During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we're featuring stories from the families we serve that have been affected by pediatric cancer.
Meet Jessie Todd, mom of a pediatric cancer survivor and CCC family member.
"Our oldest son Lincoln was born perfect and healthy and we felt complete and also kind of like pros - like we knew what we were doing. Then he got this little rash. The rash got worse despite our best efforts to comfort him.
One day, Lincoln took a turn. He was pale and listless so we decided to head to the emergency room, where they instantly took him out of my arms and hooked him up for a blood transfusion. A young oncologist slid into our room and that is when I realized that his rash was a really really big deal.
Turns out, his rash was just a symptom of multiple system Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis with risk organ involvement caused by the BRAF V600E mutation. In short, a really aggressive, really rare, really hard to treat blood cancer.
He went right into aggressive treatment which made him get even sicker. It’s not hyperbole to say that he was near death - and he looked the part. Pale, covered in an awful rash, fighting to breathe, fighting to eat, hooked up to a million tubes and machines.
In the middle of this horrific situation, we were loved and supported by so many people and groups, including an organization that I had never heard of before, Children’s Cancer Connection.
They were there not only for my sick son but also my well daughters. Children’s Cancer Connection provided programming and support for my entire family during the hardest part of our journey.
Miraculously, my son made a remarkable recovery and was able to come home then, eventually, was able to discontinue treatment altogether. After he started feeling better, many of our support systems fell away, but this was not the case with CCC.
Their motto is “The entire family. The entire journey.” and we have felt this mission lived out in so many ways over the years. From regular events and celebrations to the much anticipated weeks at Camp Heart Connection, my children regularly and continuously benefit from the services of this organization.
CCC has proven to provide a community of connection, support, and celebration for my whole family throughout the last eight years. We treasure their support and are thankful that this local organization is ready to continue to support those who will experience the terrors of a pediatric cancer diagnosis and treatment in the future."
Thank you to the Todd family for sharing your story to help raise awareness of childhood cancer!