To raise awareness and money for childhood cancer
To increase awareness for the need to become a donor for blood, platelets, and bone marrow
To provide resources to hospitals and cancer institutions to enhance the lives
of pediatric cancer patients
To fund research to find a cure for pediatric cancer
Even as a young girl, becoming a mom and having a career helping kids were my biggest aspirations. At 36-years old, I became pregnant with our son, Brady. He was born on August 21, 2008, and was perfectly healthy in every way. Similarly to other first-time parents, my husband Michael and I read all we could about how to raise a well-mannered child. We devoured information on everything from spreading out vaccinations to administering CPR for infants and everything in between. We were prepared for anything, or so we thought.
Shortly after Brady’s first birthday, he woke up one morning with a swollen right eye that was red like a bull frog. My husband Michael and I were concerned that he came in contact with a piece of insulation or something and rubbed his eye, irritating it to the point of being swollen. I immediately drove Brady to the pediatrician’s office. His doctor said that the eye looked fine, but just to be on the safe side, suggested I take him to the ER at RWJ-BMSCH. Upon arrival, Brady spiked a fever of nearly 105 degrees and as a result was admitted. On day six, with the fever still extraordinarily high, we were told to prepare for the worse. Michael and I were informed that Brady was unlikely to make it through the night at that we should say our good byes to him. On day seven, after surviving the night, the doctors performed a bone marrow biopsy. Later that same day, the oncologist delivered the news, our baby has cancer.
My husband and I went in polar opposite directions. He was devastated and couldn’t catch his breath. I on the other hand was relieved; we finally had a diagnosis so now we could start treating the problem. After all, in my naive world, only a handful of kids got cancer, and nearly all of them were cured. Optimism was my only hope in getting through this battle, and I don’t use the word battle lightly.
After 10 long months of 66 blood transfusions, 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant, Brady passed away in my arms at home at 23 months young.
Founder and Brady’s mom