Order amid Chaos

T.E.A.C.H. Logo

The image created for our logo is one with which many parents of children with cancer are all too familiar, the bald thin child connected to the IV pole, where hangs either a bag of packed red blood, platelets, antibiotics or chemo infused through a chest catheter, or Broviac.

A chest catheter or Broviac is common for a child on intense chemotherapy. The medicine is so strong; it burns the small veins in the child's arm. So instead the catheter is implanted in the chest so the chemo will flow directly into the large artery near the heart.

Most patients on chemo lose some amount of hair. This medicine is designed to attack only fast dividing cells such as cancer (and hair). The protocol for a particular cancer will determine how much chemotherapy, if any is given. Some cancers get radiation, some just chemo and some get both.

Our children not only take on the appearance of alien beings but the family's whole lifestyle becomes alien as well. Nothing is ever the same again. The events that unfold over the first months after diagnosis take on a surreal quality.

Life becomes a roller coaster ride from which the family can't get off. The specter of Death is never far. Life is lived one day at a time and it is not taken for granted that there will be a tomorrow for the ill child. Time together becomes very precious and intense as life is lived only in the present. Fear prevents planning too far in advance.

Our logo child holds a piece of chalk. This symbolizes the fact that his/her cancer is communicating to us that something is terribly wrong with our environment. It is imperative that we learn from their illnesses what is harming them. The children are not only our most precious resource but also our future. What signal is the community sending if they do nothing?

Yes, this image on our logo is not unlike what is burned forever in the minds of parents whose children have endured cancer.

The T.E.A.C.H. name surrounding the child represents the TEACH families unifying for a common goal of helping to find the answer to the Toms River Cancer Cluster.