What I Learned From My Child’s Battle With Cancer

When your child’s life is on the line everything else pales in comparison.

by Les Friedman, Mikey’s Dad

When Mikey was diagnosed with cancer, our world as we knew it stopped. Life became doctor appointments, the side effects of chemo, and the ever-looming possibility of an unexpected hospital admission. Meanwhile, regular life also marched on and what we considered normal became something else entirely.

I learned a lot of lessons from fathering through Mikey’s cancer. What’s important and what is not became crystal clear to me and most significantly I learned to live one day at a time.

I can’t stress enough that when you’re in the middle of it all; the treatment, the doctors, the hospital visits, it’s hard not to think about next week, next month, next year. I remember sitting in the movie theatre watching the movie trailer. When it ended I thought to myself, “Will Mikey be alive to see this movie?” I was tomorrow focused which was allowing all the negative thoughts of what may or may not happen to cloud my thinking. So, I stopped thinking about the tomorrows. Instead, I focused on the day that we were in. Doing this made life better, I could think more clearly.  I could better deal with the day’s problems. I was able to direct my energy to something more productive. I lived the moment, every moment. This not only helped me to focus on getting through the day one moment at a time, but it also helped me to enjoy the good moments. If Mikey had a good day, I could appreciate it for what the day was.

My advice?  Savor the good days, dream for better tomorrows, but always live the day you are in moment to moment.

 

 

 

 

The Voice of a Pediatric Cancer Patient – Mikey’s Wisdom

Words of Wisdom For Patients and People Who Love Them

by Les Friedman, Mikey’s Dad

Mikey penned the bulk of his writing when he was 16 and 17. Two days after his 15th birthday, Mikey was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment shortly thereafter, so by the time he started writing, he was very well acquainted with the cancer treatment process.

Mikey was a fast learner.  He understood cancer, he understood life.  Although the youngest in the family, Mikey quickly became an old soul in a young body.  He had tremendous insight and wisdom.  He had an amazing ability to put into words what so many of us take for granted, don’t appreciate or just plain don’t see.  One couldn’t help but be touched by his unparalleled giving nature, his unique sense of humor or his uncanny understanding of life, particularly in the last two or three years of his life.

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Planting a Seed of Hope for Pediatric Cancer Patients

“Every choice we make is a seed”

Mikey’s words (at 16 years of age), his spirit and his attitude inspire us every day as we carry out the work that he began during his brief lifetime.  In his own words, he eloquently and profoundly captured what would ultimately reflect his legacy:

“The choices we make dictate the lives we lead” (author unknown).  We might wish and hope that the world will prosper and grow to be a better place, but if our choices fail to reflect this ambition, our intentions will be rendered irrelevant.  Every choice we make is a seed.  A consequence sprouts from each of these seeds.  Ultimately, the consequence stands as the only indicator that a choice was ever made.  As thunder trails lightening, consequence is the great betrayer of choice.  For this reason, our intentions can only manifest themselves through the consequences of the choices we make.  Mikey Friedman

The ripple effect and the intensity of the “choice” Mikey made to help children facing the emotional and physical hardships of long-term debilitating treatment resonates through all those touched by the very person that he was.

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Children will no longer be left behind in the advancement of new cancer treatments!

RACE for Children Act Becomes Law!

On Friday, August 18, 2017, the RACE for Children Act became law, ensuring that novel and exciting new cancer drugs will now be developed not only for adults, but also for children with cancer!

One of the most significant challenges for pediatric cancer research has been the lack of access to novel and exciting new drugs.  Cancer research has made tremendous strides over the years resulting in new cancer treatments for adults, but these seldom translate into new treatments for kids. Because of this, pediatric cancer patients received out-dated and often old treatments.

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5 Ways to Go Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Go Gold for National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Each September, families, caregivers, charities and research groups around the world “Go Gold” to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children and to raise awareness for childhood cancer research, treatment, patient support and survivorship issues.

The Gold Ribbon is the international awareness symbol of Childhood Cancer.  The color gold represents how precious children are and the resiliency of childhood cancer heroes.

At Mikey’s Way Foundation, we’re going gold to rally for all children who have fought or are fighting cancer.  You can join the movement, too!  Here are five ways you can go gold read more →