Story by Heather O’Sullivan. Photos courtesy of Diane Moore.
Raleigh, NC – Diane Moore and her family had “the ideal life”: two beautiful daughters, 2 dogs and a 2 car garage. On September 18, 2001, a malignant tumor found on her 9 year old daughter Colleen’s femur changed their lives forever. They spent weeks visiting doctors and having tests. On October 1st, they were told that she would ‘likely succumb in 9-12 months’.
On Their Own
Without emotional and spiritual support, the nearly unbearable situation was made even worse. They spent more than 100 nights in 3 different hospitals. Colleen’s cancer journey lasted nine months. She died June 9, 2008.
After Colleen’s death, her mother, Diane was haunted by the thoughts of other children and families struggling to deal with life threatening cancers without proper emotional and spiritual support. After researching the issue fully, Diane founded Striving for More in January 2008, a Triangle-based non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that children with cancer and their families receive quality emotional and spiritual support.
Each year, more than 225 families in the Triangle hear the horrifying words “your child has cancer”. Immediately after hearing those words, their lives are instantly and profoundly changed. Their child is immediately admitted into the hospital so that the war against the invisible enemy can commence.
Understandably, these families entering the hospital for the first time are operating under emotional duress and in crisis mode. Parents are trying to cope with an array of emotions while keeping their reactions under control for the benefit of their child.
Comfort and Care Kit
Striving for More will be providing each newly diagnosed family a Comfort and Care kit that provides them with some of the essentials that they will need to get through their first admission. In addition, the kit will include tools that will help the family manage the complexities of their child’s treatment plan such as a date book and a journal as well as a book for the parent and the child. Other items included in this bag range from take- out menus to toiletries—small items that can make a big difference at this difficult time.
Striving for More, Inc. will develop some of the items in the kit and some will require very specific purchases. However, most of the items can be purchased at local supermarkets or retailers.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and it is the perfect time to kick off a Care Kit Drive and ask the community to contribute the items needed to help fill the kits.