In the United States, nearly 2 million people will receive a cancer diagnosis. Some of these cancers that adults often get diagnosed with include breast, lung, and prostate cancer. While cancer is a terrible disease, the government funds research for many of these different types of cancers in hopes of finding a cure.
When most people think of cancer, they think of a terrible disease that negatively affects adults. But, while millions of adults will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, they’re not the only ones suffering. Unfortunately, at least 1 in every 285 children will receive a traumatic and life-altering diagnosis before they turn 20. It may not sound like a lot, but there are thousands of children living in the United States who’ve received the diagnosis and are in a fight for their lives.
Because it’s less talked about and not nearly as heard about as other types of cancer, government funding for childhood cancer is incredibly low. Despite spending billions on cancer research, a meager 4% goes to childhood cancer research. The low percentage of funding often leaves loved ones of children with cancer feeling frustrated.
Fighting for the Children with a Cancer Diagnosis
Sandy Scherff is a small-town girl with a big heart, infectious smile, and outgoing personality. Growing up on a farm in the Midwest, she never thought she’d be in the position she’s in today but wouldn’t have it any other way. Her upbringing was normal, and she spent most of her time riding bikes and hanging out on the farm that her family owned. She finished high school and then went to college, where she’d meet the lover of her life and have two children. Those children are now adults with their own children, and Sandy is a devoted and loving grandmother.
Although Sandy spent years working as an office administrator, she knew that she wanted to spend more time enjoying life and making the best memories with her grandchildren. So, inspired by the idea of being her own boss, she used her experiences to start an entrepreneurial journey that would allow her to reach financial freedom and help others who’d like to experience the same thing.
She already had the drive needed to become successful, but her passion lies within her family’s challenges over the years. While at a professional meeting in 2015, she received a call from her daughter-in-law that would change her life forever. Her granddaughter was admitted to the hospital and had a lump in her stomach. It turned out to be a tumor, leading to the diagnosis of Wilms Tumor. Little Sofia experienced so much at a young age. She went through treatment and was in remission. Unfortunately, she was later diagnosed with lung cancer. She put up an incredible fight, undergoing numerous rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, and is now in remission again. Sandy’s grandson, Cooper, received a diagnosis of Neurofibromatosis (NF1) at age four. He suffers from invisible mental and physical issues, which has the family hoping for the best yet cautious over what could happen. Sandy supports and does fundraising for Children’s Tumor Foundation which funds research to find a cure for NF1. Sandy strongly believes that no child should suffer or face an unknown future.
During Sofia’s battle, Sandy Scherff discovered more about how common childhood cancer is despite a lack of discussion on the topic. It encouraged her to work with St. Jude’s Research Hospital and other childhood cancer organizations to fight for a cure. “We want to find a cure for these childhood diseases. The best way to find a cure is to fund research for childhood cancers and other incurable diseases,” said Scherff. Although life is an adventure for Sandy Scherff and her family, one thing is sure – she won’t give up on fighting for the children.