Volunteer Journal #81 - Pablove: Fight Pediatric Cancer

This took so long to write because I wasn’t feeling well. I haven’t been feeling well. Nothing life threatening, I’ll get over it. And then Newtown happened, and it made my heart hurt. But... no more excuses! It occurred to me that this non-profit that I volunteered with, Pablove, is about preventing the unnecessary death of children. Children who really, really, don’t feel well. Children who have cancer. See Pablove was founded because of a little boy that got terribly ill:

The Pablove Foundation is named after Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, the son of Jo Ann Thrailkill and Jeff Castelaz and the little brother of Grady Gallagher. Pablo was six years old when he lost his valiant yearlong battle with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. Imbued with his spirit and inspired by his strength, Pablove is dedicated to the daily, global fight against childhood cancer and the suffering that comes in its wake. We fight on in order to amplify one simple message: kids get cancer too.”

It’s a simple message - kids get cancer too and until recently pediatric cancer was often treated with smaller doses of adult research medication. But a child is not a little adult. Their bodies are growing and changing.

Compared to adult cancers pediatric cancer is extremely underfunded. KidVCancer.org states that National Cancer Institutes Budget for Research on Childhood Cancer gets 4% or roughly 190 million compared to Adult cancer 96% or 4,800 million. In the past 20 years ONLY ONE new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric cancer. More pediatric cancer factoids here!

Also, when you’re sick with cancer you can’t be a kid. The medicine makes your stomach hurt, you lose your hair, get weak, have developmental delays. You definitely can’t play like you use to or even go to school.

The Pablove Foundation funds pediatric cancer research and advances in treatment. They educate and empower cancer families, and improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs. They even host photography classes so the kids can tell the story of their lives with and without cancer.

All I did was help bartend one of their parties - a symposium actually, which brought together families who have a child with cancer, doctors, and Pablove Volunteers. The event is a chance for everyone to interact outside of the hospital environment.

It was a lovely, easy evening of volunteering and meeting fantastic people. Including my new volunteer friend Heidi (pictured) – an actress who is a regular volunteer for Pablove. She was inspired to volunteer because of her grandfather as well. Habitual volunteers are the lifeblood of any organization, so hats off to the better woman.

If you want to know more about Pablove I encourage you to visit their website.