Some days, I struggle. Not only as I watch my child suffer and fight to survive but for the other kids as well. For the mothers that lose their babies to the ones that fight the same days I am. It’s the furthest thing from easy. It’s so hard to feel hope when it all seems hopeless. It’s hard to be strong when some days, you are too weak to get up. It’s hard to convince myself every day, to get up, to put on a smile, to show my girls, my family, that I’m okay. To live life and enjoy every minute we have together.
In the last month, more deaths, more hospice, more complications to treatment, more bad news. The worst part is, before Charlotte was diagnosed, I had NO IDEA! I didn’t know all of these babies were fighting, all of these children were losing their lives and getting less recognition than they deserve. There are days, that I question myself. Did I ignore these posts? How did I NOT know??
I catch myself, almost daily, crying for a child. Understanding how those parents felt and feel. None of this is fair. No one deserves this.
I firmly believe, the only way I get through my days, through each treatment and scan and bad report is my faith in the Lord. Every time a heart is broken, I struggle to understand why. I struggle to believe there is a bigger picture. My faith is the only thing that assures me. I’d be lost without a Father that I KNOW loves me, that loves Charlotte and all of these other children MORE than I or anyone ever could. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know that the next treatment will work, but I do know that God loves my baby girl. That He holds her and will NEVER let her go. We serve a God much bigger than cancer, than death.
We can never lose hope.
So many ask, over and over, how they can help. The BIGGEST thing, don’t turn your head away. Don’t think, “This will never happen to you.” I was that parent, until it was my child.
Spread awareness, raise money for research, be informed. Our children, other people’s children, deserve more than 4% of federal funding. All of those animal advocates, don’t you realize our kids are innocent as well?! Why do I see more things to support a dog than a BABY/CHILD fighting this monstrous disease?!!
September is childhood cancer awareness month. While I believe EVERY month it should be acknowledged, this year I would like to see as much GOLD in September as I will see pink in October.
THIS is how you can help. Share our posts, don’t turn your eyes when a St Jude’s commercial pops up, don’t ignore your feed when another child has been diagnosed or dies. This is real life and each one of you, spreading awareness, is the ONLY thing that can help. I appreciate all you have shown my family, I don’t take it for granted. I am just heartbroken for ANYONE who has to experience this.
I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know that we will find a treatment that works. I can only pray and fight for an answer. That one day, there will be a way to treat our kids properly. That they won’t receive the same treatment that adults do for ovarian or testicular cancer ( yes those are some of the chemos Charlotte has gotten) but there will be the funds to find something SPECIFICALLY for Neuroblastoma and ALL the other pediatric cancers.
I beg you, don’t be the person I WAS. Don’t ignore what matters until it’s too late and you are experiencing it first hand. Be a voice for the kids who can not speak.
Elizabeth Valdez says
Charlotte’s journey is making an impact on so many lives.
Jacqueline, Thank you for taking the time to write. Each time you update I sit down and read it. First because I want to know how to pray for Charlotte and second I know you will have something good to say. You write from your heart and it shows!
I awoke at 12:30- 1am (4am NY) sometime in Feb and felt I was to get up and pray for Charlotte. After a couple of hours I knew I could go back to sleep, I felt assured by the Holy Spirit that she was covered in prayer. Later that day I read an update and was amazed that I actually got up and battled in prayer at the very time Charlotte was battling in the middle of the night. God is so faithful to even wake up prayer warriors on her behalf. Be assured our God is real and is watching over your daughter. Lifting your family up before the Throne of Grace!
Brook Otto says
I don’t know what to say except: YES. YES. YES.
It’s like we are living parallel lives. People don’t know- they are oblivious. Raising money for research is the best chance we have to save children diagnosed after our own children have been.
Parents are amazing. Just when you think the well is depleted, you dip into another reserve, and another, and another…because we have to. Because we can. And we love our children more than anything in the whole world.
Thank you for your note.
Donna Amelio says
Love you all to the moon and back Jaq. I will continue to share your updates, spreading awareness for these babies who fight Charlotte’s battle everyday. I will never take for granted the days I have with my own children. Thank you for sharing your strength and incredible faith in the Lord. You are a true example to all of us.
Praying for your sweet Charlotte. A mutual friend shares updates and I just want you to know there are people you’ve never met that are praying for healing and a long beautiful life for Charlotte. Everything you wrote is spot on. Yes, it is frustrating that people show more support for things that are so unimportant in comparison to children fighting cancer. It’s heartbreaking and really a shame that if it doesn’t directly affect you that it can be so easily ignored. I think it makes many people uncomfortable so they’d rather bury their head in the sand than face the ugly truth. I sure hope that changes. I know I will continue to do my part in raising awareness. My sweet boy fought to long and hard and I will honor his life by being a part in making a change.
Betty Scott says
JACQUELINE, please watch this. It’s called The Truth About Cancer and it is a 9 day series. It’s already the 3rd day yesterday, but they air it 23 hours before the next episode airs. It is very informative and I believe if you watch it that it would greatly benefit your precious Charlotte!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can’t see the 3 rd episode when you click on the link that I am going to give you then you can just go to their website at: The Truth About Cancer.com Once there you can sign up for free to watch the series. Here is the link: https://go2.thetruthaboutcancer.com/agq/episode-3/
john kebede says
yes!! beloved charlote’s case make me to be alert on children cases!! i am happy that she is strong to fight and win!! God is her strength!! nothing can win God!! Emanuel!! she is always at my prayer!! peace be with you her families!!
Lily Rico says
May God sustain your spirit and continue giving you strength. I’m praying for you, Charlotte and your whole family. 💓
Donna Coy says
Jackie, I have an idea to make Charlotte’s room in the hospital happy. It’s a mobil with hummingbirds or dragonflies that lights in the dusk through the night. Do you have an address I can have Plow & Hearth send it to you? Plus tell me your choice .
Jacqueline York says
Thanks Donna! She loves hummingbirds!
Our address in NYC is
405 E 73rd
New York NY 10021
Donna Coy says
Greetings from Bend!
Hummingbirds are on their way to NY. They are from QVC & order comes with 2. I ordered using Charlotte’s name arriving May 6th. Please let me know if I can do anything else. I wear my Brave necklace all the time. Donna C.
Donna Coy says
Did you get my reply? QVC is sending 2 hummingbirds to Charlotte in NY. I so understand people wanting to be a part of your struggle. Love Donna Coy
You are such a strong momma! You are an inspiration to many! Praying for your strength to get through this with Charlotte. Keeping your whole family in my prayers, as well as a the children and families going through the same struggles!