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"…during his journey we slowly discovered that beating cancer isn't only about curing it, it's about living fearlessly and with joy in spite of it."  Yav Keogh, Co-Founder Oscar's Kids, in honor of her 5-year-old son.
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We want to share news & information with you and for you!
  • More about OSCAR'S KIDS with Melissa Rauch
  • Do YOU know about SUNRISE Camps for children with Cancer?
  • Survivor Story - Thyroid Cancer and wisdom for you!
September Awareness Month 
Look out for more on each this month and message My Cancer Family  to be featured!
Are you new to My Cancer Family?
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How One TV Star's Fan Changed Her Life and How Every Single Person Can Help Others and Make A Difference
Melissa Rauch, is an actor (best known as Bernadette Rostenkowski on THE BIG BANG THEORY), writer, producer, mother and Co-Founded OSCAR'S KIDS, a pediatric cancer charity with chapters both in the US and Ireland, after a fan reached out.  
My Cancer Family:
Why did you get involved in Oscar's Kids?
Melissa Rauch:
My husband, Winston and I founded Oscar's Kids in partnership with Yavanna and Lar Keogh, the parents of Oscar Keogh who the charity is named for.  At 3 1/2, Oscar was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal form of pediatric cancer called DIPG. In an effort to bring as much joy to their amazing son's life as possible they were contacting people from shows he watched. He enjoyed the Big Bang Theory which I was on at the time, so Yav reached out to me and our friendship grew from there. They are a truly incredible family and I feel so lucky to have them in my life. Oscar tragically passed away at just five years old as there is no known cure for DIPG and treatment options are only palliative.   I wanted to do something in honor of Oscar and to help this community of kids and parents who are literally told by doctors to "go make some memories" because there's nothing else they can currently do. Yav and Lar had already been doing a ton of extraordinary fundraising in Ireland and had plans to continue Oscar's legacy so we joined forces with them to form Oscar's Kids.
My Cancer Family:
I LOVE the story of Oscar being your fan and the friendship you formed with him and his family.  Are there words of wisdom or anything you remember saying to cheer him up that could help other families going through a cancer journey?
Melissa Rauch:
Any wisdom I could impart would all be me sharing words of Oscar's amazing parents as they are two of the most inspiring people I've ever known.
Yav is a phenomenal writer and had written a blog post about Oscar and his diagnosis which is what I had read the night she first reached out. I was immediately in complete awe of her ability to write so powerfully and exquisitely about what they were going through. She continued to do so during their cancer journey and after Oscar's passing. Her ability to articulate grief in such a poignant, yet relatable way is extraordinary. You can check out Yav's writings on our website...her words are such a gift, much like herself and Lar. They are the kind of people that just bring light to everyone in their orbit. Yav recently posted this beautiful quote, "From the moment Oscar was diagnosed the three of us fought so hard for him against cancer and during his journey slowly discovered that beating cancer isn't only about curing it, it's about living fearlessly and with joy in spite of it."
My Cancer Family:
How does Oscar's Kids help others?
Melissa Rauch:
Oscar's Kids is now a trans-Atlantic pediatric cancer charity (with a chapter here and one run in Ireland by Oscar's parents). Oscar's Kids Ireland is doing amazing work supporting and bringing joy to children and families dealing with pediatric cancer. Oscar's Kids Ireland even started an Oscar's Kids Club, which is a one of a kind club dedicated to delivering magic moments to the children while fostering a deeper sense of community for those dealing with pediatric cancer. It is really something special. And in the US we're focused on raising funds for using scientific research to find a cure and treatments for DIPG and other devastating diagnoses.
My Cancer Family:
If there's one line or 1 quote that stands out in your mind that you could share with others about being a supporter of someone on a cancer journey, what would it be?
Melissa Rauch:
It's perhaps meditating on the Nat King Cole quote: “The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” Love is clearly the ultimate force in this universe and the more we can offer all the love and compassion and resources we have to offer to those dealing with life's darkest challenges- the brighter all of our lives will become.
“Terminal pediatric cancer is something so heart-wrenching that our society tends to look away from it when we should be running towards its savage flame at full force to do everything we can to help these children. Oscar Keogh possessed a bravery and love of life that was awe-inspiring. I feel that we owe it to every kid like him to provide hope and options rather than a terminal diagnosis and limited treatment options. Our children deserve better and we must do better for them.” 
