September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 30, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Ashleigh Broadus. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Ashleigh’s Fund.
Ashleigh Broadus’ Story:
My childhood was anything but normal as I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of 3. I was admitted to Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, and my prognosis was poor. I was very ill, weighed only 23 pounds and had lost most of my ability to walk. I had no energy to do the things a normal 3 year old would do or carry on what would be considered a normal life for a child my age. I went through two and a half years of chemotherapy in hopes to cure the cancer. At age 5, I entered remission. My experience brought my family closer and helped us learn that every day is a gift. To this day, we believe every day is a blessing since there was a time when we didn’t know if surviving was possible. My family is very strong willed and never let me give up.
Today, I am twenty years old and, on November 15, I will be 15 years in remission. During times of need, we are all looking for inspiration and role models. My experience with cancer has inspired me to become a nurse in order to help those undergoing treatment. When I was receiving chemotherapy, I had a very good nurse – Nurse Liz – who constantly made me smile and continually reminded me that I was just a kid. She helped me to see it was ok to react as I needed to depending on what I was going through. She taught me to smile when life gets hard, and everything seemed to get better. I feel as a nurse, I can not only offer smiles and guidance but, most importantly, hope. My ultimate goal is to be a nurse practitioner in pediatric oncology.
Currently, I attend Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. I will be beginning my junior year in August 2009, when I will begin nursing classes. This is a very exciting adventure, and I have dreamed about this opportunity since I was a little girl. Throughout college, I have volunteered with cancer organizations and had the opportunity to speak about my experiences to children under 18 who are undergoing cancer treatment. I strive to offer them hope.
They say you cannot succumb to the tears of the moment but must work to achieve the joys of a lifetime. Everyone searches for strength in different aspects of their lives; such as religion, family, and even friendships made along the way. My strength came from my parents who never let me give up on my dreams and guided me through every step. I am very thankful for my parents because without their strength, I may not have made it to today. Also, I am very thankful for my grandparents who have helped me through this journey and supported my efforts to fulfill my dreams.
For those families who have children with cancer, I offer you hope and encourage you to always stay strong. Surviving is possible – I am proof. The journey may be rough but, thanks to advancements in treatments resulting from research of the type CURE funds, the landscape for childhood cancer patients is more promising than ever. I further believe that getting involved and reaching out to others is the greatest gift we all have to give.
My future is bright and full of promise. I look around at all the people who have rallied around me, and I look forward to taking my place in life and giving back the way so many gave to me. Encouragement, hope, belief, and dreams are words we all want to hear from the people closest to us when they reflect on our life’s journey. In closing I found this saying and decided to adapt it as, “my words to live by”: “Cancer is so limited it cannot… Cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy peace, kill friendship, suppress memories, silence courage, invade the soul, steal eternal life, or conquer the spirit.” (Author Unknown)
In her own words Ashleigh Broadus
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 Ashleigh’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.