After a courageous four-year battle, Christopher Grimes died on September 5, 2013 from stage IV Neuroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer. Our lives were enriched with his presence for 2,962 days. 423 weeks and one day. Now, our lives will never be the same.
It's not fair. Any of it. Almost 50 percent of Christopher's life was spent battling this cruel disease. No child should should ever have to endure what Christopher lived through. Endless rounds of chemothreraphy, radiation, surgeries, scans, trial medications, blood transfusions, months upon months of hospital stays and isolation, losing his hair, his dignity, his childhood. He fought with a strength that I would not have ever imagined anyone could possess, and he never complained. We tried everything, sought the finest care, travelled far and wide, and still, he spent his last days confined to a wheelchair because the tumors crushed the nerves in his spine rendering him unable to walk. No child should have to live this life, and no family should have to bear witness to it.
I have sat at my computer for a long time trying to find the words to write about Christopher. To say that I miss him is a ridiculous understatement. I miss so many things about him that my mind can't slow down enough to list them out. I simply miss him. He was a special person. He is a special person. My son, Christopher, forever 8.
Our hearts are broken. Everyone constantly asks, "what can I do?", and sadly, there is nothing. The only way Christopher would have survived is if research for pediatric cancers were not so vastly underfunded. Dollars save lives, its as simple as that. And though our lives will go on with a big empty space in our hearts, we MUST go on, and in Christopher's honor, continue the fight that he could no longer wage on this earth. WE (all) have the power to save other children and families from this savage disease.
For the fifth year in a row, we will have our Can Mass ride - a four day, 500 mile bike ride to help kids like Christopher. Kids who will go through hell for a tiny shot at life. Please help. It may be too late for our son Christopher, but there are so, so many other kids who we can save if we all work together.
Donations will go to the NMTRC at the Helen De Vos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan where trials are waiting to open to help these children now. YOU can make a difference. Cutting-edge research is currently being led by Dr. Giselle Sholler at the Helen De Vos Children's Hospital. I've seen some miracles happen. A cure is possible. And please remember our son, Christopher, the sweet, blue-eyed boy who loved rockets, who never got the chance to grow up.
WITH GREAT HOPE AND SINCERE APPRECIATION,
Kristin and CJ
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