Monday, September 1, 2014

Let's Conquer Cancer!

It's so hard to believe that today is the first day of September!

After four weeks of school, we are happy to say that there have been more good days than bad at the Tate House. A huge answered prayer! We have somewhat settled into the routine of balancing school, homework, and work. The weeks are still jam packed with lots of tests, homework, and projects, but we try to make time to breathe and enjoy being together. Last week, Liv sang the National Anthem with her school chorus at the Gwinnett Braves game, Elena had her first Beta Club meeting for this school year, and the girls are really into riding their bikes.

Those of you who have followed the blog, also know that September means more than back to school and the end of summer...

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

For the sixth year in a row, we have been asked by CURE to share our story. It is our honor to join such an amazing organization in raising money to fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers.  Since our girls' diagnosis' , there has been little improvement. One of the factors for this is the severe lack of awareness of childhood cancer and the severe lack of funding.

Because you know us, you already know the statistics.

In the next 12 months, 12,700 children will be diagnosed with cancer.
80% will survive - 20% will die
Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease of children.

Today, 46 families will be told, "Your child has cancer."
Today, 7 children will breathe their last breath.

Of the ones who survive, 3 out of 5 will suffer from long-term side effects from cancer. This is Elena and Liv's reality. The very procedures that saved their lives, Liv's brain surgery and Elena's chemo and radiation, hurt them.

Just last month, we met with all of the girls' teachers to share their stories and explain their realities and the cognitive late term effects they face daily. We have to do this each year. Here's the list of problems that we shared with their teachers:
o   understanding math concepts, remembering math facts, sequencing
o   auditory or visual language processing (trouble with vocabulary, blending sounds, and   syntax)
o   problems with reading and reading comprehension
o   short-term memory (trouble following multi-part instructions)
o   information retrieval
o   spelling
o   taking notes
o   p
lanning and organizational skills
We also recently posted about Elena's test results from her first survivor clinic appointment. Her late term effects impact her body in several other ways as well.

Watching our girls' struggle is our reality - that is our life.
It is hard.
It hurts.
It is overwhelming.
It also fuels us to fight.
We fight for the girls to receive the best education possible.
We fight to learn more about their problems.
We fight to help fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers.

We want to help raise awareness. We want people to really understand what is involved in the fight against childhood cancer and help them get involved in the fight. 
One way to get involved is to donate money to organizations that fund research for childhood cancers.

Currently, only 3% of federal funding for cancer research is focused on childhood cancers.
Childhood cancer is not just one disease.
There are more than 25 different types, each requiring their own research.
Childhood cancer is not the same as adult cancer.
Separate research and treatments are required.
This year, CURE is funding $2.5 million in research.

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, CURE Childhood Cancer is committed to educating people about childhood cancer and empowering them to fight back. So how does childhood cancer become a priority cause in this country?  The journey begins with each of us.  We need your help to raise more funds and more awareness.

This year, CURE Childhood Cancer will honor Elena and Liv on September 13th. 
This link will take you to the girls' page:

You do not have to wait until the 13th to donate. You can donate all month long.
As we have in the past, our goal is to raise as much money as we can to help fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers. Childhood cancer is severely underfunded and will never make the progress it needs to without money for research.

Money + Research = Cure

We hope you will help and share our story with your friends and family and ask them to join you in donating in honor of our girls, their fight, their perseverance, and their grace.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us, care for us, and encourage us.
In Him,
The Tates

"For I know the plans I have for you." declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

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