Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric community. I have been compensated to share my experience with you by Collective Bias and their client, Mastercard.
Cancer is still not one of those things I like to talk about â€”Â not even nearly four years after my daughter’s initial diagnosis and more than a year since she has been off treatment and officially cancer free. Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to talk about it freely. But every once in a while, I find I’m able to use my voice to help other people â€” other families â€”Â who might be facing the same and not knowing what to do or where to turn. This time, I’m lending my voice to MasterCard and their efforts to help Stand Up to Cancer. As a MasterCard holder, I was really proud to find out that they are donating up to $4 million to the organization, and anything I can do to assist in that effort is the very least I can do.
You see, my daughter was just four years old when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, also known as ALL. It happened out of nowhere, and it rocked us to the core. Even the doctors’ assurances that this was the most common form of childhood leukemia, or their reports that the cure rate hovers around 85% didn’t help. Because this was cancer. That dreaded C word that always happens to other people, but never to us or the ones we love.
My husband and I beat ourselves up, wondering what we possibly could have done to cause this. What we could have done to prevent it. Why God was punishing us. Because it couldn’t be happening. Not to us.
But during her treatment, something special happened. I watched my daughter, four brief years old, endure pokes, prods, medications and surgery that would make the average adult moan and complain. I watched her do it with grace and strength that I never would’ve thought she possessed. This little girl â€” this sick little girl â€” taught me more about life in the two years after her diagnosis than I could’ve learned in a lifetime.
Case in point? Here we are on the day the doctors surgically removed her port, officially marking the end of treatment:
Here she is the next day, on the floor, as if nothing had happened, drawing a picture.
Strong doesn’t begin to describe my baby.
Nearly four years after that potentially devastating diagnosis, she is cancer free, and the average person would never know what she had gone through if we don’t tell them. And thought the memories and emotional scars of fighting cancer may never completely disappear, thankfully, there are no visible physical scars or lasting side effects of her treatment. For this, we are thankful â€” to God and to her medical team.
She was treated at the #1 hospital for pediatric cancer in Georgia; a place where innovation is rewarded, and treatment is delivered on a child-by-child basis. My daughter also participated in a study throughout her treatment, which hopefully will help other children who are battling ALL in the future.
All of this is why it took exactly 2 seconds for me to fall in love with Stand Up to Cancer, a wonderful organization that wasÂ created to push innovative cancer research and get new therapies to patients quickly.Â They’ve managed to bring together the best researchers and encourage collaboration among the cancer community instead of competition. The ultimate goal? To save lives right now. Today. Not at some distant time in the future.
So how can you help? Well, you can do what my husband and I did. You can go out on a lunch date.
Or have dinner with friends or grab breakfast at your favorite diner.
We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants after an early showing of the new Hunger Games movie. Who knew that a big plate of the best chicken fried rice I’ve ever had could help save lives?
Well, most days, it couldn’t. But today, my delicious lunch â€” paid for with my MasterCard â€” helped do just that.Â When you use your MasterCard card to pay for a mealÂ that costs $10 or more, MasterCard will make a donation, one precious cent at a time, to Stand Up To Cancer. They’ve pledged to donate up to $4,000,000.
Four. Million. Dollars. Think about how many lives that could help save. And all you have to do is use your MasterCard next time you eat out. It’s quite literally that easy toÂ Dig in and Do Good for cancer research. Will you help?
Pssst! And while you’re at it, tell your friends that they can help too!