Siblings have it the worst

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I’m not sure what I really want to say here. I’ve watch my daughter try to navigate life without her best friend for the better part of 7 years, and despite how much she has accomplished, I know there’s a big gaping hole. She got to spend almost her whole childhood with a big brother, and in this world we are now part of, that’s a big deal.

Today we did something that I thought would be really cool. We took a 12 year old to Walt Disney World so she could run her first 10k. She’s running for awareness for brain cancer research because her brother died before either of them really got to middle school. She was excited. We were excited. But somehow, after getting here and looking around at the peaceful environment of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, it just became sad.

It’s sad because her brother who loved lions and nature is not here to see it with her. It’s sad because in this very peaceful place, there is no peace inside her. Living without your sibling is torture. Yes, they are in a better place, but as an adult I can barely wrap my head around that, so how could a kid?

Every day she lives is tainted by senseless loss. Most 12 year old girls want to be teachers or models. She wants to be a neurosurgeon to try and save kids like her brother.

She and my daughter know a loss that we want to save others from knowing. It motivates her and as much as it causes pain, I believe it will also cause a change in our world.

She hasn’t hit her fundraising goal yet because she is still learning how to ask people for help. It’s not an easy thing to learn, and it’s almost easier when all you want is money. But what she needs more is someone to sit beside her and feel the pain. Believe me, writing a check is so much easier.

Is there a connection between birth defects and cancer?

Dragon Master Foundation

Did you know? Kids with certain structural birth defects are 3x more likely to develop a CHILDHOOD cancer.

Researchers know this, but they don’t know why. That’s why this project is really so groundbreaking! For years (forever?) diseases/conditions have been studied in silos, any connections between them only being made years later after papers are published. This is an active effort to look at two very different things – birth defects and cancer – to see where we can find common ground.

Today we are the featured foundation for the Gabriella Miller Kids First Project. We have pledged our support to this effort – easy for us to do since they are using Cavatica for their data resource center. Learn more about Kids First here!