This is my 5th year visiting the cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. It is not becoming any easier and the sadness, pain and anger continues to roar inside of me like a swirling tornado. The WHY continues to thump with every beat of my heart, why, why, why. Why is it that more children die each year from brain cancer than any other cancer and second for adolescents and young adults ages 15-39? Over 90% of our active service military are under the age of 40. Why is glioblastoma the 3rd leading cause of cancer related deaths in our military service members? WHY?
Why did my son Derek Lemieux proudly serve our country for nine years and six months after coming home, ambushed by glioblastoma, thrown onto the cancer battlefield that took his life in 126 days, WHY? Derek loved life, loved his family, seized every moment, extreme traveler, and a self-taught music artist, traveled to 25 countries in less than three years. He entertained his family and friends with music, stories, and drone footage of unique adventures from around the world. Never had the chance to attend college, marry, buy a house, a pet, have children, sit across the table enjoying the pumpkin pie I baked just for him on holidays. He was robbed, I was robbed, his sister robbed of her only sibling, our entire family robbed. WHY?
Why is it that almost one million people in the United States are living with a brain tumor, nine-five thousand people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year and 19,000 people will die from a brain tumor in 2023. Why is it that for malignant brain tumors, survival rates have not changed significantly over the past 45 years despite major improvements made in the treatment of other cancers? WHY?
WE need the funding and it designated to research to drive clinical trials and effective treatments. We need real change, improved outcomes, quality of life and more life! Honor a loved one, honor our veterans, honor our active military, take action with your elected officials, make a donation to the cause. How many more thousands of little children and adults are going to lose their lives from brain tumors?
Miss you so much Derek and love you with all a heart can hold.
Mom (Da Momma)