Moms of children diagnosed with cancer work to help families just like their own

Moms of children diagnosed with cancer work to help families just like their own
Wilmington Cancer Moms.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It’s a group like none other. Women with one goal: end childhood cancer.

Each year, parents of over 15,000 children will hear that their child has cancer. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It affects all ages, ethnic groups, and socio-economics. Each day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer, according to Cure Search. 12% of those diagnosed do not survive. With cancer, comes costs. Even with insurance coverage, families are sometimes face daunting price tags for their child’s treatment. The average cost of treating a case of childhood cancer sits at about $500,000, with parents paying about $35,000 out-of-pocket.

Amy Hermann started Wilmington Cancer Moms a year after her son, Jacob, was diagnosed with leukemia. WECT met Amy in 2015 when her group had about half a dozen families, but now there are 65 involved with Wilmington Cancer Moms and their fundraising efforts.

“It sounds like we’d we a totally depressing group of people, but we have a lot of fun," says Amy. "We get together and talk about the hard things but then also just have a lot of fun just talking about the good things that are going on in our lives too.”

“We’re really great friends," says Candace Husley, a Wilmington Cancer Mom. "We are there to support each other when we’re in the trenches and we’re having those really bad days, which happens.”

But Candace still has good days, despite the long, hard battle her sweet daughter Sadie fought.

“And she did pass away," says Candace. “It’s right at two years ago now that she’s been gone.”

Candace's daughter, Sadie. (source: Candace Husley)
Candace's daughter, Sadie. (source: Candace Husley)

Candace’s situation is exactly why Amy started Wilmington Cancer Moms.

“Everyone in the group was just extremely supportive,” says Candace. “I’m extremely grateful for all of their friendships and to be a part of the group.”

And though moms is in the name, they made an exception for their favorite nurse whose passion for pediatric cancer awareness is right up there with the moms. Lowell Higgins is pediatric infusion nurse New Hanover Regional Medical Center. He met Amy while she was in the hospital with her son...

“This is the support system," says Lowell. “This group fights through anything. You could imagine in the trials they had to go through, having children with cancer. Regardless of the outcome... they’re just fighters.”

The group meets once a month for dinner and do several fundraisers throughout the year. The money they raise go towards research. One of the fundraisers is Reelin’ for Research. It’s a year-round fundraising effort to benefit UNC Children’s Hospital and childhood cancer research. To this day, over $3 million has been raised to help find a cure for childhood cancer. There is a one-day fishing tournament in Morehead City, North Carolina. Six of the moms in the Wilmington Cancer Moms group are participating in the tournament this Spring.

This is the second year of the group participating in the tournament. Last year, the group raised $13,000.

2018 Reelin' for Research fishing tournament. (source: Amy Hermann)
2018 Reelin' for Research fishing tournament. (source: Amy Hermann)
2018 Reelin' for Research fishing tournament. (source: Amy Hermann)
2018 Reelin' for Research fishing tournament. (source: Amy Hermann)

Their goal is to raise $20,000 by May 4th. If you’d like to donate, visit the website.

If you have a child who has battled or is currently battling cancer, you can ask to join the Wilmington Cancers Mom Facebook group or contact Amy Hermann with a simple Facebook message.

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