Think about others

ThinkaboutothersLGE_edited-1

Does this coronavirus scare you? I’m concerned because I’m one of those you have heard about. I’m in the “most vulnerable group” (MVG). I’m retired, a grandparent and will be 75 in a few weeks, a congestive heart failure patient for the past 20 years, and on top of that, I have about 50% lung capacity.  Sure I’m concerned, you won’t catch me out of my house or yard unless it’s a real emergency!  So all of us in the “most vulnerable group” to be safe, should do like I do and stay home right? WRONG! 

A lot of people don’t realize it, but the folks in my MVG group are not the only ones that need to worry.  The ones most people don’t think about are those who, regardless of age, have an underlying health problem or a compromised immune system.  If someone is being treated, or has been treated for cancer, this covid-19 virus could kill them!

As I said, I am concerned, but what really scares the hell out of me is what could happen to kids! I am a childhood cancer advocate and this is a very dangerous time.  Because there is a general belief by the public that children are not very much affected, for kids who have been or are fighting cancer, they are the ones who are really in danger. The children and their grandparents are dependent on everyone else to also follow the CDC guidelines, and government directives to keep from spreading the virus. We all have a responsibility to each other. Our actions, or lack of appropriate actions, could kill a child or their grandparent.  We all share a responsibility to keep each other safe even those we don’t know. Act as though you are a MVG member, or all your loved ones, friends and neighbors are MVG’s too. 

Read this Facebook post by a mom with two young children, one has fought cancer and is scheduled to have his port removed this month. This tells is all…

84863141_10157625517410923_4238928748860145664_nAlmost one-year-ago, in April of 2019, our then five-year- old, Tucker, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and we did not know if he would survive. The ONLY priority we have had over the past year is to save Tucker’s life. We have sacrificed everything and anything to keep him healthy – as I imagine you would also do for your own child if you were ever in this situation. 

So why aren’t you doing it now? Does it take almost losing your child to really understand that nothing is more important than life itself? 

I don’t care about going to the beach. I don’t feel bad that my kids don’t get to hang out with their friends or play sports right now. I could care less that every single plan I had in my calendar is now postponed. Because all of that is a temporary inconvenience to come out of this ALIVE! And by the way, you are LUCKY if this is just temporary! So many children are battling cancer for the second, third, fourth time…

Virus6CDCAdam and I are both working 40 hours from home while home schooling our children without the normal help of my mom – in order to keep her and us, safe! It’s hard as hell but it’s easier than watching them get sick and possibly die. I saw a picture of neighbors in a neighborhood down the street from mine hanging out in their small driveway while all their kids played together. I wish I could be that ignorant. Cancer changes you forever. 

I would not wish the journey we’ve traveled this past year on any one of you. We’ve survived it intact but our hearts are forever with those we know who didn’t (including three children who have died from their cancer this past month). So please stop trying to live your best or even normal lives right now! I know it’s hard to shift gears when your own family seems healthy. I swear to you that until you almost lose a child or do lose a child – you can’t begin to understand the overwhelming grief that lives within you every single day. But if you need someone to remind you why you should take this seriously and stay home – think about Tucker!

 

Author: Joe Baber with Kelly Mika Tucker Davis

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