The very best part of our laboratory is our Family Wall, filled with smiling faces who motivate us to work double shifts. It doesn’t seem fair to keep all of this inspiration to ourselves…so we’ll share these stories with you through the Meet our Motivation blog series. Recently, we caught up with April, mom to Ewing’s Sarcoma survivor Josh, and an amazing story teller to boot. Read on for our Q&A with April, and then settle in to listen to a StoryCorps recording by April, Josh, and fellow childhood cancer fighters Lynette and Spencer. How did your childhood cancer story begin, and where are you today?

 

My name is April Brenneman and my son, Joshua, is fourteen years old. In October 2004, he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. The tumor was located in his C-6 vertebra in his neck. It was deemed inoperable and his treatment included 14 rounds of intense chemotherapy and 31 proton radiation treatments. As a freshman in high school today, Josh is a typical teen, though he lives with a tracheotomy (hole in his neck to breathe), growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism and chronic pain. We are grateful for Josh’s life and admire how he faces his daily challenges.

 

cc-TDI works to translate scientific discovery into effective clinical trials, to help spur drug development for kids with cancer. Why is supporting our work important to you, personally?

 

cc-TDI is set apart, because it is working hard to expedite drugs for clinical trials for children. Over the last 11 years, we have watched many of our friends die from sarcoma cancers. Time is of the essence. We need to test these drugs quicker allowing these children to find a clinical trial sooner for their sake. Right now, one of our dear friends is running out of options. That’s just not acceptable.

 

Participating in StoryCorps is an amazing opportunity to spread awareness! What was it like to record your story?

 

Participating in StoryCorps was empowering to me as a mother. Lynnette, Spencer’s mother and I connected in a unique way, because of our son’s journeys. Her thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams were similar to mine. It’s nice to discover that you are not alone. As I listen to the recordings of Josh and Spencer now, I smile at their young voices, their discussion of video games (of course) and yet I am deeply saddened by the loss of Spencer. 

 

     LISTEN: StoryCorps-Josh and Spencer                 LISTEN: StoryCorps-April and Lynette

 

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