September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. At PCFLV, we are committed to spreading the GOLD all year long. However, in September, we truly make it our mission. 30 Days, 30 Stories celebrates the children we know and love and the brave battles they fight and have fought, with their families by their sides. In celebrating these beautiful children and their stories, we hope to inspire you to join us in our mission to SPREAD THE GOLD in September and all year long!
A Grandfather's Perspective
In the years before my granddaughter Abby's birth, I gave considerable thought to what being a grandfather would have been like. I was well into my 60's by then, and without any sight of a grandchild on the horizon. I lamented that it was really my fault. We had waited too long to have our own kids, and for once they listened to me when I espoused the benefits of having a family later rather than earlier. So I was stuck. This is the way it would be, growing old without grand kids...thank goodness for Saturday night bingo!
But things changed abruptly when I received a little white card sent to me by our daughter depicting a stork carrying a baby in a blanket. Abby's birth followed in due course and in the process, she managed to turn on all the lights in the universe; create love, laughter, song, dance and imbibe a waning spirit with renewed vigor and vim. Getting in shape has nothing to do with health - it simply allows you to keep up with the grandkid. Christmas has new meaning and Easter egg hunts are a must. It is so easy to like this kid, so easy to get caught up in her vibrant ways, her effervesce. So while we grieved the visit from cancer to Abby's doorstep and we grieved further when it would not leave empty-handed, I rejoice that Abby is still here, still being herself, and bringing joy to my life each and every day.
Editor's note: Abby was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma at 11 months of age. She received 6 months of systematic chemo at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, had countless MRIs and treatments. She received a radiation plaque in January of 2013. And her right eye was enucleated (removed) in November of 2013. She has remained cancer free since enucleation!
- written by Rod Kassab, Abby's grandpap