The Fat-A-Thon is my personal attempt to raise awareness and money for pediatric
cancer. By pledging to lose 100 pounds, I am hoping to encourage people to
pledge money per pound to go to a pediatric cancer charity of their choice.
|What in the Sam-Hill is a Fat-A-Thon?
This is the easiest question on this site. I am the mother of a pediatric cancer
patient. My daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the
tender age of 17 months. She endured 26 months of chemotherapy and has been
left with brain, joint, and bone damage as a result of it. She has endured surgeries,
hospitalizations, and ritual "poisoning" (chemo) to rid her tiny body of a Heartless
Beast whose sole purpose was to rob me of my child. How brain-damaged would I
have to be to NOT want to raise money for these kids?!
I am indebted to the universe for the opportunity to continue to hold my daughter in
my arms. I am grateful beyond words for the families who walked the path of fire
before me, for the selfless people who have raised funds for research, for the
caring medical staff who have given me back my child. I will NEVER be able to
show enough gratitude to thank the stars for my daughter's life.
This is simply a mom repaying a tiny bit of a karmic debt.
|OK, now we know "what". The next pertinent
question is, how brain-damaged do you have to be
to lose weight publicly?
|Pediatric cancer faces an uphill battle. While it annually kills more children
than several other childhood diseases combined, our numbers pale in
comparison to adult cancers. 98% of cases of cancer are in adults. If you
combine all pediatric cancers - 1 in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
By contrast, it is estimated 1 in every 6 adults will develop cancer in their
lifetime.* When government funds are allocated, its logical they go to
research that makes the greatest impact on the largest percentage of the
population. We, as cancer families, understand that. However, we fall into the
horrible category of "Not Profitable" for the pharmaceutical companies as well.
Translation, there aren't enough of our kids to make their drugs profitable, so
drug companies won't fund research either.
Do you see the inherent battle we face? Drug companies don't want to help
our kids because there's no money in it. Politicians face huge lobbies for adult
cancers - because they touch so many people's lives. Meanwhile, our kids are
between a rock and a hard place, with paltry funding for their continued
existence. The interesting thing is that pediatric cancer research has often led
to developing new drugs and therapies for adult cancers, while adult research
rarely helps pediatric patients. Pediatric and adult cancers are completely
different beasts, responding to different drugs, different regimens, with
different outcomes. The only similarity is the suffering.
Without pharmaceutical company funding, we are left to seek private donations
for research and to beg our government to provide more money than what our
children may be statistically "due". The abhorrent irony is that some pediatric
cancer survivors are at greatly increased risk of developing adult cancers. So
the very children the world ignores, may become the adults everyone pays
attention to. How completely insane is that?
Therefore, my purpose with this campaign and this website is to introduce you
to our children. I want you to meet some of our kids, come to love our little
baldies, and realize that each of you has the potential to make a profound
difference in the world of pediatric cancer. Your voices, your hearts, your
words can band together to change things for these tiniest of warriors.
Get the word out. Contact your local government officials. Raise money and
awareness for pediatric cancer. Open your hearts to our children and you will
be the better for it. You have the power to do great things, please consider
taking the time to do them.
- Alicia Hall
*These statistics are commonly found on several pediatric cancer websites. For
example please reference Penn State Children's Hospital site at Penn State
Children's Hospital - Cancer
|Now you know the "What" and the "Who". The most
important element to all of this is the "WHY".
|One child lost is too many,
One child saved...
Can change the World.
my daughter, my hero
|Don't believe I'm really doing this? I'm brave enough to
show you pictures (tasteful, of course!). Are you brave
enough to commit your time or a little bit of money to
If I can do this...what's stopping you?!