As I prepare for the final competition of the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant, I wanted to take a final opportunity to post about my Platform; Childhood Cancer Awareness.
I don’t know if we can truly appreciate what these amazing young warriors and their families go through because we haven’t walked the walk. We can’t fathom what it is like to watch a young child struggle to fight the dreaded disease and know that there is nothing physically that we can do to lessen their pain and suffering. It is heartbreaking and just unfair.
I know that I am only one person and that I can’t take away the circumstances that surround these amazing kids and their families but I do have the ability to raise awareness on their behalf. Do you know that only 4% of the funds raised for cancer research are donated to address childhood cancers? This is just not acceptable.
Even with only 4% of all cancer research funding devoted to childhood cancers, great strides have been made in the battle against childhood cancer. Forty years ago, survival rates were less than 60%. Today, over 82% of children survive.
Imagine what we could do with more research funding.
It is my hope that by bringing the Childhood Cancer Awareness platform to the national level through the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant, my efforts may reach out to ONE more person who will see their challenges and choose to donate to one of the many charities that support childhood cancer champions and their families. If my blog awareness campaign results in even $1.00 being donated that wouldn’t have been before, then I have made a difference in a small but impacting way. You can never truly appreciate what heroes like Paige, Jill , Annie, Nathan, Jordan, Connor, Chris, Bryce, Kim, Chloe (the list goes on) go through and I hope you never find out, but we can do our best to help other kids being diagnosed so that their journeys will have a promising future.
My life has changed over the past 16 months. I have learned amazing life lessons from the young cancer champions that I have met and I have a new appreciation for the gift of life. I have seen them push through their treatments with determination and a smile on their face. I have played and interacted with them while at charity events and I have been inspired listening to many of them speak about their journeys at public functions. I think one of the most impacting things I have ever experienced was listening to Paige speak and show her courage bead necklace that catalogues her cancer journey in coloured beads. To have a visual representation of her journey was one of the most heartbreaking yet inspirational moments I have ever witnessed. I have had the opportunity to hear Paige speak on several occasions and her favourite quote gets me every time because I know she truly lives her life according to her quote: “Cherish your memories, Dream your tomorrows, but always LIVE your todays!
I will continue with my Childhood Cancer Awareness campaign for the duration of my reign which concludes in April 2018 but I will continue to be an advocate for childhood cancer awareness as I go forward in life. I want to do what I can to make a difference!
So, in conclusion, I want to personally THANK all of the incredible childhood cancer champions that I have met and their families for changing my life and for making me really appreciate the gifts we are given; to never take anything for granted; to always make time to volunteer for something you are passionate about because you will receive much more than you give; to never give up when a task seems to difficult and most of all to always be respectful and grateful for the important people in your life because they may not always be there!
I will always remain a passionate GOLD RIBBON advocate!