This last couple weeks have been nearly impossible. We just miss her. The firsts are so hard but just missing her excitement and craziness is even harder. But the last few weeks have made me think a lot and I want to try to answer the infamous question. Why? Why are we fighting? Why are we pushing so hard? Why do we raise money? Why us?
Our family is trying to survive the greatest loss we could have ever suffered. The lose of a child. This by no way minimizes anyone else’s experience or loss in their life. But this is just not natural. There is nothing natural about losing a four year old. And the hardest part about this disease is I lost a child fully knowing her diagnosis. I knew exactly what was wrong with my baby. As a matter of fact we caught it so early, that it took almost two weeks to finalize a diagnosis because no one catches it as early as we did. So think of that. We caught a brain tumor so early it took 13 days to determine the aggressiveness, and we lost Melina 19 days later. From the day we knew there was a tumor to the day she died was 32 days. So in 32 days I had to grasp that my child was sick, because again there was no forewarning not even a sick visit. We then had to grasp she had an aggressive, terminal brain tumor. And as if that wasn’t enough we had to grasp that there was nothing we could do to give her quality of life. NOTHING.
I lost my baby girl to brain cancer in 32 days. I had the ability to fight. I had the family support to get there. I would have lost everything except there was no fight to have. There was nothing I could do. NOTHING. This is a fact that I can’t live with. This is something I struggle with so much now. How can there be nothing. At this point In my life I know more children affected by cancer than adults. Yet there is nothing? It crushes me to my core. I know the helplessness I felt. I know the moment I told my family. I know the reactions Keith and I had. And I can’t just let it end there. Melina didn’t have a chance to fight. But Melina knew we were going to fight for every child just like her. If we can get the answers to DMG tumors we can get the answers to all of them. If you can beat the deadliest then you can help so many more.
Yes, statistical childhood brain tumors like Melinas are rare. But I have to ask. If 300 kids died every year at the same school cross walk wouldn’t we do something about it? Anything? Or would we be okay with it because well it’s just 300 out of how many kids? Statistics are what you make of them. If I can save 300 beautiful children then yes I have to try. Because if I can help find the cure to this where does that take us? How many more can we give a fighting chance? And have you ever seen those beautiful kiddos fight. Those babies are my heroes. My Melina is my hero. She took on more in her 32 days then I will take on in a life time.
Those 300+ kiddos are my why. Their families are my why. That heart ache is my why. I also know I can’t do it without Melina. She will always be my greatest why. But she is so much greater than a why and a statistic. Melina is a force. Melina has the ability to change people. Melina has the ability to fight long after her physical presence is gone. Melina is why we won’t stop.
I will never answer why her? But I can promise you with every ounce of my being I will fight for her, for a cure, and for future families to have her joy. I won’t stop because I simply can’t. All in 💚🌈