Great strides have been made in the battle against childhood cancer. Today, more than 82 per cent of children survive but what if those rates could be even higher?
One Saskatoon family is asking that you take two minutes out of your daily routine and help them in the fight for a cure. For the last three and a half years, the Anderson family has had to survive a lot and admit they’re still healing.
“It’s changed him a lot, he’s had to grow up a lot – he was nine when he was diagnosed and he had to face a lot of hard stuff,” Micah’s mom Carolyn said.
Today, Micah is cancer-free but he continues to suffer from side effects related to the radiation treatments he had to endure for a brain tumour.
“It’s just always something and he always has to face it and it’s things most kids will never have to face in their life,” Carolyn said.
Upon being diagnosed, Micah had to have surgery followed by chemotherapy and intense radiation. In total, he received 31 radiation treatments for what doctors described as the most common malignant brain tumour in children.
Less than 10 to 20 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer need radiation therapy but there are often late complications that can occur in these children.
Micah is growth hormone and thyroid deficient, he’s on medication for both. He is now booked in for surgery on Feb 2 for yet another complication.
“I have cataracts now in both eyes but my left eye is the worst,” Micah said.
“I feel a little bit nervous right now that’s one thing I probably always feel when I have surgeries.”
His vision will likely never be the same again said his mother.
“It’s a minor surgery but it’s still a surgery and still something that affects him. We had lots of tears at our table yesterday as we kind of all talked about it and he was scared.”
An online petition is now circulating in the hopes no child will have to go through what Micah so bravely has.
A call for Ottawa to increase the amount of funding that goes toward childhood cancer research, up from the current three to four per cent of all money raised.
Neil Ellis, a Member of Parliament who is a champion of the cause, issued this statement to Global News.
“The impact that cancer has on us all, cannot be diminished or understated. However, the impact on childhood cancer patients and their families has a dramatic impact on the emotional wellness of the family unit, and their finances. As is the case with any disease, the more we invest in research, the greater the odds we have in overcoming it and its horrible burden and our community.”
The petition is open for signature until March 9 and more information can be found here.
“It’s takes about one minute to enter in your information and it goes a long way,” Micah’s mom said.