An Open Letter to President Trump

Dear President Trump,

Today is October 2nd and the 2nd day of breast cancer awareness month. Last night, I got home from work, I did the usual scrolling on social media where I stumbled upon a live video of the white house lit up pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. The White House was beautiful! I thought how incredible it was that thousands upon thousands of people affected by breast cancer could see the color pink lit up on one of the most profound buildings in America. I thought about the joy and feeling of togetherness that men and women who are impacted by cancer must feel and that how the White House being lit up pink lets them know that they are not alone in their struggle, not by a long shot.

President Trump, I am a pediatric oncology nurse in Jacksonville, Florida and September is childhood cancer awareness month. The weekend of September 21st, thousands of families impacted by childhood cancer camped out for 2 days in our Nations Capital to raise awareness and to plead their cases on getting more funding for childhood cancer research. As you know, childhood cancer research only receives 3.8% of all research funding and adult cancers get the remaining 96%. Because of childhood cancer research only receiving such a miniscule amount of funding, private organizations do their best to help close the gap so our children can hopefully get more research funding. On top of that, parents and children are shaving their heads and hosting lemonade stands to raise funds. While it’s an incredible gesture on their part, that doesn’t sound like something a parent or friend should have to do to get better treatment for their child, does it?

President Trump, I know you have children of your own and wouldn’t you do anything possible to support whatever battle they were facing? At the very least, isn’t it important to you that kids, our future, feel supported in a battle never even meant for them?

If there’s anything I’ve learned from working in the pediatric oncology world, President Trump, it’s that oncology families are the strongest, most determined, refuse to take no for an answer kind of community. They make their child’s fight, their fight. They bust their tails raising awareness for childhood cancer, all while giving up almost everything to take care of their sick child. President Trump, when a child is diagnosed with cancer, their fight doesn’t end if they’re fortunate enough to get through treatment. Unfortunately, children are affected years after treatment ends and sometimes even develop secondary cancers.

President Trump, getting the White House gold means so much more than I really can write in words. It means letting children know that they ARE worth more than 4, it means letting families know that we stand behind them as a nation and support their fight, it means bringing recognition to a discussion that is often overlooked because it’s HARD to see.

Getting the White House gold might not happen next year, but I assure you, the pediatric oncology community will keep fighting for it until it does. Can you help us with this?


Erin Tracy

Pediatric Oncology Nurse and Small Business Owner

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