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Why I Chose to Share My Family's Story

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By Denise Rager

A video essay detailing the Rager family's journey debuted at the Mom 2.0 Summit this morning in New Orleans. Watch the video to learn more about the family's journey and read more about why Matthew's mom wanted to share their story, her advice to parents with a child with cancer and how her son is doing today.


schoolpic.jpgWhen you hear the word cancer, you feel very alone. When Matthew was diagnosed, it was the stories of other parents' struggles that helped me get through difficult moments. I hope my story will in turn help others realize they are not alone.

As parents, we are our children's advocates. We need to make every effort to understand what is happening to them, even if the facts are too much to bare facing. Denial is not the place to be when you have a child with a cancer diagnosis; you need to take charge and understand the available treatment options.

I hope people are inspired by my family's story -- inspired not to dwell in their struggles, but to look beyond their current pain and trust that God has a plan. I can be positive in my struggles because I trust that there is a purpose behind the cancer diagnosis; there is a purpose behind everything in life.

Matthew is a miracle. He is almost 10 years old and is a typical pre-teen. He loves life and has a very compassionate spirit. He is the first one to put an arm around a hurting friend and also the first one to defend a friend's honor when they have done something wrong. 

He is excelling at school and enjoys playing soccer. He always has a book in his hands and has a vivid imagination. To see him, you would never guess what he has been through.

Matthew is my hero. He walks through life with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. I thank God for every day that I have with him.

Resources:
Read Matthew's full story
Learn more about proton therapy for childhood cancer

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