Dear Empire State Building,
I started reading Maya’s Rockstar Ronan blog about 2 years ago when my son was a year old. I instantly felt connected to her. Probably because as a relatively new mother at the time, I could relate to the fierce love she felt for her children, including the little boy that she lost in such a horrific way. Perhaps I felt an even stronger connection with her because I share the same birthday as her beautiful boy Ronan. I don’t really know the reason, but I do know that every time I read her blog I found myself crying – and, I am not a crier. My husband would watch me in shock and ask me to stop reading the blog since it made me so upset. And I would respond that I can’t. Because, at the end of the day, even if you close your eyes, pediatric cancer does not go away. And one day it may impact you directly and change your life forever. And the idea that you can wake up one day and take your child to the doctor and find out that they have some form of cancer – rare or not — is the most terrifying thing in the world.
For me, the hardest thing about being a parent is the fear that one day something bad will happen to the little person that I love more than anything else in this world. I like to think that I can protect my son from all the bad things in this world, but the truth of the matter is that no matter how hard I try, there are some things I cannot protect him from. Like cancer. Knowing the truth of that paralyzes me with fear sometimes and makes me feel helpless. I’ve come to realize, however, that doing nothing will not change that reality. Perhaps if we all did something about it, we could change the grim statistics so that a diagnosis of pediatric cancer wouldn’t be so terrifying anymore. We can all make a difference. We can help to raise awareness. We can donate our money and time to the right organizations. We can lend support to those who need it.
And, Empire State Building, you can do what you do best. Light up Gold for one night in September. There is no reason not to. New York City is home to one of the best cancer hospitals in the world. That hospital, Memorial Sloane Kettering has saved the lives of countless children battling pediatric cancer. It has also sent many children (like Ronan) home to die or has seen them die within its walls. Honor those children. Honor their fight. Bring awareness to pediatric cancer. Awareness eventually leads to more funding and more funding will lead to a cure. Our children deserve a cure. Help give them one.