International Childhood Cancer Day raises awareness about the challenge's children with cancer face, something we see far too often at Starlight. Today, Starlight CEO Adam Garone wanted to share his childhood cancer experience and the impact even small moments of happiness can have.
Watching my three-year-old niece, who is the same age as my daughter, go from one day being a happy, healthy kid to the next day being diagnosed with brain cancer changed my life forever. Everything changes in that moment for a family, and you quickly appreciate how precious and delicate life is.
Charlie's diagnosis was quickly followed by brain surgery, then seven months of the most aggressive form of chemotherapy a child of that age could survive.
For seven months, Charlie lived at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego with brief stints at home to recover and build up enough strength before the next round of chemo. Life becomes about survival, getting through the next procedure and the next day.
Moments of fun, laughter, and play are tough to muster but vital to create some normalcy, and that is where Starlight comes in and why I'm so passionate to be part of this amazing organization.
When kids have been in the same hospital room for days or have just completed an intensive surgery, a smile or laughter can make all the difference.
Childhood cancer is, unfortunately, more common than you may think. Every year, more than 400,000 children and teenagers around the world are diagnosed with cancer.
International Childhood Cancer Day raises awareness and promotes increased appreciation and a deeper understanding of the challenge's children with cancer and their families face. It spotlights the need for more equitable access to treatment and care everywhere.
Childhood cancer does not discriminate, and it can be frightening for both kids and their families to go through. Starlight is united in the belief that all children deserve to experience the magic of childhood because seriously ill kids are still kids.
We know that happy kids heal faster, and as Starlight CEO, I have the opportunity to make hospitalizations more comfortable and familiar for kids, including those going through cancer treatment. From playing their favorite video games on a Starlight Gaming station to putting on a colorful Starlight Gown before surgery, I see the benefit of our programs every day.