I am not a parent and cannot even begin to fathom the terror and heartache that a diagnosis of cancer would bring to a parent.
Almost a decade ago, I had my own cancer scare and struggled with depression, the meaning of my life, and how to make sense of it all. I am thankfully fine today but while coping with my mortality in those days, months, and years after diagnosis, I came to know of children who were living through treatment and parents who seized every day to make it a joyous life well lived—so very different from my days of wanting to crawl under a blanket and wish the sun away.
I learned to live from these incredible children and their equally incredible parents. I learned that no day should be wasted. That there is always fun to be had. That love is above all the most important thing hands down.
Donna was one little girl who’s spirit inspired (and inspires) me. Her mother is sharing their story of diagnosis, survival, treatment, and hope throughout the month of September. It’s an important story to read not only to raise awareness of childhood cancer but to honor Donna’s life, her parents’ remarkable courage, and to be reminded that life is to be lived—with tea parties, giggles, joy, and love.