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This is always a magical time of year when community members come together to spread kindness and love. It is a time that never fails to inspire us, and we’d like to share that inspiration with all of you. The MACC Fund team has reflected on the year, a year with challenges and obstacles, and shared what most inspires them.
Kids and families always inspire me throughout the course of the year. The courage and resilience of the kids being treated for cancer and blood disorders always inspires me. However, one young lady stood out to me this year – unfortunately she lost her battle. Her awe-inspiring energy, her sweet laugh and little voice saying, “thank you and love you too,” will always echo in my mind. She was ten years old going on 40. She was wise beyond her years and will inspire me forever…
One of the most inspiring moments for me this year, and what continues to inspire me all year, is hearing the stories of the many children battling cancer and related blood disorders. They share their stories so openly, so honestly that it’s impossible to not be moved by their bravery and strength. Sharing Brooklyn’s story this year for Giving Tuesday was so inspirational for me as I heard firsthand everything that she and her family have experienced and overcome. Stories like hers and other children like her inspires me to keep pushing for a cure!
This year I was inspired by all the Over the Edge participants. Prior to the Wintrust Building being chosen for the MACC Fund Over the Edge event, I doubt that any of the participants ever looked at the building and thought, “I’d love to rappel down the side one day!” But everyone who showed up that day, regardless of any fears they might be facing, geared up and did it; and it was all for the kids!
Every year I take great pleasure in witnessing the children who battled or continue to fight pediatric cancer strutting down the runway at Designed to Inspire. Their beaming faces fortify our resolve in continuing the work to keep the smiles on their faces for years to come!
My inspiration is simple: the kids battling cancer and related blood disorders, and their families. Unless you’ve been through it, I trust it’s impossible to really understand what is means to battle childhood cancer or related blood disorders, or have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin, etc. go through it. I personally find these folks to be some of the toughest on earth. I continually am amazed at their strength, and in many cases, their faith. These families directly impacted; the fighters, the survivors, and the angels are what inspire and drive me each and every day.
The MACC Fund has a way of putting things into perspective for me. Showing me how to slow down and live in the moment, never to take things for granted and always being thankful for what this life offers. It was truly inspirational to experience people going “over the edge” who have overcome childhood cancer or have personally known someone who is/was affected by it.
As I watched these people put their trust in the ropes and professionals who helped get them down the building safely, I couldn’t help but think of how they put their trust in the hands of the wonderful doctors and nurses who take care of them during her journey with cancer.
More Work to Do
Sadly, among the successes did come failures, loss of life, and inconsolable heartache. Overall cure rates sit at just over 80%, meaning 20% of children still lose their battle to cancers and blood disorders. Losing just one child to cancer is a tragedy, something no child or family should ever have the burden to bear. As we look toward the future in 2022, we must also remember the things that have shaped our past. The MACC Fund will never stop raising money, seeking better, more effective treatments, and funding research until no child is lost. Please, continue our journey with us as we aim to find a cure for childhood cancer and blood disorders once and for all. Together, we will find a cure.