It's a battle no child should be forced to fight, but cancer never discriminates. September is "Childhood Cancer Awareness month" to raise hope for the thousands of children and their families dealing with the disease, families like the Lightseys.
It's the most common cause of death among children and adolescents in America. Every year more than 13,000 children under 19 are diagnosed with cancer.
Candace Lightsey: "Daily, there's 46 kids newly diagnosed with pediatric cancer," says Candace Lightsey. "That's 2 full classrooms."
One of those children last year was Candace's daughter, Sara Lightsey, diagnosed with a brain tumor the day before her 9th birthday.
"Her tumor is actually located inside her cerebellum," Lightsey explains. "It's sitting next to the main nucleus, or nuclei where all the nerves from your body go."
For Sara, surgery is the only treatment option. In the past 20 years only two new cancer drugs have been approved specifically for pediatric cancer.
"There was a lot of risk associated with the surgery because of the location of the tumor," Mom recalls. "There's a possibility of complete paralysis, or never being able to talk again, and that's if she comes thru the surgery."
So Mom, Candace, and Dad, Brian, decided to wait.
"Right now it's a non-aggressive cancer, so they said it would change and become more aggressive," Lightsey explained, so they'll take advantage of the time they have.
"Trying to spend time more with the kids, and just trying to have fun," the girl's father says, and they hope to spread a message. "I'm hoping to raise awareness so that people become and they can donate money to childhood caner or pediatric cancer researches," Mrs. Lightsey says.
September is "Childhood Cancer Awareness month", and to help the cause, the RSA Tower in downtown Montgomery will shine gold lights Saturday after the sun goes down.
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