Jessica Herman was 11-and-a-half years when she was diagnosed with Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumour. She initially showed signs of pneumonia but after further visits, a cat-scan revealed a large #tumour by her lung. Treatment started, including months of in-patient chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to remove the remaining tumour. Unfortunately, Jessica succumbed to the disease and passed away in 1997 when she was 13. “We have to shed a light on childhood cancer. There needs to be more funding and research into #childhoodcancers, as well as new innovative therapies,” said Dana Herman, Jessica’s mother.
“Children with cancer are getting treated with things that really affect their demeanor and behavior. Jessica was a different child as she was going through this. There were moments she could open up and talk about those fears, and a couple of times when that happened she said “I just want to have children.” That was her biggest regret, this was going to be a missed opportunity for her.” Jessica’s father, David, said his daughter was resilient during her treatment. “Near the end she became paralyzed. Her response was “That’s OK”. But in her last minutes, she looked at her oncologist and said “Don’t let me go” and that has stuck with me for the rest of my life." "We take life for granted, and these children are fighting for their lives. It appears to me that everyone is overlooking these children, and we have to provide a voice for them as they can’t speak for themselves.”
Photo: @childhoodcancerinternational/Courtesy of the Herman family
International Childhood Cancer Day is held annually on 15 February to raise awareness about #childhoodcancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors and their families.