Now I know that no one anywhere ever said ‘Man, that person DESERVES their cancer.’
Honestly though, I feel like cancer has this way of picking our very best humans.
Quick side note – I have a confession to make…
Bravery Box was not my idea.
It was the drunken brain child of a gorgeous Kids’ Oncology nurse called Shane.
Shane has a heart the size of the planet.
Shane has told me that she goes home at night and lights a candle to remember the kids she’s nursed who didn’t make it.
I’ve seen Shane be gently firm when she has to be and give laughs when they’re needed. I’ve also seen her politely ignore a parent’s tears when she knew they just couldn’t talk about it.
Shane has spent her career and a good amount of her personal life loving our children through their worst days.
Shane and her pals were out on a girl’s night and she was marvelling about how very amazing each child was.
Their stroke of genius – a box full of treats to reward bravery.
And they shall call it… The Bravery Box.
Is there nothing Vodka and a carefully curated group of women can’t solve?
The gift box is about so much more than receiving a reward.
The gifts help a child practice recovery, that moment from ‘this is AWFUL’ to ‘I’m OK now’. It gives a child with cancer a non-medical focus for their hospital visit, which is worth THE WORLD.
Before we came along Bravery Box had been ticking along beautifully with donations from Shane and her pals, other oncology nurses and the community.
We simply came in, slapped a logo on it and continued what was an amazing idea.
Shane, who has spent 28 years in the paediatric cancer trenches is swapping her nurse scrubs for patient PJs.
Shane has aggressive breast cancer, and that statement sucks beyond the telling of it.
I know there is no rhyme or reason for who does and does not get cancer. But I would like to think that there’s a little poetry in the world and those men and women who dedicate their careers (and I have no doubt a huge chunk of your personal life) to kids’ cancer, could be immune.
Cancer has no fucking manners.
I am here to say to the universe. On behalf of everyone, everywhere. “What the actual f*ck? What bloody cheek you have!” and “Get your filthy hands off our best people”.
Shane, may the fight be quick and may it be gloriously successful.
Every Oncology parent you’ve smiled at, every child you’ve nursed is sitting with you right now.
So, readers, if you’re prayers, pray. If you’re swearers, let loose with the mightiest you can think of. Because the world is outrageously unbalanced.
Make sure you end this day telling the people you love the most how much they mean to you.