A year ago, Team Becca participated in the CureSearch Walk. We were a sea of purple, led by a lively and laughing 5-year-old who ran wild on the grass, chasing other children, teasing her uncles, getting tossed in the air and squealing in delight. We were a worried but hopeful group of family and friends, laughing and chatting and enjoying a sunny day. We had raised a record $11,000+ for CureSearch, and no one could have guessed that our giggling 5-year-old was a cancer patient.
The other families who were there probably thought, "Look at them; they're innocent children, playing at cancer. They have no idea what's coming."
And we didn't. Because, despite a completely successful tumor removal, aggressive proton radiation therapy, and chemo, 10 months later we buried Rebecca, who died on her sixth birthday. Her anaplastic astrocytoma reemerged in multiple sites in her brain, inoperable this time, and she did not respond to the experimental drug trial. On the first Sunday of June, her family held her birthday party a week early. She had her face painted and rode in the rocket car shouting, "faster, faster!"
The following Saturday, surrounded by loved ones, Rebecca died. If love had been enough to keep her alive, Rebecca would be thriving now. As it was, we all watched this spunky, spitfire of a child, who was never really ill, and agonized in frustration that we were powerless in the face of this cancer.
It was like watching her stand on a train track with the train rushing toward her, with nothing we could do to stop or even slow it.
For Rebecca, we can but mourn now. The grief remains overwhelming. But in her memory, we can do our best to save other families from suffering such a terrible loss.
Raising money for CureSearch this year has been agonizing. Every time I write about it, I am pretty much wrecked for the rest of the day. But it's worth it, because thanks to you amazing people Team Becca has raised over $8,700 so far. We only have 3 more days to go before the walk, and I think it would be a fitting tribute to raise $10,000 in her memory.
Thank you, all you amazing people who have contributed so far. To see my donations page jump to almost $3,500 is humbling. Your generosity overwhelms me.