The mission of Childhood Cancer Lifeline is to “empower New Hampshire families who are coping with childhood cancer.” The Konrads are one such family.
Ethan was just a year old when he was diagnosed with Pleuropulmonary Blastoma, a type of lung cancer that appears mostly in infants and children. Shortly thereafter Ethan’s mother, Saundra, was contacted by Sylvia, president of CCL and more importantly someone who had stood where Saundra now found herself. Saundra says, “She called to see how I was doing, if I needed anything…”
As Saundra and her husband wandered through the maze of treatment appointments, doctor visits and beaurocracy they received a gift box from CCL. “There was a quilt for Ethan, as well as some grocery gift cards, gas gift cards and phone gift cards,” all to help ease a bit of the financial burden the family now found itself under.
“While my husband and I had the support of each other, sometimes you just need to talk to someone who’s been there,” says Saundra. “So calling Sylvia and just having her talk me off the ledge, and saying, what you’re feeling is normal.”
Ethan is twelve now, ten years cancer-free. But the Konrad’s relationship with CCL isn’t over. Every Labor Day weekend, they attend Camp Winning Spirit, organized by CCL. Here kids still undergoing treatments get to mingle with their peers who have finished their treatments and do things that kids should be doing. Ethan listed some of his favorite activities at the camp, “…canoeing, archery, Frisbee golf, rock climbing…”
Ethan sees the annual gathering as an important part of giving back, “it’s a great inspiration for the kids still in treatment to see that there are survivors. And it gives them more hope that they will survive.”