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Putting A Human Face On September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Mason Silva was a wonderful and happy baby. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) took him from his family shortly after his first birthday, but his mother Alissa promised her son that he would never be forgotten.

When Mason was sick and he was basically on his way to heaven, I just couldn’t believe how awful and traumatic of an experience it was for me as a parent. Seeing the things he went through. It wasn’t a pleasant death by any means. He suffered.

For Silva’s first effort at raising awareness for AML research, she decorated Mason jars and raised approximately $10,000 for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This year, with a new child added to her family, her and her husband could not repeat the Mason jar decoration. Instead, she made and posted a video to Facebook.

This is my fight song and I will keep fighting for my baby and all of the kids.

Posted by Baby Mason Updates on Monday, August 31, 2015

I was shooting for maybe a million views. I had no idea it would ever get to the number that it’s at right now.

The video went viral and, currently, has over 41 million views. An amazing number that is truly humanizing the suffering and pain for both the children and families of those who suffer through childhood cancer. With raising awareness as its goal, the video has done an incredible job.

Every year, more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer. Approximately a quarter of those children will not survive. The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) and Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels are two of the most active organizations trying to raise awareness and find solutions for many parent’s greatest nightmare.

Raising awareness is what Silva is doing. The Salem, Mass. native has had her story presented on and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has changed the lights on the Zakim Bridge to gold to show the city’s support for cancer awareness.

It’s something that can happen to anybody, and a lot of parents don’t want to hear about that because it’s scary. But I’m sure any parent out there would want to have the best drug available for their children if it ever, God forbid, happened. It’s just so important that our kids get more attention and more funding and more awareness so that some day we have better treatments and better cure rates and better success.

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