by Michael Wells
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated Brady’s Journal, it’s been a day-to-day struggle for Sherrie and me but we are somehow managing. Since Brady’s passing, the out pouring of love from our families, friends, neighbors and community has been just astonishing. We are just so thankful and humble. Sherrie and I are now trying to put our son’s life into good use and here is what my beautiful bride is up to:
Brady’s Story – told by his Mama
Born August 21, 2008. We held our breath until we heard his first cry. We counted his fingers and toes. It was confirmed by the doctor; Brady was a “healthy, bouncing, baby” boy. The first year of his life was just incredible. He exceeded all of the milestone markers. He was in the 95th percentile consistently for height and weight. This child was the picture of health. And then, right after his first birthday Brady had a fever, his first fever. The pediatrician told us what to do and we did it, for two weeks. And then he woke up one morning with his eye swollen like a bull frog. He was rushed to the emergency room at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJU Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. After another week of high fevers and testing for every possible illness, Dr. Drachtman (a world renowned pediatric hematology/oncologist) informed us that our 13 month old baby had cancer. Brady battled non-disclosed acute leukemia for 10 long months. At the young age of 23 months, and after 6 rounds of chemotherapy and a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, Brady passed away in my arms on July 30, 2010.
WE NEED TO CURE PEDIATRIC CANCER. THIS IS NOT ONLY MY WISH BUT THE WISH OF ALL CHILDREN SUFFERING WITH THIS EVIL DISEASE.
In memory of my baby; we have started The Hugs for Brady Foundation™; a non-profit organization to raise money and public awareness to the horrors of pediatric cancer for all children suffering from all types of pediatric cancers/hematology disorders. The immediate objective is to increase the size of the pediatric cancer unit, a $7,000,000 project. Our ultimate goal is to improve the survival rates through research and help the efforts to find a CURE. Finding a cure is truly a lofty aspiration, the costs are incalculable. However, the results would be amazing.
Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 21, but less than 3% of federal cancer research funding goes to pediatric cancer. Over a 10 year period, we will lose approximately 30,000 children to cancer. Eight children die every day as a result of cancer.
It’s painfully simple, I will never again hold my beautiful baby in my arms but I can try to eliminate the cries of another child suffering from the demonic pain of cancer. My goals are daunting but the needs are ever so real. Please, won’t you help…
“8 Years Later—Still No Cure for Pediatric Cancer” is a series of posts revisiting the journal kept by Sherrie and Michael Wells during the cancer diagnosis and treatment of their son, Brady Michael. Hopefully these entires will provide an understanding of the journey families face when dealing with these horrific diseases and of the important work the Hugs for Brady Foundation does.