Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month Part 2: How Finding Your Passion Makes You A Better Mom


Along with all of the hard emotions that come along with being so deeply immersed in the world of pediatric cancer, I’ve discovered something pretty amazing. Feeling so deeply about something and taking time to put energy toward my own passion has truly made me a better mother.

I am often asked how I can constantly read about/post about/think about pediatric cancer.
“It’s just so SAD”……..
“I just can’t imagine”…….

To me, the answer is easy. How can I not?

To know the facts about how desperately these children and their families need people like you and me, to know that the dedicated doctors and scientists with big ideas are out there they just need us to pick up the slack of the government and corporate funding–how can I just be like, “yeah, good luck to you”? It would be easy to say it’s not my kid.  But for me, the notion of What if someday it was was all the motivation I needed to make sure that one day IF my child were one of those 36 children diagnosed every day, at least I wouldn’t be able to say I didn’t do anything. In fact, what hit me the hardest were the sharp words of Unravel’s founder, Jennifer’s mother Libby, in one of her early blog posts:

“What if I had known about pediatric cancer all along? What could I have accomplished that might possibly have contributed to something that could have saved her…”

I knew that was a huge burden to bear – but she didn’t know. And I do. So I can’t look the other way. Not now. Sharing Unravel, for better or for worse, has become my passion.

I’m a better mother because all of this makes me realize how lucky we are. So in that way, I pay a little bit more attention to the battles I fight and I can easily put the little things into perspective. What I’ve noticed the most about having such passion is that feeling the really low lows and the really high highs keeps me present. I think sometimes we coast through the monotony of our lives–not the people, but the schedules–and it’s easy to get emotionally stuck on neutral. It’s nice to feel alive – even if it’s an overwhelming moment of sadness–it makes the sweet moments that much sweeter. I am acutely aware of situations that have the potential to be great memories and I am able to act on them.  Unravel has many mantras, but these two stick with me: “No Into A Yes” and “For Them Because Of Her”.

No, I really don’t want to play with playdoh. 
No, it’s too late – we cannot go get ice cream.

No’s like this escape my mouth all of the time. But now my brain is wired to question what my mouth is saying. Why the heck not? The joy they will get far exceeds the inconvenience to me. Because what if they weren’t here? I would beg for one more playdoh session or one more impromptu ice cream trip.

 pediatric cancer

Your passion doesn’t have to be that emotional to make you a better mom (not that you’re bad, you’re AWESOME!) Tennis, bunko, coffee with the other amazing moms, even finding your own mission to make the world a little bit more safe, fun, aware, whatever –they all help to contribute to your own identity, and make you appreciate your Mom identity so much more.

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Until there is a cure…….


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