“On Control, Community, and Finley Roan’s Cancer Care”
By: Kristen Chapin
We were taught from a young age to always have control. It is important to control our body and its movements. We were taught to control our emotions, our environment, the way we think, the way we behave in public, and the path we travel in our lives.
But I say, let’s talk about the actualities.
Actually, this world is full of pain, suffering, and the unfathomable.
We spend our whole lives seeking control and missing out on the peace that comes with accepting how little we can plan and truly govern.
I certainly would have never planned to live through a pandemic, to live in a world where ethnic, cultural, religious, and professional difference divide us. I would have never fathomed that one of my best friend’s baby boy, Finley, would be diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer that affects children, usually younger than 5.
Finley Roan has a cancerous tumor in his chest, that is pushing on his spine and lungs, affecting his ability to breathe on his own.
He is currently being treated at CHOPS (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and spent his first birthday on a ventilator receiving two variations of Chemotherapy.
Finley’s parents spent the last couple years hoping and wishing to conceive and when it seemed like hope was dwindling, Finley arrived. He is their miracle, their joy, their hope, and their lives.
I keep asking myself, what if it was me? What if my hope and joy, was fighting this monster, while I had to sit there without the capability of providing the armor that could protect my miracle? What if I had to spend weeks and weeks on a pull-out couch in a hospital room trying not to think about the bills that are piling up, the upcoming battles on the road to recovery, and how my life would never be the same? What if I had to deal with the realization that the plan for my life was not going to come to fruition? That the one thing I have tried to guard, protect, and shelter from this uncertain world, is laying in front of me, facing a battle, that I can not defend them in. What if this was your story?
What I have been learning over the past year, that is more apparent now than ever, is that I have little control. I can only make daily decisions that I hope will have a positive outcome in my life and the lives of the people who cross my path.
Today my decision is to speak out against this monster that attacks our children. Today I understand that I can’t control the atrocities in our world and in the lives of the people that I hold dear, but I can be a voice, a shoulder, a helper, and a hoper. We cannot control the wind, but we can work together to adjust the sails. Collectively, we can make a difference in our community and in the lives of people who need assistance.
Cancer cannot have control. It cannot weaken our bonds. It cannot cripple our courage. It cannot diminish the human connection that binds us all. It cannot rob us of our love. It cannot destroy our faith.
Today I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of Finley and his parents and to lighten their load.
If children are selling lemonade to fight childhood cancer and support impacted families, how can we stand by idly when there is a need in our community?
Please keep Finley Roan in your thoughts and prayers.
If you feel led to make a financial contribution, please scan the bar code below to access the GoFundMe that was created to help with the financial aspects of Finley’s care.
There will also be a benefit on Thursday 10/14/21 at Lightstreet Hotel from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. to benefit Finley. Please stop by and bring extra cash for the Basket Raffle.