This is my cousin Kelly. She was 5 years old here, and she died just three weeks before her 8th birthday. This month marks 30 years since her passing from leukemia, and that means had she survived her disease, she would have been almost 38 years old.
Nowadays, many kids survive cancer. According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, just 4 percent of children survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia (cancer of the blood) in 1962. Today, about 94 percent conquer the disease. That’s a pretty impressive improvement — I just wish Kelly, who was diagnosed at 14 months, could have benefited from the better statistic. But she didn’t, because she fought cancer in the 1970s. And that’s just plain crappy.
So, I write this post to honor Kelly who, sadly, didn’t get a fair shot at life. Those almost-eight years sure were cherished, though. Says her brave and strong mom of the time they spent together: “I am so grateful to have had those years with her. She will live in my heart forever.”
I honor you, too, Sandy, and all the moms and dads who have loved and lost (you know who you are). I’m not sure how you go on after such tragedies, but I admire you completely for so gracefully doing it.