Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The War of Words

I was listening to some politicians talking about the war on childhood cancer. Lots of committee meetings. Lots of commitments. Lots of talk.

I hear lots of words, but words do not win wars. Words are not results. The most common word used was "re-doubling efforts". What does that even mean? If your system isn't working, why would you double it? And when that failed, why would you "re"-double it?

The FDA promises to "re-double" efforts on drug approvals. But we are still waiting on drugs that have been available in Europe for a decade. Congress spent a year debating over the $30 million childhood cancer act, while approving $120 million in free condoms to Africa without debate. Now everyone is talking health care reform to cut costs. But we ignore that the current cost-cutting assembly lines of childhood cancer protocols are a major cause of the lack of progress.

So more committees, more meetings, more discussions, more reports. And after everything is said and done, a lot gets said and very little gets done.

I believe there is only one way to fight a war, and that is to fight to win. Doing something great requires fighting very hard, and doing the impossible requires even more fight. But it can be done. All it takes is everything we have to give. Actions, not words, will win the day.

Seth Harris had VOD, and would not survive without the drug difibutude. Doctors, administrators, and the FDA traded words for three weeks. Lots of words. No results. Then family and friends took over and got the drug to Seth's hospital within 24 hours. But then there were more discussions and debates. More words, while Seth was ignored. With the life saving drug within reach, the hospital decided to just give him more words. After a three year fight, and incredible efforts from his family and friends, Seth passed away.

So what do we need to do? Do anything. Click here to Sign a petition, run a race, shave your head, drink lemonade, or donate bone marrow.

And continue to pray and support these kids in every way you can.

  • Mason McLeod continues to fight strong.
  • Rachael Tippie is doing better, and getting stronger.
  • Matthew Barr and Brayden Bueter were on T.V. last week, staying strong.
  • Joe Friend, the great supporter and encourager, never loses his spirit.
  • Justin Hutchins continues to fight very hard.
  • Sinjin Andrukates and Tristan Saputo get stronger every day.
  • Christina O'Bryan, Clayton Booth, Ty Ulmer, and Zac Mason refuse to lose.

Never forget that the war continues on.

Team in Training:

Running is going. I had no idea that it would be this hard to get back into the rhythm., but it is coming back (very slowly). This time I decided to run two marathons. Yesterday I added up the training miles plus the marathons. It came to 1,040 miles. I really, really wish I had not added up those miles.

I haven't been focusing on fund-raising (which is sort of the point of all this), but at least I am out running. If you can afford to sponsor me with a dollar or two for the Leukemia Society, you can go here. The donation is tax deductible, and goes to research blood cancers. But whatever you do...keep fighting for our kids.


Colleen said...

I just found your site and it is really wonderful. You give voice to much of what I feel. Thank you. Our daughter Ellie is 6. She is a cancer survivor too. She had a rare and deadly brain tumor called Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor. We finished treatment in Dec. 08. We are enjoying each day and give thanks for God coming into our lives so strongly over the last 15 months. This journey has been hard but it has been a blessing in so many ways.
You can see Ellie's site here or you can visit me at

-Colleen :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the support. I wish you well in your training for the marathons. I dont think I could run one mile let alone 26.

Matt Mason