By: Stacy Moriarty
It was a beautiful, sunny, cloudless day in Denver, CO and I asked the same question over and over “why is it not raining? Why is it not raining? The angels should be crying down on us.” Why would I repeat the same question and statement over and over again as I was staring aimlessly out of the 5th floor building? Well, it was because I was just told my 10 year old daughter, Kennedy Jayde, had cancer. I was numb. I wanted to puke. I was scared, sad, mad and confused and all of a sudden I got a peace over me that I knew could only come from God and I heard “be still”. I stopped looked around and said “ok! Now what? What do I need to do?”
Giving up was never an option. My daughter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer and it was located in her rib cage. How could this be real? We were told 2 weeks prior by our primary care doctor she had a pulled muscle in her rib cage caused by her running in a marathon miler’s club. Cancer, really?
I will try make a very, very long and terrifying year of treatment simple to understand. Kennedy had a bone marrow aspiration, her blood was clean. She had a biopsy of her tumor and it was osteosarcoma. She had a double port in place to administer her chemotherapy treatments. Treatment was supposed to only be 4-6 months long and it was extended to a full year. She had almost every side effect possible. She lost her hair, had acid-like mouth sores, kidney stones, pneumonia, she had zoster (chicken pox), and high fevers on a regular basis. She bruised from head to toe and suffered fatigue. She vomited regularly and had severe nose bleeds. In addition to all this Kennedy Jayde had 3.5 ribs removed and has a scar from her chest to her back.
Thru all of this Kennedy was alive. She was not ever classified as a victim but rather a survivor. She beat all odds and attended camps out of state and went swimming. She traveled and did schooling as much as possible. Kennedy would live life to the fullest and never look back.
Our family suffered much loss. Childhood cancer friends we met along the way passed to Heaven. My 60 year old father died to liver and bone cancer. We struggled financially and emotionally but miracles happened too. Kennedy’s niece, Mersai was born during treatment and has brought so much happiness to our family.
We were told to be aware of the side effects of chemo in Kennedy’s grades in school but that has never been a problem. Kennedy is an honor roll student at Rangeview High. We were told she can do whatever her body allows physically and she is a volleyball player on the Sophomore team. She loves hanging out with her friends and being a normal teenager. She is funny and loves life. She is a great dancer and brings tons of love to our family.
Kennedy’s siblings, Kerrigan (sister 14), Kaden (brother 8), Nicole (sister 23) have been with her every single step of the way. They all shaved their heads in Kennedy’s honor and to this day we laugh at how people thought we were a cult.
My form of therapy was to blog every day on caringbridge and her site hit over 3 million in just two years. We started a nonprofit called the Miracle Party Foundation where we throw an annual party for childhood cancer families every September here in Denver. We have a website you can visit and it is not too late to attend this year’s party! It is September 22, 2012 5pm Castle Rock, CO. You can learn more about it at www.miracleparty.org
Kennedy will have reconstructive surgery beginning of November of this year. Please say a prayer for all the children suffering from long term effects from treatment. Pray for those who are dealing with intense treatment. Pray for those who were just diagnosed. Pray for our community as a whole. We did not ask to be in this club but we are lifelong members. It is the childhood cancer club and we are forever members in the club that the strongest kids in the world belong to.
Editor's Note: Want to help a LOT of kids with cancer have a memorable night of fun?! The Miracle Party is a great way to do that!! Tomorrow only you can text to the number below to donate $5.00 to the Miracle Party. This is a fabulous organization dedicated to giving kids with cancer and their families one night a year to forget about chemo, radiation, doctors, needles, bone scans and all the worries that comes with Childhood Cancer. Instead of having your morning cup of Starbucks tomorrow, make that text... $5.00 goes a LONG way!! To see pictures from last year's Miracle Party, visit www.miracleparty.org .