where the writers are
Land of Suffering
Grace

Three years ago today was what I declared "The Great Hair Fallout Day." Today, my letters to Oprah continue... she can raise awareness like no one else... and without awareness, nothing will change... so, I write... 

Dear Oprah,

This is Melinda again, with my daily plea, asking you to do a show on childhood cancer. What I have discovered is that the topic of childhood cancer seems to be some sort of taboo. No one wants to look at it, no one wants to talk about it, and as a result… no one knows about it.

Oprah, since no one knows about it, and no one talks about it, children are dying who don’t have to die. When children are diagnosed with cancer, 80% have advanced stages of the disease. The lack of awareness for childhood cancer is startling when you compare this fact with the fact that only 20% of adults have advanced stages of cancer when diagnosed. Imagine-- you can close this gap by educating your audience.

Just ONE new drug has been approved to fight pediatric cancer since 1980. In that same period, 50 medications were approved to fight adult cancers.

The National Cancer Institute divided its $4.6 billion budget: breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7% and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers COMBINED received less than 3%.

We are failing our sick children in this country BIG TIME. Please help set the wheels of HOPE in motion.

I just cannot stop asking. I can’t stop trying because I know there are many, many children out there who would love to ask, but their suffering makes it impossible, or their angel wings have taken them far, far from this Land of Suffering.

Still asking,

Melinda

16 Year-old Author of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery