PCF Annual Gift Campaign
Feelings about Cancer
By Carlo Balsamo
I was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma the day before my 14th birthday. A day that should have been the best day of my life turned out to be the worst; my life changed forever. I was not a normal child anymore, and I felt depressed and sad. I wondered, “Why is this happening to me? Did God want this for me? What did I do to cause this?” After a while I realized that I didn’t do anything, and that I’d have to get through it one day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time. It was through the strength and support of my family, my friends, and my pet cat, that I was able to deal with the diagnosis of cancer. My community helped a lot, too, and even strangers who didn’t know me. And I got more than a little help from an organization called Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
The support from everyone has been overwhelming. My loving mother is always there for me. We use humor as the best medicine. My 8th grade yearbook quote was, “a day without laughter is a day truly wasted.” My cat comforts me by curling up by my side, warm, soft and fluffy. She doesn’t ask me any questions, and she doesn’t force me to eat when I don’t want to, which happens sometimes because of the effects of the treatments. My family and friends help by telling me that they feel my pain, too. There have been “Carlo’s Cause-Cuz It’s Carlo” fundraisers to help with the medical bills. My school sold bracelets, had bake sales, and collected money at my 8th grade graduation dance. I got a standing ovation at my middle school moving-up ceremony. Our local fire department and church held a spaghetti dinner and the New York State Assemblyman named June 27th, “Carlo Balsamo Day”, in Westchester County. So many people are praying for me, and we have faith that we will get through this.
Cancer changes lives, but there are things that can help. Kids with cancer need support from their family and friends. They need to know others care about them and what they are going through. Because of my cancer, we are asked to go through what no child should ever have to. There needs to be better treatment with fewer side effects. That’s where organizations like Pediatric Cancer Foundation make a difference. The dollars you donate to PCF fund research and treatment to help find cures for diseases like mine.
I feel lucky to have my family and community, who took action and made a difference for me, and I would want every child to feel that kind of love and support. But more than anything, I don’t want any child to have to go through this at all. Please help Pediatric Cancer Foundation in their fight against childhood cancer by joining them in their mission to …hold the hand of a child.