By Sierra, Founder of Childhood Cancer Kids
I was diagnosed with cancer when I was five years old.
My mom is a yoga teacher, so I’ve been doing yoga since I was a baby. I was five years old when I was diagnosed back in 2012. I had about a year of treatments, and five more years of tests and appointments. I feel more emotional about having had cancer now, because it still makes me feel like I am different from other kids.
About a year after finishing chemo, I was wondering whether there was a childhood cancer awareness month. I soon found out that there was; it is in September and the color is gold. At the time, I was having a lot of anxiety, and my parents heard it would be good for me to do some charity work. So, after I said someone should do something about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, they agreed that I could do something. To begin with, my sister and I decided to raise awareness, then I had the idea to share what I learned about yoga breathing.
Yoga helped me get through cancer.
If I didn’t have yoga when I was going through cancer, I think I would have been a lot more stressed than I am now. Yoga helped me get through it; it made me feel more relaxed about my treatments. Yoga breathing helped me feel calmer. Yoga didn’t just help me with cancer; it also helps me to not be afraid when I have blood draws and shots. It helps me now too — when I feel stressed about homework, when I act in plays or play sports, and when I feel I have too much to do.
Cancer As a Kid: How It Feels
When you have cancer as a kid, it can make you feel sad, alone, and different. When I raise awareness about Childhood Cancer and honor its month, it makes me feel good; I know I am helping other kids to feel part of a group, to feel less alone. It is important to me to share yoga with them too, because I feel like I am able to help them feel better, calmer, and more peaceful.
I am happy I am a survivor. Now I want to help raise funds to research cures. I also want to study how yoga can help kids feel better during their treatments, and how it can help them deal with the stress after too.