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Toby

Diagnosed April 17th 2007, at the age of 3.5, with NB stage 4.

In the course of two hours we went from having a perfectly healthy, sweet-as-pie, joyous toddler to hearing that he had an aggressive form of cancer and might die. Cancer robbed our child of his softness, his innocence, his curls, and his endurance. It has also revealed some remarkable things. We have a little boy who says "please" and "thank you" as poisons drip into his bloodstream. A little boy who makes the hospital clowns howl with laughter.

And a little boy who learned to read a full 2 years ahead of his peers, by deciphering hospital signs for "operating room," "radiation," and "infusion complete." Throughout 18 months of non-stop treatment, while undergoing pain that neither of his parents would be able to endure, Toby has taught us what it means to live with hope.

To those who want to help:
Before Toby was diagnosed I never gave a thought to children with cancer. My only frame of reference was the strangely bald kids who sometimes appeared in hospital advertising and I always turned my eyes away... it was too painful to think of children suffering. Your willingness to look at our children is the greatest gift I can imagine. Your support and your love give Toby a chance at life. Thank you.