Letter to the Editor: Honoring a young life taken by childhood cancer

Written on September 27, 2022

National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. September hits hard. But really, many days hit hard. Birthdays, holidays, new seasons, fresh blooms of flowers. They are all a reminder of a hat I painfully wear–I am the father of a beautiful little girl who lost her battle to cancer. Words that are never easy to say.

When our daughter passed, I knew I wanted to do something one day that helped other families battling a journey only I could understand. A journey filled with medical jargon, frightened feelings, feelings of desperation that only a parent of a child with cancer could understand.

When I learned about Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas, an organization whose mission is to cover treatment related travel costs–food, lodging, and transportation–so that families could get their child to treatment no matter how often or how far; I knew this was the organization I wanted to be a part of.

Why? Because I can attest that no family budgets for cancer. And when going through something so tremendously hard, anything that can relieve the burden so that a family can focus on their child is the very best gift that can be given. For me personally, every second I was able to be with my child gave me the lasting memories that are so dear to me. I want all families to have this gift and for no one to experience the pain my family experienced.

We are fortunate here in the Carolinas to have this organization, Children’s Cancer Partners, that reaches out to families within 24 hours, walks beside them on their terrifying journey, and fills the financial gaps so that every child has access to the best care. That might be in New York, Houston or beyond and they make sure children get there.

In honor of my incredible daughter, this month especially, please take a few minutes to visit that organization–Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas at www.childrenscancerpartners.org to learn more about the enormous challenges of childhood cancer, and what you can do to make things better.


Ryan Melvin 

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