We Laughed

Billy Bragg and Maxine Edgington’s No 11 hit song sung by Helena. In Maxine’s moving words: a mother and daughter come to terms with Mum’s life-threatening illness and recall what made them laugh together….

Bret Michaels Diabetes Interview

Bret Michaels discusses growing up with type 1 diabetes and learning of his daughter’s recent pre diabetes diagnosis. He also tests his blood sugar on air.

The day our world fell apart

April 9, 2006. That was the day our world fell apart. The day those awful words, “Your daughter has cancer,” were delivered to us.

Our daughter had turned three two days before, and despite her complaining of a backache and a scratchy throat for a couple of weeks, we’d had a great celebratory weekend. We’d been to the pediatrician and urgent care several times with her symptoms, only to be assured that she had pulled a muscle and had seasonal allergies. The day after her birthday party, her symptoms seemed worse and my wife showed up at the pediatrician’s office demanding further tests. She collected me from work on the way to get our daughter’s blood draw and a chest x-ray. I was there when the radiologist came out, face white as a sheet, and told us to go back to the pediatrician immediately. I was there when the pediatrician looked at the x-ray film and went silent, her face the same color as the radiologist’s. I still see those faces three years later.

We were admitted to the local university hospital that night with an emergency CT scan at 2am. The diagnosis came at 7am the next day by a pathology [...] continue the story

Co Survivor Story

Co-survivor: Steve K. Survivor: His daughter, Sari 

In August 2004, I heard five words I never wanted to hear from my daughter. “Daddy, I have breast cancer.” At the age of seventeen I had first heard that same horrible message: “Your mother has breast cancer.” My mom died three agonizing years later, at the age of forty-six. My grandfather told me that the worst pain known is the loss of a child. He lost his daughter, Sari, and he never fully recovered.

At the time, I didn’t think any pain could be greater than losing my mother. Now, forty years later, the unthinkable happened and my grandfather’s words leapt into my mind. What if, like my mother, my daughter (named after my mother) didn’t make it? I was overwhelmed and shaking with fear.

Sari had discovered a tender lump in her breast, but was advised by several doctors (as my mother had been) that cancer doesn’t hurt. When the lump remained after three months, Sari had her first mammogram, followed immediately by ultrasound and needle biopsy. She was 36. And she had breast cancer. Only days after her diagnosis, Sari and I walked hand-in-hand through the corridor of one of the most respected [...] continue the story