Whenever I hear that another family has a newly diagnosed child with cancer, my heart breaks. I obviously have a deeper form of empathy because I have gone through what they are crashing towards. I have said it before but, as parents we learn to trust doctors and they go off of what they know and what they have researched.
To be honest, before Hayes got sick, I assumed all cancer was the same. I figured that a child gets a cancer and you treat it the same as you would an adult. From the non-expert, outside, that makes sense. But, one of the biggest discoveries that has been made in the past decade is that on a molecular level, childhood cancers and adult cancers are very different. Researching adult cancers alone is not the solution for finding treatment for childhood cancer. Did you know that in the past 3 years, 77 drugs have been developed for adult cancers while in the past 77 years only 3 drugs have been developed for children? Both are worthy causes, but less than 3.8% of the governmental research budget goes toward researching childhood cancer. That is why funding foundations and private institutions is the difference maker. We can’t leave our children behind.
The HayesTough foundation is passionate about one day being able to grant a research study and we are working toward ridding the world of the cancer monster. We want to be able to gift memories, trips and financial aid to the thousands of families affected by cancer and hopefully one day fund a cure. I was recently asked why I feel so passionate about childhood cancer research and there are truly too many reasons to list in this post. But, I decided to list the top 10 greatest research achievements in the field of pediatric oncology in the past decade. We still have so much to figure out but we are headed in the right direction and with your help, hopefully we can help even more.