumors in the retina) when she was seven months old. From birth Miley went to a pediatric ophthalmologist every three months to check for signs of retinoblastoma because we knew of the family history. Miley’s chance of developing retinoblastoma was small because Miley’s paternal grandfather had retinoblastoma, but not her dad. Retinoblastoma rarely skips a generation. But for Miley, that is what happened.
At her third eye check-up, Miley’s ophthalmologist saw an indication of a tumor. We were completely stunned. A parent can never be prepared to face cancer. The hardest part about those first few days were the “what ifs”. We started researching about retinoblastoma. We were so scared.
We were comforted by cards and emails that came flooding to us. Many people started to pray for our daughter and for strength for us. We felt peace and found the strength to deal with what we were faced with in the moment and not worry about the “what-ifs” that might happen.
Miley had an eye exam under anesthesia and a MRI. The exams confirmed Miley only had one tumor in her left retina and it was very small, but close to her center of vision. So her left eye might suffer some vision loss but if the tumor could be stopped she would not lose her eye. Her doctors told us more tumors could develop later in either eye, but for now we were only facing one tumor. Miley’s doctors decided she would have 6 rounds of two-drug chemotherapy over 6 months. She would also have laser treatments to the tumor. On December 22nd, 12 days after she was diagnosed, she had surgery to place her chemo port and had her first chemo treatment. That day we met a CURE volunteer in the waiting room whose now adult child had survived a childhood cancer. It was a huge comfort to us in a scary time.
By the fourth round of chemo the tumor had completely shrank away. All that was left was scar tissue from the laser, which gave her a small blind spot in her left eye. Her last chemo treatment was April 27, 2009. We celebrated her first birthday on May 6th. Someone so young had faced so much, but triumphed.
She still has laser treatments once a month and now there is still the possibility of more tumors developing later, but so far she has never had another one. We have embraced the attitude of expecting good for Miley and love watching our daughter as she thrives.
We are so thankful the prayers that were said for us, for Christ and His protection we have felt and seen in our lives. We are so thankful for the strides that cancer research has made over the years, for the early diagnosis for Miley and the excellent outcome she has had because of the dedication of so many medical professionals. We are thankful for the CURE foundation and its supporters, for the work that CURE does everyday toward the goal of ending childhood cancer.
Jennifer, Hank, and Miley
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Miley’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.