(MSK) in honor of their daughter, Scarlett, who was diagnosed with T Cell Lymphoma in 2013. “In my wildest dreams I never thought one of my children would be diagnosed with cancer,” says Jennifer. “This is NYC. I worried about a cab jumping the curb on the walk home from school, but cancer? Not on my radar.”
The Scarlett Fund supports pediatric cancer research and aims to raise awareness through various events, such as the annual Kids Walk for Kids with Cancer which supports pediatric cancer research at MSK. Nearly 16,000 children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer this year yet pediatric cancers receive only 4% of the US federal funds allocated to cancer research.
How did you find out your daughter had cancer?
Scarlett, my now 9-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma in October 2013. It was just like any other evening in our house. I had just finished reading a story to Scarlett and I was sitting next to her in her bed. I was gently stroking her cheek and tucking a piece of her hair behind her ears when I felt a hard lump on her head that felt like a marble. I moved my hand around her head and I realized that there was more than one. I immediately ran to the living room to get my husband. As he felt her lumps, I whispered above my daughter's head, "Could this be cancer?”
She was diagnosed six days later with a rare form of lymphoma. It literally took me weeks before I could say the word cancer and my daughter's name in the same sentence. I was gripped with fear. Fear of the intense treatments and the painful procedures. Fear of the uncertain future.