May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month. We became aware of brain cancer on Sept. 7, 2012, when our 10-year-old son was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor.
We became aware of a life that we never could have imagined. A life that included six weeks of radiation treatment, daily chemotherapy, weekly blood draws, MRIs and statistics no parent should ever have to hear.
We became aware that brain cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among children and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children.
We became aware that approximately 4,600 children under the age of 20 will be diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013. That's 12 per day. Approximately 24,620 adults will be diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor this year.
Unfortunately, our gray ribbon doesn't receive a fraction of the attention that other causes do. I've never heard a "Go Gray" night advertised for any local sporting event. Brain cancer funding by the National Institutes of Health is pitiful compared to other cancers. Our children and loved ones have no choice but to continue to fight despite the lack of public awareness and poor research funding. Please, I beg you, help spread awareness.
NICOLE AUSTIN, Pasco