September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Let's be honest: Nobody wants to be aware that children have cancer. As parents, it's our worst nightmare: The doctor comes in, mumbles something about no easy way to say this….
No parent wants to hear about it, talk about it and worst, worst of all, live with it. And yet, tens of thousands of heroic parents are caregivers for cancer's smallest and fiercest warriors – children. Some live. Some die. They all fight miraculously. So I know we don't even want to think about kids having cancer. I know we don't even for a second want our minds to enter that territory. Still, in honor of the remarkable parents and children who have been forced into living our communal worst nightmare, I want to share a few stories of these remarkable heroes. They get no fanfare. Little help. No recognition.
They struggle to pay unsurmountable medical bills and face even more impossible realities the rest of us are so deeply, deeply blessed to know nothing about. But they are our neighbors, our kids' classmates, our co-workers. They are living incredible lives of unspeakable horror, dignity, strength and grace, every single day.
Today, I'd like to share one father's story of a child with cancer. It came to my attention through a friend sharing it on Facebook. It is a 9-minute video that will stop you in your tracks, will silence you, will devastate you and will change your worldview, your perspective, your life. I have never seen or read a more succinct, more explicit, more raw, more honorable and more dignified story of a parent's perspective on childhood cancer. The story was originally part of a series by The Moth, an organization dedicated to the art of storytelling. It's here on their YouTube page as well.
So, sit down. Make sure you have a few minutes to watch the video, to cry, to compose yourself, then to take the week off and spend it with your family.
He speaks eloquently for himself, so I will simply offer here the story of one of America's heroic dads battling for his child's life – and for his own.
If you want to learn more about Anthony Griffith, read more here.
Want to catch up on another story of a family caring for a remarkable child? Read the series on Fostering Love: