Inspired by the stories of two Marysville preschoolers who completed cancer treatment this year at Seattle Children’s Hospital, the City of Marysville issued a proclamation declaring September 2017 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Marysville.
Jessica Beckstrand, mother of three-year-old Layla, addressed the City Council at its Sept. 11 meeting. She described how her family received Layla’s cancer diagnosis shortly after moving to Marysville and how many people and local businesses, many of them strangers, reached out with help and support through the long months of cancer treatment.
“It showed me what a tight-knit community can do for each other,” Beckstrand said.
Layla completed treatment for Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma in February. Accompanying Beckstrand at the Council meeting were family and friends including the family of Layla’s friend and fellow cancer survivor, Reese Estes, age two-and-a-half. Reese completed treatment in for Stage 2 Burkett’s Lymphoma in August.
The city’s proclamation notes that 42 children are diagnosed with cancer every day in this country. Although the five-year survival rate has reached 80 percent, nearly 2,000 American children under the age of 19 die each year from cancer, the leading killer of children by disease.