This is the final installment in guest blogger Ted's personal story of surviving germ cell cancer as a teenager and the impact it has had on his life. In earlier installments of this four-part series, Ted wrote about the shocking discovery that his cancer treatment had left him infertile. He described the tumultuous journey he and his wife undertook to find their way to parenthood - through adoption.
Current estimates are that there are more than 395,000 children, teens, and adults living in the United States who are survivors of childhood cancer, and each of us has a story to tell. We can tell you about the years of our childhood that we missed. We can tell you the names of our nurses and oncologists who became a part of our families during our treatments.
If we were too young to understand what was going on, our parents could tell you about the struggles they went through — the worries and tears they cried for us when we were too young and weak. Some of us have made it into adulthood, and we can tell you how cancer is something we carry with us. We are part of a collective group that faced death at a young age and now are living life in a new-found light.
But, we are the lucky ones. For every story like mine there are countless children who lost their fights with cancer. Their family can tell you exactly when and where they were when they discovered that their young loved one had cancer. And they can tell you about their life before and after cancer crept its way into their world and changed them forever.
When Ted sent us this story earlier this spring, he and his wife had adopted three children. Today, Ted is now father to FOUR children upon the completion of their most recent adoption! Congratulations to Ted's family!
Join the childhood cancer community in our virtual campaign to ask Congress to #StepUp for Ted and every survivor of childhood cancer. Advocates are on their way to Washington for this week's Childhood Cancer Action Days, and we need your help to make their voices stronger and louder.
Please share this message on social media:
80% of #ChildhoodCancer survivors suffer chronic health issues as result of treatment. #StepUp & Make Childhood Cancer a National Priority.