Saturday, January 7, 2012

01/05/12 - NEGU Foundation

An inspirational 12-year old girl passed away (Thursday), losing her fight with cancer.  She appeared on American Idol this passed season and received enormous attention from the blog and facebook page she updated about her journey.  Even more amazing is the foundation she inspired, NEGU, which is an acronym "never ever give up," a slogan she coined.  I am inspired by her and saddened at the loss of her family, so, therefore, was inspired to blog today.  I do believe that while God doesn't give cancer, He allows it, and He will use it for good.  The news article is here:  What I found most interesting was the cancer facts from the NEGU foundation website (
  • One in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of twenty.
  • On the average, 36 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer everyday in the United States.
  • On the average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer. The average high school has two students who are current or former cancer patients.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States.
  • Childhood cancers affect more potential patient-years of life than any other cancer except breast and lung cancer.
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented.
  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.
  • In the United States, the incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group, except those over 65 years.
  • Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded. 
I am always trying to think of ways that we could be "helped" as a family when going through the "tough" times of Adam's treatments so that we can offer assistance or volunteer ourselves, but I have a hard time coming up with specific things.  There are many examples of things family and friends have done to make life easier: looking after Rachel and making her feel special (and entertained!), meals at the hospital and when we got home to take one less thing "to do" off our plate, the house cleaner who helps us stay dust and germ free, the simple emails, text messages, letters, and encouragement we have gotten from friends and family.  But there is nothing that could have made the news or the initial treatments any easier to witness.  I remember that Josh and I needed knowledge.  After that, we had prayer.  We are thankful that Adam is in remission and conscious of the fact that it is very recent that this treatment was available.  Research and money enable doctors to treat childhood leukemia, and I see us supporting cancer foundations in our future when we are more able.  There are families in need of financial assistance because they don't have the insurance or money to receive medical care for their condition, and researchers are in need of support so they can continue to discover more cures for childhood cancers.  It seems the more recognized a cancer is, the more attention (and, therefore, "support") it receives.  Look at the amazing advancements in breast cancer treatment, for example.  I can see childhood cancer becoming more of a social issue and supported cause.  In addition, Children's Hospital is an amazing organization - from the facilities to the doctors to the programs - which all started by one woman, Bertha Wright, and let's not take for granted, continued by the local community.   (

Jessica wrote on Facebook that her mission was "to encourage kids fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up by spreading hope, joy and love. A cheerful heart is great medicine."  It's amazing what just one 12-year old accomplished in only 10 months!

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