Defining Support, The Cancer Warrior Mom Series is a collection of thoughts from many incredible Cancer Moms and how they define support.
Written By Kelly Weaver. Interviewed & Compiled by Rachel Wood
Kelly is Mom to Andrew, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at four months old. Andrew is currently 4 years old and cancer free.
“We found a mass in your son’s chest. At this time we do not know what it is, so we are transporting you to Levine Children’s Hospital. You will be a direct admit to the 11th floor, Pediatric Oncology.” These words will haunt me forever. As I held my four-month-old son, it seemed surreal that the hospital pediatrician could be talking to me, about my son, and that she used the words “pediatric” and “oncology” in the same sentence. A few days after being admitted, my son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
The outpouring of support my family received was heartwarming and beyond what we could have imagined. We were very lovingly supported by our family and close friends. Through Andrew’s course of treatment, we learned how many friends we really had on our support team. We received notes of encouragement, via cards, social media, and Caring Bridge posts, along with gift cards for meals. Neighbors walked our dog on a routine schedule they set up and home-cooked meals were provided at the end of long clinic days. We were taken care of by these gestures of tangible support. Our friends and family took care of us, so we could take care of Andrew. To me, showing support means never letting anyone think they are forgotten. Every day we received inquiries about Andrew’s health, what we needed, and how individuals could assist in raising funds for pediatric cancer awareness and research. Andrew is now four, thriving, and in remission for over three years. Our visits to the clinic and Levine Children’s Hospital are a combination of yearly survivorship appointments, dropping off donations, and visiting friends who are in the midst of their own fight against pediatric cancer.
My family found ourselves in a terrifying situation, but not alone. Via the pediatric cancer community, I now have dear friends who share the same fears as me. Fears about relapse, fears about long-term side effects, and fears about the lack of funding for research. But through these friends, I also have a level of support, understanding, and reassurance that no child will fight pediatric cancer alone. We won’t let it happen.
Donate in honor of these incredible women, your donation to the Isabella Santos Foundation helps fund research so desperately needed for rare pediatric cancer patients.MAY CANCER MOM SERIES: