Our aim is to raise awareness of neuroblastoma and to raise funds for research. It is our hope that by funding this important research, by raising awareness and being an advocate for these beautiful little neuroblastoma kids, that we will find a cure that is so desperately needed. It is also our aim to be an avenue for neuroblastoma families to be able to share their journey, and the journey of other neuroblastoma families, and to help them realise that they are not alone. This can be achieved via our social media presence.
For the first 3 years, we supported research at the Royal Children's Hospital, and we are currently supporting research at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Monash Institute of Medical Research. We are the only organisation in Victoria with dedicated research funding for neuroblastoma. Research is slow, methodical and expensive but is the only way we will find the cure we so desperately seek. Your donation, big or small, does and will make a difference.
You Are My Sunshine (YAMS) Foundation is run entirely by dedicated volunteers, and 100% of funds raised support neuroblastoma research with the goal of finding a cure. We have gift deductible status with the Australian Taxation Office and all donations $2 and over are tax deductible.
The following was written by Antonia Palmer, a mother of a neuroblastoma child and it so eloquently reflects the nightmare that all neuroblastoma parents face.
With the diagnosis of neuroblastoma, you are thrown into an expansive and ever-present whirlwind. It is extremely hard to climb out of the torrents so that you can stop and look around to find out what else is going on around you. No matter how strong your support network is, there is an immense feeling of loneliness during this journey. It is hard to imagine that anyone else could be going through something so terrible. Behind each of the closed doors of the oncology ward, there are stories of fear, grief, anger and pain. Each room contains its own narrative, and each story has a different beginning, middle, and end. We pack those little rooms with so many different emotions, memories, and experiences – many that we will hold onto forever, and many that we will try our best to forget. Through it all, the bonds of love fuse tighter, the immense kindness of strangers, and the brilliance of a child’s courage. This is a journey of extremes.
Finding other neuroblastoma families helps to diminish that feeling of loneliness. You find others who are weaving a similar story and who know the true meaning of simple nuances and the beauty of normal. Sometimes you hardly have to speak the words and they know what you mean. The simplest moments can carry the weight of a lifetime — sharing the date of your next MIBG scan, the preparations for the first day of school, and the worries about a bruised knee.
Neuroblastoma used to be called “rare” and “uncommon”. However, now, there is a new and emerging way of speaking and thinking about this paediatric cancer. It is “common” and “frequent”. There is “promise” and “progress” but there are still challenges. It is a cancer which needs much more attention and needs to be understood. It needs to be recognized as the third most pervasive paediatric cancer. And, most of all, finding a cure to all paediatric cancers must become a greater priority to governments, funding bodies, and all parties involved in helping children battle this terrible disease.
Making that happen means that neuroblastoma warriors, survivors, families, practitioners, and supporters must first create the community and support network for one another so that there is a always a soft place to land. It then means banding together to be a united voice and determined advocate to do whatever we can to find a cure for this monster.
Source: Neuroblastoma Canada. Author:Antonia Palmer. October 27, 2010. Antonia’s son Nate was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2009. He relapsed in 2011 but following further treatment, he has no evidence of disease.