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Location: Athens, Ga, United States

Our son Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in 2004. In 2007, my wife Missy was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. On July 8th, 2009, Missy lost her battle to this horrible disease. 2 days later, on July 10th, Ryan also lost his. Together forever, they both watch over our family now from the heavens above. Below is our families journey through Ryan's treatments, along with the joy and laughter we tried to instill into our daily lives. Those days helped us all cope with the pain and suffering that comes with cancer and it's deadly treatments. Both Missy and Ryan endured high doses of chemo, radiation and surgeries. Over 150 nights spent in the hospital and many, many more days. More transfusions than I could count. Yet both Missy and Ryan took on each day with a positive attitude and warm smile for all their friends. We miss them terribly. They will always be a shining light in our lives.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Here's the article I mentioned- can't link

MONEY STEPS UP FIGHT VS CHILDHOOD CANCERBy Kristin ConnorPublished on: 01/03/05 Somehow, as busy families at Providence Christian Academy in Gwinnett County and throughout the surrounding community prepared for the holidays, they found time to come together on a cold Friday night to honor and remember a little boy who touched more lives in his seven short years than most of us touch in a lifetime.Carter Martin died on Sept. 12, having lost his battle with a form of bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma. Those who knew and loved Carter, and those who didn't know him but who were heartstruck by the impact of this little boy's struggles on all who did, refuse to let his memory die or his death be in vain. So on Dec. 10, a caring community turned their grief into action, raising nearly $50,000 for childhood cancer research in one night. This is how it is with childhood cancer. Once you know and love a child who has it, you can't let it go. For those who knew or knew of the nearly 3,000 children who died last year alone at the hands of the disease, their hearts will never be quite the same.Thousands more have survived the disease's wrath, but at great cost — limb amputations, rounds and rounds of toxic chemotherapy, indescribable and constant pain, and most importantly, the loss of childhood joys and innocence. These children learn all too tragically that even the powerful love of their parents and a strong faith in God does not keep them safe from the wrath of cancer.Because childhood cancer is relatively rare, particularly compared to the incidence of cancer in adults, many people have no idea of the devastating impact cancer has on a child, his or her parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends and the larger community — like Carter Martin's entire school. Many people have no idea of the dire shortage of funding dedicated to research for cures for childhood cancer, no matter that cancer takes the lives of more young people under the age of 20 than any other disease.But this level of awareness is changing, and not a day too soon. Through Web sites maintained by parents of children with cancer and through the bravery of children like Carter and the thousands of others like him, the world is becoming aware. The hearts of our nation were captured by 8-year-old Alex Scott in 2004 as we learned of her efforts to raise money for a cure through a lemonade stand. Alex's lemonade stand raised more than $1.5 million last year.Curing Kids Cancer!, a new program of CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation, will raise millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research in children's hospitals nationwide. This program began right here in Atlanta, inspired by Killian Owen, who lost his battle with leukemia last year at only 9 years old. Determined to spare others the same fate as Killian suffered, Killian's mother, Grainne, has become a tireless advocate and leader in fund-raising efforts.Even professional athletes are rallying behind our children. Tom and Chris Glavine have become champions of the cause, persuading Major League Baseball to raise money for research through the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids. Right before Christmas, Major League Baseball delivered a check to CureSearch for nearly $725,000. With the hope that this money brings, I cannot think of a better holiday gift for children with cancer.The promise of this local and national support for childhood cancer is unmistakable. St. Jude's Children Hospital in Memphis has launched a national advertising campaign to raise money and to bring awareness to the need for more research into childhood cancer.We know concerted research efforts work. The fight to defeat cancer has witnessed amazing success just in my lifetime, as survival rates for childhood leukemia have gone from about 10 percent to nearly 85 percent. Success rates for other childhood cancers have improved, too. The dramatic growth in survival rates for some cancers has occurred only because of targeted research dollars. We know this approach works.But we must do more — much more. Many childhood cancers are so rare that funding for them is limited. The reality for too many children and their families and friends is that cancer kills.Yet doctors tell us that a cure for childhood cancer can be found in our lifetime with the proper funding. We in Atlanta are determined to deliver the funding to these doctors so that they can deliver a cure to our children. Please help us fulfill the promise of a cure as we move into a new year.• Kristin Connor, a lawyer, has taken a leave of absence from her legal career to work with the National Childhood Cancer Foundation.

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