This very important conversation has been sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. Learn more about how we all can help make a difference in many families lives. Any opinions are 100% my own.
We all know these two small words that completely change the lives of families and friends who’ve faced this battle. Childhood cancer is a diagnosis that no family should ever have to face. Statistics show that one in 285 children in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it’s no surprise that the entire family’s life is turned upside down in a way none of us can understand unless we’ve been that family. Hospital stays, excruciating procedures, constant monitoring of levels and extreme precautions don’t even begin to cover this fight. A child with cancer is fighting an ordeal that cannot be compared to a physical strength. It is a strength I as an adult cannot understand.
As Aubrey was preparing to enter Kindergarten, we learned that a former preschool classmate had begun the fight against an extremely aggressive brain tumor. When Mira was supposed to be entering Kindergarten like my Aubrey, her family was away from home, watching their sweet innocent girl fight for her life. She and her family fought so hard but ultimately it was too much for a body so small to handle.
Currently, a fellow blogger’s son is fighting a battle with Leukemia for the second time. Gunner is a young boy that even after all he’s been through, still shows a heart of gold. I can feel it in my heart that he will make a difference in this world someday to help kids fighting like he has.
Childhood cancer steals away the normalcy and innocence of children growing up. Instead of running on a playground at recess with friends, they are in the hospital, receiving platelets and infusions to fight off any sign of infection. That simple cold another child at school might pass on can become a critical illness for a child fighting cancer.
In 2012, Northwestern Mutual launched its Childhood Cancer Program to provide family support and aid for those who struggle with the long-term effects of treatment and contributing more than $17 million with the help of employees and financial advisors nationwide to fund more than 200,000 hours of much needed research to help find cures.
Rose Buds Campout on the Field Presented by Northwestern Mutual
This past weekend, The Rose Bowl Stadium, Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, and Northwestern Mutual – through its foundation – partnered for the inaugural Rose Buds Campout on the Field, providing more than 200 kids and their parents the ultimate campout experience under the stars on the famous Rose Bowl Stadium Field.
When children and families are fighting cancer, they often lose a sense of childhood they all should get to experience. One invaluable experience for any child, but especially those fighting cancer, is camp. Camps for kids with cancer and other chronic illnesses provide community, camaraderie and hope to those who need it most. Opportunities like attending the Rose Buds Campout on the Field bring joy to and create memories for these children and their families that they may not have otherwise, and these organizations want to make sure as many kids as possible get to enjoy these moments.
Families arrived on Friday, July 6th and received an exclusive Rose Buds camping tent. Attendees chose from a variety of activities including arts and crafts, where they made dream-catchers and necklaces, exploring a fire truck and police truck, watching The Incredibles on the big screen with popcorn and S’mores, and so much more.
“When you get cancer, you kind of have to grow up fast. You can’t really be a kid when you’re that grown up. Camp gave me this new normal where I knew I was okay and had others like me, so that gave me some reassurance and the confidence to travel through the rest of my journey.”
-Bennett Unger, 14, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
As sometimes it is not possible for these families to travel, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is also creating indoor camping experiences in select hospitals across the country to bring joy. Kits are being delivered to pediatric cancer units to help bring a smile during a time when it is needed most. With all these families endure, the chance to create special memories of their own is just the start of the many smiles these families all deserve.
Which Iconic Venue Would YOU Most Want to Campout at?
Northwestern Mutual is asking for your help in bringing the joy of camp to more children fighting this battle. Visit www.nmcampvote.com to vote for an iconic venue where you’d most want to campout. For every 25,000 votes cast until July 23rd, Northwestern Mutual will grant an indoor camping experience to a pediatric cancer unit.
Voting is such a small thing anyone anywhere can do to help this effort to create a little happiness. You can also vote once per day to keep such a small gesture moving in the right direction.
“Every family deserves the chance to make more memories and help their kids be kids again. The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is proud to help make possible experiences that accomplish this.”
-Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation
I am only a parent that has seen from outside the fight of childhood cancer, but I hope to help bring any smiles I can to families like Mira’s and Gunner‘s. I know my life could change at any moment, just like theirs did, so if we can help in even the smallest way to lift a child’s spirit during this time, then I’m all in. Give them the chance to be kids in any way we can.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) and its subsidiaries. Learn more at NorthwesternMutual.com