Today is Donna Day. A day for Donna. This is a day when bloggers unite to raise money for childhood cancer research in honor of Mary Tyler Mom‘s daughter Donna.
No, I won’t be asking you to leave cheerful messages for Donna in the comments. Donna will not read this. Donna died in 2009. She was only four years old.
Donna Day is not really for Donna. Donna Day is for all the other cancer kids in hopes that their fates will be better. Donna day is about choosing hope.
Over the past two years Donna’s Good Things, the charity created in Donna’s honor, has raised over $195,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity that supports research seeking better treatments and ultimately a cure for childhood cancer. There are two ways you can help raise money for childhood cancer research right now:
- Donate in support of the Donna’s Good Things head shaving event for St. Baldrick’s. Click here for details or to donate.
- Purchase a St. Baldrick’s “Super Heroes Save Lives” t-shirt featuring Marvel characters Iron Man, Spider Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Hulk. All t-shirts sold through February 28 are credited as support from Donna’s Good Things. The t-shirts can be seen and purchased here.
Childhood cancer sucks
All cancer sucks, but childhood cancer is especially devastating. Growing bodies are impeded by aggressive treatments. Lives are cut short when they’ve barely begun. From the St. Baldrick’s website:
- More children are lost to childhood cancer than to any other disease.
- By the age of 20, 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will have cancer.
- In 80% of kids, cancer has already spread to other parts of the body before it is diagnosed.
- 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have chronic health problems as a result of experiencing aggressive cancer treatments in still developing bodies.
It’s not fun to think about kids getting cancer. As a parent it is absolutely terrifying to think about. It took me a long time to muster the courage to read Donna’s Cancer Story, so beautifully written by Mary Tyler Mom, because I did not want to think about a child so close in age to my own children getting cancer. I definitely don’t like to think about the possibility of children that age dying. But I did read Donna’s story because, although awful to think about, childhood cancer is a reality, and reality should not be ignored.
Donna and others like her should not be ignored. We need to learn from these children. Their stories are the starkest reminders of why this cause is important. Rather than find despair in these stories we should do what Donna’s mom always says and “choose hope.”
Help support childhood cancer research
Do it for Donna and for all the kids in your life.