KIDS’ CANCER: Raising Awareness For Disease

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Parents know there's nothing worse than a sick kid, especially when your child is battling a nasty disease.

As families gather to celebrate Father's Day this Sunday, one group wants you to have a picnic. The goal is to raise awareness about a certain childhood cancer many know nothing about.

Camryn Storbeck looks like any five-year-old. Mom Jen Storbeck says, "She makes everybody laugh. She makes everybody smile."

But, the smiling sweetie is anything but ordinary. She says, "She's amazing. She is…I'm going to start crying."

Storbeck says her daughter has been through more than any kid should have to go through. About a year and a half ago, Camryn started having tummy aches and didn't want to walk on her own.  She says, "We had gone through a month, month and a half of testing. Or course all of our biggest fears were cancer. And they tested her for it, everything came back negative."

Then, she visited an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor found abnormalities in her bones and eventually a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her abdomen. Storbeck says, "Camryn was diagnosed in October, October 21st, 2010, with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, which was a shock." She goes on to say, "We looked at each other and said what is that, what does that mean?"

Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that usually develops in the adrenal glands or nerve tissues of the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis. The Storbecks say awareness is important because symptoms like fatigue, tummy aches and joint pain make it difficult to diagnose early. She says, "It's a fast acting cancer."

This is International Neuroblastoma Awareness Week, and people around the globe want you to end the week by taking a picnic on Sunday. The goal is for people to post the pictures on social networking sites with facts about the disease, which will hopefully raise awareness and funding for research.

Storbeck says, "There are a number of groups out there pushing to fund just Neuroblastoma, and I'm not going to say people should only contribute to Neuroblastoma because all cancers are important. But yeah, definitely funding is huge to help get this thing going, so kids can get treated quicker."

Storbeck says Camryn went through a year of nasty treatments and doctors will follow her for quite some time. She says, "At this point, she has no evidence of disease. We don't ever really say cancer free until we get to that four of five year mark."

For now, she's enjoying camp with the Children’s Cancer Connection, and all the other activities she missed while battling what she calls her "icky" cancer.


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