If you live in the Philadelphia area, you will see Naya's face everywhere. From our SEPTA bus system, to CHOP and highway billboards, she's everywhere. With the wonder of web re-targeting, I have seen her on WSJ.com and Yelp. It's a little odd to be reading the WSJ online and see your daughter's mug follow you. I'm being stalked by my beautiful 11-year old. She's raised $93,000+ so far, so we're hopeful that the $100,000 goal will be reached this year thanks to all of you! The money we're raising can fund a trial or two researchers for a year. Think of what that could do! If you haven't yet signed up or donated, but want to, now is the time. Here's the link http://chop.donordrive.com/team/teamnaya.
I wanted to share something I heard today because it's so important to share. I had a conversation with some mothers who are going through a similar situation. One told me that after her son's first year battling his disease, donations were harder to come by. I kept thinking what he must think about that, and it made me sad. They all told me that they were inspired by our efforts and thought Naya was a hero who had motivated them to do more. I just wanted her son to see the same support we're experiencing because he's also an amazing person and a hero.
Cancer is a long-term illness, so please keep your support and interest levels in our story high. Even if you're just following the blog or sending a comment, everything makes a difference and raises awareness. The treatments that kids go through are unbelievably harsh. They need to know we're going to help them no matter how long they are fighting. There's a lot more going on in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. If you want to get involved, I wanted to pass on an idea that is spreading in our area. A parent came up the idea to do a lemon juice shot challenge (similar to the ALS challenge) to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Naya participated in the challenge with many CHOP nurses, and you can see her reaction in the picture :)
Many of you have asked about Naya. She's been going to school for a few hours several days per week as she continues her treatment. And, on occasion, she dresses up and we go to her favorite restaurant and hang out with Uncle Tushar. She is riding PaintJack when she's up to it, and looks great on him! Today, she went to the first of five photography classes donated by the Pablove foundation, another great foundation helping kids battling through pediatric cancer. Overall, she's doing well and has a great attitude.
Thanks for asking, and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We are looking forward to seeing many of you in a couple of weeks.