It was in mid May of 2003, the day of junior prom. While most girls were worrying about make-up and their prom dress, I had larger issues at hand. I received a phone call that no sixteen year old should receive; I had cancer. My summer was spent in and out of the hospital, getting chemotherapy and radiation treatments for soft tissue sarcoma. I had the love and support from family, friends, and my boyfriend Sean, so I was able to focus and stay positive. It may sound odd, but I was lucky to be 16 and 5’7″ when I received the intense treatments. Children who have not gone through their growth spurt often never reach their full height.
I became more educated about the effects of treatments during my second battle with cancer. This time around I was diagnosed with AML, a type of leukemia that was the result of my treatments from 5 years prior. I am 21 years old and tired of seeing so many suffer from cancer, especially children. More research and funding needs to be placed on pediatric cancer. So that every child can be a child.
What I missed most was living my athletic lifestyle. My winter came and went with no skiing and summer breezed on by with no wakeboarding. Sean sacrificed his love for the outdoors as he took on the responsibility as my caregiver.
One day, we decided to start an organization that would embrace our passions and help end pediatric cancer. 4Love was born. Find what your love represents.
Since then Jana has passed on and our goal has not changed. Support our organization and do something good for the youth.