“The doctor thinks I have cancer.” I’ll never forget the day my mom said those words to me. We sat in the doctor’s office while I tried to think of a way to put a positive spin on things. I couldn’t. We left the doctor’s office to go straight to the hospital where surgery was scheduled for the next day. After surgery, I sat in the hospital room listening to the doctor attempt to cheer my mom. I followed him out into the hall as he left the room. “Tell me the truth,” I told him, “What is her prognosis?” “I’m sorry,” he said, grimly. “She has stage 4 cancer. At the most, she has 18 months to live.” She didn’t make it the full 18 months. She succumbed after a 17-month fight, while my grandmother lost her battle with cancer two weeks later. Watching their struggles, I vowed I would not give up their fight. I would help raise awareness about cancer to honor their memories.
This is a partnered post with Extended Stay America, but all opinions are my own.
Cancer runs in our family. Besides losing my mother and grandmother, I’ve lost aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’s hard to watch the adults in our family suffer, but it’s even harder to watch the children and the toll it takes on their families. Not only is there an emotional toll, there’s a financial toll. Many of my family members live in a rural area, with the nearest children’s cancer center three to four hours away. Sitting in a hospital room day in and day out can become unbearable. Sometimes the parents need to be persuaded to take a break, go to a hotel and get some much needed rest. Hotels can be expensive for parents who are already facing huge medical bills. That’s why since 2013, Extended Stay America has donated over 85,000 FREE or deeply discounted rooms to the American Cancer Society® for patients receiving treatment away from home.
How Can You Help Raise Awareness For Childhood Cancer?
Extended Stay America has launched a partnership with Build-A-Bear to develop Hope, the teddy bear. With a $10 contribution, you can help Extended Stay America provide a Hope Bear to a child who is battling cancer. They will be providing 5000 bears. Your donations are a great way to bring a little cheer to a frightened child and their families.
Want to get social with Extended Stay America?
You can find them on
- Facebook – @extendedstayamerica
- Twitter – @extendedstay
- Instagram – @extendedstayamerica
- Pinterest – @TheExtendedStay
Use the hashtag #givehope to connect with Extended Stay America and their Hope Bear project. You, too, can bring a smile to a child’s face this year!
* Thanks to Extended Stay America for donating 5 rooms nights in my name to cancer patients in need.