The beginning of September always felt like a dreadful time. You can feel the winds change, fall creeping in to the air and the warm glory of summer fading in to a memory. The grass wilts, the leaves brown and the sun disappears a little faster everyday. Not good.
But two years ago, September became my favorite time of year, a time of rebirth. It was the month my daughter was declared cancer free at almost 10-months-old. (You can read about our journey here or here.) It also happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness month. And in the spirit of gratitude - for her life, for our life, really - my husband and I support the Tomorrows Children's Fund.
TCF takes some of the pressure of the kids and families battling pediatric cancer by helping with the bills that pile up. They pay mortgages and rent, gas and electric bills and even provide groceries and food for families who need a little extra help during a really difficult time. It's amazing stuff and we are proud to champion their efforts.
Having a kid with cancer is all the things you think it is and then some. It's terrifying and chaotic. It's confusing, makes you feel cheated and, maybe worst of all, takes your mind to some dark places. As far as cancer goes, we had it easy. My daughter Satya was so young and her Neuroblastoma was caught so early, all she needed were a couple of surgeries, hospital stays and a battery of tests. There was no chemo, no radiation, no long-term side effects. But the fear my husband and I felt about losing her still haunts us.
Today, on September 1st, as Childhood Cancer Awareness month gets underway, Satya will start pre-school. Crazy, huh? So much can change in two years. For us, gratitude has replaced the fear, hope fills our every breath. And this September, instead of a breathing tube, she gets a new backpack. We're so lucky and there isn't a day that goes by that we forget that.
In honor of Satya and all of the children with cancer, several local businesses are helping to raise funds for Tomorrow's Children's Fund. Please support these local businesses and help us to help those in need.
Editors Note: Although it is no longer September, and the local businesses are longer participating in this fundraiser, you may still donate to the Tomorrow's Children's Fund directly.
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Raakhee is a writer, editor and Hoboken resident. Her work has appeared in Elle, Glamour, New York Post, New York Daily News, today.com, Yahoo! and The Huffington Post. She's married to the handsome Agan Singh and mom to Satya, a tiny little toddler wonder who dressed like her dad for Halloween. Seriously.