This is cancer: Families open up about what it’s like to have a child facing the disease

September 4, 2019
Mom holding baby with cancer
Photo: Avery and mom at Texas Children's Hospital Cancer Center 

Every September, as part of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we put together a campaign to help raise visibility for our cancer patients, treatment and research.

At Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers – one of the largest pediatric cancer center in the country – we have over 200 physicians and scientists, 47 research laboratories and 250 active clinical trials dedicated solely to childhood cancer and blood disorders. For more than 60 years, we’ve pioneered many of the now standard protocols for treating and curing childhood cancer. With hundreds of children diagnosed here each year, this isn’t just our job, it’s our life.

We’ve made remarkable progress in the fight against childhood cancer. Now, more than 80% of children who face a pediatric cancer diagnosis survive. However, we still have work to do and our teams are working diligently toward the lofty goal of 100% survival. Today, we are one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the country using genomic sequencing to provide state-of-the-art, personalized cancer treatment for children. New and better therapies still need to be developed, yet only 4% of federal cancer research dollars go toward childhood cancer.

This is a priority for Texas Children’s. In the past 10 years, Texas Children’s Cancer Center treated children from more than 50 states and 56 countries. Our aim is to provide the most family-centered, advanced care available.

So, this year, instead of a typical “campaign,” we decided to simply ask families to tell us what cancer is like for them. In this age of information and empathy overload, sometimes the best way to break through is to invite someone to share your perspective, put themselves in your shoes, even if just for a moment.

To that end, over a period of just two days, we spoke with more than 20 parents and grandparents of active Texas Children’s Cancer Center patients. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing their candid stories and portraits on our “This is Cancer” site.

Post by:

Texas Children's Hospital