Melissa's friends at Omaze are giving you the chance to win a new car!  Anyone can enter! Best of all, you can help fund vital pediatric cancer research and enter HERE for your chance to win!
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Do You Know A Child On A Cancer Journey?
Who Doesn’t Love Camp?!?  Shouldn’t kids with cancer get to go too!
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and we want to make sure you mark your calendars for January NOW!  That’s when registration opens with SUNRISE ASSOCIATION DAY CAMPS….Where Children With Cancer Find A New Beginning Everyday
Camps are in person, and there is medical support at the camps if needed. The Sunrise on Wheels program in hospitals, provides a day filled with fun to children awaiting treatment in pediatric oncology units of participating hospitals. Volunteers wheel a rainbow trunk bursting with toys, games and activities right into many affiliated hospitals and change what could have been a bleak and depressing day into a day of camp fun! Kids who are not able to attend, can take part in SunriseVX, the virtual camp.  Sunrise camps are for children with cancer and their siblings.
Sunrise Association Day Camps are the world’s only dedicated day camps for children with cancer and their siblings, all offered free of charge.
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Did you know this month is also Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.  Before I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I was diagnosed with a Thyroid Nodule.  I will never forget the day, when I thought I had Cancer, about 5 years before I actually did get diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Luckily, my Thyroid is benign BUT I have to watch it and get checked by my doctor every 6 months with an ultrasound and blood tests.  For me that was this week. 
When I was diagnosed with cancer, the first thing I wanted to do was to connect with other survivors.  All types of survivors.  I wanted to learn about their stories and wisdom and celebrate with them.
One of those survivors was a childhood friend who actually was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in her early 30’s.  Today, I’m reminded how stories like these can help so many and we want to always share these stories to remind you to listen to changes in your body and see a doctor immediately.  We aren’t hypochondriacs over here, we just want you to be the boss of your body and to share what we can that may help you or a friend!
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In her words….
Carrie was diagnosed at 31. She's now 47 and healthy!
When my first child was six months old I started having terrible bouts of vertigo after one bad bout I decided to see my GP.  After diagnosing me with true positional vertigo she tested my thyroid levels and recommended getting a thyroid sonogram just to be careful since my mother had a history of Hashimoto's. I almost canceled that sonogram since it seemed unnecessary and my friends with thyroid disease and mother had never had one.  When I went for the sonogram I noticed the tech calling in additional people and by the time I walked out I knew that something was wrong. I was diagnosed a week later with papillary thyroid cancer. Luckily it's a slow growing cancer so I was not in a rush to have surgery and I had time to interview surgeons and figure out a treatment plan well before my son's first birthday.  When I had the surgery my vocal cord on one side was cut and two of my parathyroid glands were taken out.I woke up from surgery barely able to speak. It was a scary and emotional time yet I knew that I was very lucky to have found it.  It's a highly treatable cancer.  There was a lot of information to learn as well as speech therapy to go to and a treatment when I had to be away from my son for anywhere from three days to a week.  It was emotionally draining but I had an amazing support system and consider myself lucky to have found the cancer.
I made a list of everything I wanted to get done uninterrupted which gave me things to look forward to doing during that time. I was told to take sour candies as often as possible after radioactive iodine treatment that it would help save my taste buds. I don't know if my taste buds would've been damaged but they were not so that would be my one bit of advice for anyone doing radioactive iodine treatment.
Thanc Foundation had a low iodine cookbook I used pre treatment. I needed to be on a low iodine diet so that was so helpful and I'm healthy today!
A Place To Call Home During A Cancer Journey
As a reminder, or in case you are new to us, My Cancer Family will be the safe place to go for community, support, resources and help…Everything from getting to the right non-profit that offers FREE programs to helping with nutrition to tutorials for how to put on eyelashes, to sharing wisdom we learned (like why your nose may run all the time), to connecting anyone with a survivor who knows and understands.
Find, Share & Unite
We want to support you and everyone you know who has had cancer, is going through treatment, or is newly diagnosed and their families and anyone who is affected by Cancer.
Cancer Sucks.  F*** Cancer. We Hate Cancer. 
We know this already.  We can’t change that for you. 
We CAN change your journey. 
We WILL make it easier and better.
We are YOUR Cancer Family.
Stay Positive,  
Denise & the My Cancer Family family