Cancer Survivor Hoping $150 Million Bill Passes For Research

Sunday, December 2nd 2007, 9:03 pm
By: News On 6

One Green Country family is looking for some life-saving help from the U.S. Senate. The News On 6’s Joshua Brakhage reports Congress is considering a $150 million initiative to find cures for childhood cancer. For Jonah White’s parents, that money can't come soon enough.

"Every year there's more and more kids being diagnosed with some form of childhood cancer," said Jonah’s father, Jeremy White.

No one knows better than Jeremy and Amy White, and their six-year-old son Jonah. He's sharp as a tack, and more than a match for little brother Judah in a game of Memory, but Jonah hides his pain.

Doctors had to amputate Jonah's leg to save his life. A tumor was growing on the bone in his ankle. His parents say it was the hardest decision they've ever had to make.

"When we were told what was going to happen, Jeremy just asked the question, 'is this really the best you've got?'" said Jonah’s mother, Amy White.

Jonah has overcome the obvious obstacles. He'll tie one shoe, then screw the other one on. Still, his cancer has left him scarred for life.

"Jonah's gonna have to deal with a prosthetic for the rest of his life. He's doing well and we believe that God has a purpose for it. But it's not going to be everyone else's normal, ever," said Amy White.

During Jonah's time in the hospital, his parents met other families who are facing the same fears they did. The Whites say they deserve hope, and a five-year pledge of $150 million for cancer research is that hope.

"We just think that without the bill, that if it doesn't get passed then that money's not going to be there for the research and it needs to be done," said Amy White.

Jonah needs physical therapy and blood screens, but otherwise is in the clear. His father keeps his head shaved in support of childhood cancer patients who are still fighting.

"A lot of people have gotten to know Jonah in the past year, and the awareness is beginning of childhood cancer, but it's prevalent in today's world," said Jeremy White.

"I don't want to see another child die. It's just too hard. They shouldn't have to. They shouldn't have to go through what Jonah had to go through," said Amy White.

Forty-five senators have signed on as co-sponsors of the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. So far, neither Oklahoma senator has.

To track the progress of the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, click here.

To track Jonah’s progress, click here.

Watch the video: Cancer Survivor Hoping $150 Million Bill Passes For Research