Nearly a year ago, I heard that my friend of almost 9 years, Meredith, was with her son at the hospital for a suspected bone infection. In the days and weeks that followed, however, she learned that her son would be fighting for his life, up against an unrelenting cancer that had already spread within his body. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that is particularly insidious after age five. John Oliver ("Ollie") was six when he was diagnosed.
The past year has been filled with triumphs and struggles, which Meredith has chronicled on her blog, www.ollieupdates.org. And, today we know that Ollie's bone scan shows widespread evidence of cancer. During the past year, I have struggled to find ways to help. I've sent money, Emma has drawn a pictures, and I've sent many random texts and emails hoping my words help somehow.
Today, I'm reaching out to my friends to ask for help. Notwithstanding the financial burden of medical bills, Meredith has been shuffling her life between Birmingham and Atlanta, as Ollie's care has now moved to Egleston, and she continues to have work responsibilities in their new hometown in AL. I imagine the costs of this battle have been tremendous.
Through her blog, Meredith has also helped shed light on a little known fact of childhood cancer research. While childhood cancer feels very well funded, it is not. Finding cures for childhood cancer is not profitable (because the affected population is so small), and drug companies do not participate in the needed research. Childhood cancer relies on private donations and tax revenues. If you would prefer to make a donation toward childhood cancer research, please consider donating to St. Baldrick's, in honor of John Oliver Tetloff.
Please keep Meredith, Ollie and their family in your thoughts as they continue their battle.
Thank you for all the financial and emotional support. Please pass this message along to friends who may be interested in helping and hearing about Ollie's story.
With love and gratitude,
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