This Has Got to Stop

My wife and I know kids who are fighting cancer recurrences and we know a couple of children who have died. We've been to cancer walks where the families of a dozen or more deceased children release balloons into the air as a form of remembrance. I've talked with the devastated fathers of children who've passed on, seen bald teenagers slumped in their wheelchairs in waiting rooms, and once overheard a 3-year-old girl clutch her grandfather and say, "but I don't want to do chemo," while waiting for an appointment. And, of course, I've seen my own son Ben suffer through his symptoms, surgeries, and treatments. Every time I think about these kids and these families I come to one conclusion: this has got to stop.

It's not surprising that a Riley dad would understand this. What is more difficult to comprehend is how the student government of Fishers High School, most of whose members have no personal connection with the hospital, get that as well. Yet they do. This year, the student body has decided to turn their "Winter Sports Week" in to a weeklong drive for the Riley Dance Marathon, culminating in a Friday pep session intended to bolster attendance for the Dance Marathon itself, which is on this Saturday, March 9.

Fishers has a lot of teachers who work hard to plan, promote, and put on the Dance Marathon every year, and our principal is deeply involved with Riley. I can tell now that their actions have affected the young people they interact with. In light of the students' decision to put so much emphasis on supporting Riley; I don't really know of anything I could say to them that would come out right. As a teacher; I want to tell them I'm proud that in addition to being good students that they've turned into good people as well.

As the parent of a Riley kid, and as someone who has seen the important work that the money raised through Dance Marathons funds, I'd just like to say thanks.

To make a secured donation to the Fishers High School Dance Marathon for Riley, click here:

Chris Edwards, Ed. D.

Chris Edwards, Ed.D, teaches AP World History teacher at Fishers High School, and is the author of several books including 'Teaching Genius: Redefining Education with Lessons from Science and Philosophy.' Chris donates the royalties from 'Teaching Genius' to Riley Children's Foundation in support of pediatric cancer research at Riley Hospital. Chris and his wife Beth live in New Palestine are the parents of two boys, Blake, and Ben, who is doing well after being treated at Riley for a cancerous brain tumor.

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