Happy Diagnosiversary

Steve McKinionUncategorized6 Comments

Today marks two years since Harrison’s diagnosis with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He’s had a remarkable two years filled with several near-fatal events, remarkable recoveries, and near-miraculous advances in cancer treatment. It is sometimes difficult for me to believe that two years have passed. On the one hand the struggle seems to drag on endlessly. On the other hand, the … Read More

Almost Forever Ten

Steve McKinionUncategorized6 Comments

If you ever see the Facebook profile of a parent who has lost a child to cancer you may see something like this: Mom to three kids: John (14), Betty (6), and Suzie (forever 10). I’d never noticed it before. Perhaps because I didn’t know anyone whose child had died from cancer. Or, more likely, I didn’t bother to see … Read More

Fight Like a Champion

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Tomorrow Harrison will turn twelve years old. His second birthday with leukemia. Final year as a pre-teen. Pretty big deal for any kid. Huge for him. Birthdays are always a big deal for kids. We all remember the anticipation of parties, presents, and fun times with friends. For parents, every birthday a kid reaches is a milestone. In the childhood cancer … Read More

Beating Dogs to Kill Fleas

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month ends today, but childhood cancer does not.  And, hopefully, neither will childhood cancer awareness. Cancer therapy is like beating the dog with a stick to get rid of his fleas  – Anna Deavere Smith, Let Me Down Easy Momentous strides over the last fifty years have ensured life for thousands of kids who otherwise would have died. … Read More

Facing Fear

Steve McKinionUncategorized2 Comments

The childhood cancer community is a lot like life on steroids (literally, ha!). Whereas everyone has fear, hope, anger, resentment, joy, contentment, etc., at times in their lives, families with childhood cancer experience these feelings in extremes. A mom hears, “No evidence of disease,” and her joy is far greater than when she hears, “I made an A in math.” … Read More

Football and Childhood Cancer Awareness

Steve McKinionUncategorized1 Comment

Not long after Harrison’s recovery from his stroke, one of Lachlan’s best friends, Jansen Kidd, had a football birthday party.  I took Harrison.  He tried desperately to play, but was just unable to run. It was heartbreaking. But Jansen had a surprise for Harrison. When it came time to open gifts, Jansen called Harrison over.  Jansen had asked his friends, … Read More

You Are Not Alone

Steve McKinionUncategorized1 Comment

Less than 60% of children diagnosed with cancer survive to see their 30th birthday. From the moment they are diagnosed they face unspeakable pain, physical and emotional. They are scared, hurt, uncertain. Often they feel alone. And despite their own immense heartbreak, fear, and even anger, parents of kids with cancer have one message for their children: I will hold … Read More

What Good is Awareness?

Steve McKinionUncategorized2 Comments

September is childhood cancer awareness month. But it might as well be Greenland Independence Day for most people. Lachlan’s high school football coach said yesterday they will dedicate a Friday night in October for breast cancer awareness. I applaud it. While breast cancer gets more funding than all childhood cancers COMBINED I still support fighting this terrible disease. But nothing … Read More

I Care How Much You Know

Steve McKinionUncategorized7 Comments

How many times I’ve heard the statement, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Sounds good to me. Until your child gets cancer.    I had never met a pediatric oncologist until Harrison was diagnosed with leukemia. I’m sure there are tens of thousands of these heroes running around places where I have … Read More

Made it to Middle School

Steve McKinionUncategorized2 Comments

I am one of those parents who is sick with sentimentality. I take pictures of everything. I want to keep every scrap of paper my kids have ever produced. I always remark about highlights and turning points. My kids make fun of me. But in the childhood cancer community every parent becomes sentimental. Pictures of their kids BC (before cancer) … Read More