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11/27/12blog post

how my boys learned about cancer

Today, November 27 is Giving Tuesday a national movement around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are synonymous with holiday shopping. Dayton Children’s is taking part in Giving Tuesday by raising money for the pediatric cancer and blood disorders endowment fund. A new video was released today (see below) which my boys had the privilege to be a part of. I thought I’d share a little bit about our experience and how important it is to talk to our kids about topics such as cancer and giving back to others.

One day I received an email from Grace Rodney of Dayton Children’s Marketing: “Is it possible we can use Patrick and Matthew in a Dayton Children’s video?” Schools were back in session but lucky for our boys, they still had one more week of summer vacation. I replied, “I’m sure they would like to help. What do you need?” Grace informed me, “We need some bandits and I thought of your boys.” I wasn’t sure how to take that –

What we learned: Patrick and Matthew were going to be bandits, acting as the cancer, that a little boy battling cancer himself was going to shoot away. What boy wouldn’t love to dress up, get to say BANG!, and rob a bank?!

When I told the boys of this great opportunity, I then mentioned that they would be working with a boy who is battling cancer. Our boys asked, “What is cancer?” They just know that Mom helps kids eat so they feel better. They don’t know all the reasons why children may visit Dayton Children’s.

Last evening I asked the boys’ about their thoughts of being a part of this video:

Patrick (8 years old): “Cancer is scary. But, kids can do fun stuff still.”

Matthew (5 years old): “I learned that if someone does or does not have cancer, you can still be in a play.”

One of the reasons I love working at Dayton Children’s is that we can learn from kids. This video actually included another boy, Zach, as the lead bandit. Patrick and Matthew didn’t realize he had cancer until I told them later. They only knew Evan was in treatment because of his alopecia. Our boys didn’t think twice about the lack of hair – all four boys laughed together and enjoyed riding and driving the train around Carillon Park. I remember the weather was gorgeous and the life lessons the boys took home were invaluable. The boys occasionally ask about Zach and Evan. They wonder how they are and we remind them to keep the boys and all the kids at Dayton Children’s in their prayers.

Please consider taking part in #GivingTuesday by sitting with your children and watching the video below. Use this video as an opportunity to remind your children of the challenges other children may endure. I think many times we are caught up in the day to day and forget to hug our children and give thanks for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Enjoy!