Each week, Fourth and Gold will highlight a cancer warrior who has bravely and fiercely stood strong against childhood cancer. At Fourth and Gold, we want you to see the faces behind our drive and connect with them in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to if you didn’t take the stand to demand #MoreThan4! Our precious kids have cancer, but cancer is not who they are.
Week of April 7th, 2018
Caroline Berry, diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma at 14 years of age.
Current age: 15 (DOB 6/24/02)
Favorite Things: Caroline is a lover of all animals, especially dogs… I mean… they’re a girls best friend, right? 🙂 She also enjoys spending time with family and friends and absolutely anything to do with art
Favorite Foods: If Caroline isn’t eating mom’s home cooked meals (her favorite!), you’ll probably catch her eating chicken nuggets, subway or sushi
If you know Caroline, you know that she: Is absolutely smitten with her sweet puppy, Buddy. She is extremely creative and loves anything to do with arts and crafts. Caroline is your typical teenage girl in the sense that she adores her family and friends, soaking up her daily vitamin D at the beach (yaaaas!), and of course… food!
A typical day for Caroline is: If she’s not running from appointment to appointment, which consumes the majority of her time, you won’t find her at home! Caroline loves zoo trips with her mom, browsing the museums in Houston and working on her creative skills with calligraphy and paints. When she settles down at home, she’s probably watching TV and checking up on social media
What you cannot see here is that Caroline has undergone:
- 42 weeks of chemotherapy
- 18 multi site fractions of radiation
- 5 fractions of cyber knife radiation to the brain
- 12 different procedures
- Just started a new 37 week protocol for her cancer treatment
- Caroline still has 33 weeks left of treatment
Caroline on what she wish people understood about childhood cancer: “Childhood cancer is not a rare occurrence! Just because your kid or someone you know doesn’t have it, doesn’t mean there aren’t innocent kids fighting every day just to live… and unfortunately they have all odds against them. There isn’t enough funding, chemo drugs made specifically for pediatric cancer, or really enough understanding and awareness about childhood cancer in general”
Caroline on her biggest change/challenge since diagnosis: “Definitely not having hair and having to take a break from school and sports. I went from playing volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball and softball to spending more time in a hospital than my own home… which took some major getting used to”
At Fourth and Gold, we want you to fall in love with the personalities of our kids. When you think of “childhood cancer”, we want you to think of kids of ALL ages. Our teenagers are children also and are affected just as frequently as younger kids. At 15 years old, the prime of her teenage years, Caroline spends more time undergoing medical care than at school, with her friends and with her family. While many 15 year olds are playing sports, having sleep overs and attending events at school, Caroline’s chemotherapy and radiation schedule don’t always allow that.
We exists because the government continues to fail our precious children daily. In the last 20 years, 190 new treatments were released for adult cancers and only 3 were released for children. Every 2 minutes another child is diagnosed with cancer. With our government only providing four percent of all research funding to childhood cancer, options grow smaller and smaller for childhood cancer patients as time passes and diseases progress. So many children’s battle ends because of TREATMENT side effects, not the cancer itself. Childhood cancer is NOT rare, but it is SO scary. We must fight for our kids, be the voice when they don’t always have one. Please continue to do research, spread awareness, donate to childhood cancer research, support businesses who are aimed at awareness for childhood cancer, give blood. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
#MoreThan4 #NotRare #FourthAndGold
****Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of cancerous tumor that arises in the soft tissue, such as muscles
- Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma occurs in all age groups and often affects the large muscles of the arms, legs and trunk.
- Soft tissue sarcomas account for about 7 to 8 percent of childhood cancers.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children