June 25, 2018
June is National Cancer Survivor Month!
National Cancer Survivors Month is an annual celebration of life held in June. It inspires and supports survivors of cancer, including childhood cancer. There is much to celebrate––cure rates for many childhood cancers have dramatically increased. As a result, almost half a million children, teens, and adults living in the United States are survivors of childhood cancer.
Ways to Stay Healthy
More than other young people, survivors of childhood cancer need to manage their health. That said, it’s hard to get excellent follow-up care. You need to find experts, make appointments, and pay for them, which is difficult for many. To learn about five ways to stay healthy after treatment for childhood cancer, visit this link.
Luis, a 12-year-old retinoblastoma survivor, met in June with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to ask them to protect Medicaid and to expand access for those who need specialists. “There are children in the USA that are suffering because they don’t have Medicaid and their parents cannot pay for their hospital,” said Luis. Luis wrote a book called Todd the Odd Boy about bullying when he was 10 years old! Read more here.
Survivor Now a Paramedic
Trey Elkins lost his father to cancer when he was only five years old. Ten years later, Trey was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He now is a paramedic, who also volunteers as a trainer for a high school football team. “My story isn’t exceptional,” says Trey. “Anyone who endured what I have would emerge from their struggle with a new outlook on life. I kept my resilience by recognizing that people around me were suffering and I began to focus on relieving the suffering of those around me.” To read a bit about Trey, visit this link.
Childhood Cancer Survivor Drafted by the Cubs
Pierson Gibis is a lifelong Cubs fan. After being diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in 2016, he couldn’t go to school for 65 weeks and had to take online classes to graduate. College and his dream of playing baseball there were put on hold. Nearly two years later, the 18-year-old was selected by his favorite team in the 39th round of the MLB Draft. “I’ve just been filled with happiness but also confusion. It feels like a dream,” Gibis said.