We are inspired daily by the kids and families who battle pediatric cancer every day without losing hope or optimism. Karla, a cancer mom, and pediatric cancer advocate tells us about her son, Ezekiel, and why research is imperative in finding better treatments and ultimately a cure.
Why is being involved with PCRF important to you?
Being involved with PCRF is important to me because I see the realities of pediatric cancer every day as the mother of a child battling leukemia. I want to be an advocate for him and all children with cancer in any possible way. PCRF is local to me so it gives me an opportunity to be very involved in helping fight for more research funding and hopefully a cure.
Was this a special year for your team?
This was a very special year! Little Ezekiel was diagnosed with High-Risk B-Cell ALL in November 2019 at the tender age of 21 months. I had planned to participate in PCRF’s Reaching for the Cure on my own but to my surprise, 14 of my friends signed up along with me in honor of our brave little dude. We are so lucky to have such great people on our side helping us however they can.
What does hope mean to you?
Hope means everything to me now. Hope is formulating treatments suitable for children, hope is more research funding, hope is finding a cure, hope is light at the end of a dark tunnel, hope is an end to pain and suffering, hope is within all these extraordinary children who find the strength to smile through the hardships. Hope is what I hold on to on the rough days. Hope is what I have to get me through this.
What do you want people to take away/know/learn about pediatric cancer?
Pediatric cancer is REAL and it is all around us. It has no boundaries, no restrictions, no limits as to who and where it will reach. I used to think ‘it will never happen to me’, and it did. There are so many people who know pediatric cancer exists but do not know how much funding goes to it. They do not know that children may face a lifetime of health issues following their battle with cancer due to the harsh adult treatments their little bodies received. They beat cancer just to possibly face so many other health risks. I want people to know what these kids go through and how much help we need. Help me advocate for them and their right to a healthy life beyond cancer.
The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is relentless in its quest to realize that leading-edge research is our best hope in ﬁnding a cure. Your impact makes all the difference.