Worth More than 4

During my first year of teaching I faced many challenges, but one of the hardest was when I had to tell my 7th grade students that one of their classmates had passed away.  They knew he had been fighting cancer for some time, but it still came as a shock. He wasn’t the first kid I had known with cancer, and I wish I could say I hadn’t known any other kids who had to fight cancer since then, but it is far too common.

Tough E

Isn't she a doll?

Isn’t she a doll?


One kid I know who has been battling cancer is little Estella.

She was diagnosed with ALL leukemia right before she turned two. I had known her mom since middle school, and her parents are both from my town, although they currently live in Des Moines.  I started seeing E’s mom posts on Facebook about their fight against leukemia, and my heart went out to them.  

Little E's motto.

Little E’s motto.

Then her mom started posting information about childhood cancer, and what I was shocked by what I learned.  According to thetruth365.org childhood cancers are the leading cause of death by disease in children, but they only receive 4% of all cancer funding. There are 16 different types of childhood cancers, and there are over 100 subtypes.  The 4% covers all of those types. One effect of low funding

is that the treatments for kids hasn’t progressed as much as it could.  The side effects of treatment can be painful and long lasting. Even though E is adorable, she and her family have had to endure a lot in this fight. 

Here is E celebrating the end of chemo.  Notice the mermaid casts- one of the side of effects of her treatment is weakend bones.

Here is E celebrating the end of chemo. Notice the mermaid casts- one of the side of effects of her treatment is weakend bones.

Here is a video from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation about the ripple effects of cancer.


gogoldYou may not know that September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  It doesn’t get as much publicity as breast cancer does in October.  That is not to say we should pink out for October, but I wish I saw more people “Going Gold” to raise awareness in September.  Here is a PSA that was shown in Times Square to help raise awareness.

What can you do?

Check out this article and video about E and one of the ways her mom helps raise money and awareness for childhood cancer.

If you are in Iowa, the Light the Night walk is coming  up on October 24th. Click the link for more information.

Donate to research through organizations like St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Hold a lemonade stand to benefit childhood cancer through Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

#RaiseYourVoice and let people know that kids are worth #MoreThan4

Learn more about childhood cancers from thetruth365.org or The Children’s Oncology Group.


Has childhood cancer affected your life? Did you learn anything new from this posts or the links?

6 responses on Worth More than 4

  1. Hello,
    I am a student from a different class blog. This article had lots of interesting information. It was very interesting. It is sad that so many die from childhood cancer. I think this post will help and I think more people will “go gold” next year.

  2. Dear Mrs. Black and class,
    This is very thoughtful of you and the class. I like how you cared for this girl with cancer. I think this is very thoughtful of you.

  3. Thank you so much Mrs Black for taking part in the challenge activities yourself. I notice I can’t flip any of your posts or student posts to the flipboard magazine. As you are a pro blog, this means you must have a setting that is not compatible to the magazine. Can you check if your my class settings include that search engines are allowed? This is usually the culprit setting.

      1. Thanks Mrs Black,
        I can now flip your posts. I still need to check for your students. This post has now been flipped to the Our World One World magazine.

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