It's not fair that anyone, let alone a child, gets diagnosed with cancer. But, Sunday at the Inaugural Pediatric Cancer Survivor's Day at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, it was a day to celebrate hundreds of children, who survived that terrible fate.
Kirsten Stauber is a cancer survivor. "I was diagnosed that I had leukemia. At 7."
She's now 16 and doing well. But 9 years-ago, her bumpy road to survival started with an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant operation. "It was an unrelated donor, so it wasn't that great of a match, but it was the best match we could find."
When her family got the news that it wasn't successful, her mother found a way to help her daughter. Kirsten explains, "Now, at that point, my mom figured she would have my brothers this way they could save me."
Her mom gave birth to Kirsten's twin brothers, Kevin and Tyler. As little babies, these two made a miraculous donation. Kevin shares, "We gave her some of our blood, some of our healthy blood to her so she can get healthy."
And since then, Kirsten has been cancer-free. She's a survivor, and so are many of the hundreds of children, who gathered at the park as part of the event organized by Cohen's Children's Medical Center to celebrate, rock-climb, play games, and listen to another survivor - this one, a little older, and in possession of a Super Bowl ring.
Mark Herzlich of the New York Giants is also a cancer survivor: He was told after an MRI that he was suffering from a rare form of bone cancer. "They told me right then and there that I would never be able to play football again, that I would never be able to run again, and I would have to change my dreams. These doctors may know cancer, but they don't know me."
Herzlich is now cancer-free. He shared his story to inspire the children to have a dream and to never give up on it. Kirsten has a dream. The cancer-free teen now wants to be a doctor.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times