(This is the first of several posts I’ll make throughout the month about a few of the kids that changed my life.)
This is Bryce Kameron Raub. It isn’t simple to explain why September is such an important month or how I got involved in the first place, but Bryce is an every day reminder that this isn’t a fight that should be pushed aside.
At just a couple of months old, Bryce was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma- the cancer that would ultimately take his life just weeks before his second birthday. The countless treatments he went through prolonged his life, but couldn’t save it. Things quickly became a matter of keeping him here week by week, day by day.
I came across his story a few months before he passed away. Bryce’s beautiful family wrote updates regularly and I eventually became so attached to him and his story that his death shattered me, no matter how much I knew it would happen.
It’s been well over three years, and my stomach still drops when I wake up every morning and see his photo and chemo bear on my shelf. It’s a reminder that this beautiful boy no longer has a chance to chase his dreams. That no more memories are being made, and all anyone can do is cling to the pieces of evidence that he was here and he was loved. That bear is one of the most meaningful things that I own, and the fact that I’m able to keep a little piece of him with me forever proves just how beautiful his family really is.
This isn’t okay. This will never, ever be okay. Life shouldn’t be about symptom management or hoping that tomorrow will be less painful. Childhood cancer awareness is important. I realize that it’s painful to see these kids dying, but if everyone looks away, it’ll never end. Please don’t look away.
If you’d like to read more of Bryce’s story, his website is caringbridge.org/visit/bryce09