September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 14, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Austin Taylor. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Austin’s Fund.
Austin Taylor’s Story:
On September 5, 2007, our lives were forever changed. We took Austin to the Scottish Rite ER to have a lump on his abdomen checked. Through scans, tumor biopsies, and bone marrow biopsies, Austin was diagnosed with stage IV, high risk Neuroblastoma, a very rare and aggressive childhood cancer. It was in his abdomen, his hip, and his bone marrow. Dr. George told us everything to expect. He also told us all the bad things we needed to know and we weren’t going to talk about them again. Austin could be cured and that was what we were going to work towards, together. He had 8 rounds of chemotherapy, of which two rounds were very high dose chemo, requiring a stem cell rescue after each round, enabling his blood counts to recover a little faster. He also had a 7 hour surgery to remove his tumor, 13 rounds of radiation, 6 months of an oral medication, and countless scans and minor surgeries. November 30, 2008 was the last day of Austin’s treatment. He now has scans and lab work every 3 months to monitor for relapse.
It’s hard to hear the words, your child has cancer, but it’s harder to hold him down to have a tube put down his nose or an IV started for the first time, and then realizing one day that these things don’t even effect your 3 year old anymore. Seeing his hair fall out that you’ve run your fingers through since he was born brings a lump to your throat. Knowing he can’t play with friends because his blood counts are so dangerously low that any infection would be life threatening is horrifying. Giving permission for doctors to give poison to your child because it’s his best chance of survival is beyond words. Holding him while he throws up because of the chemo, bathing him hourly so the chemo doesn’t burn his skin, making him walk laps while wearing a heavy surgical mask so his muscles won’t weaken too much, and watching him being put under anesthesia over and over are frightening and not even close to being a fair life for a child. Not knowing what the future holds for Austin is never going to be easy. Even with all of this, I can say that life is wonderful! Austin is a blessing and a gift from God. He has brought more joy in his 4 years than I could ever imagine. God gave us an amazing medical team. Dr. George was immediately a voice of concern, knowledge, and honesty, and we instantly had a feeling of trust in everything he does and says. The nurses that have provided crucial care to Austin have always done so with a smile on their face, never showing exhaustion, frustration, or anger. Our family, friends, and perfect strangers are there for support and to pray for us. Wonderful organizations like CURE provide meals, money, gift cards, smiles, hugs, a break, or simply an ear to listen. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most when you’re in the hospital for weeks or months at a time. I’ve learned it’s important to give that extra hug and kiss every day. We don’t know what tomorrow holds for Austin, but God has blessed our family and will continue to carry us through this journey.
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 Austin’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.