|Pastor explains how to cope with the loss of a child to cancer Raleigh, North Carolina – It is the leading cause of death among children 15 and younger. Cancer kills more children in the United States than any other disease – nearly a quarter of a million young lives. The good news is that 5 year survival rate for all childhood cancers has climbed from less than 50 percent to 80 percent over the past several decades.<image001.png>|
“There are so many things that happen in life to which we have no answers,” writes Tyrus Hinton. He knows firsthand how life can change with a single visit to the doctor. The number one stressor in life is the death of a child. Professional counselors refer to “life change units” and none rank so high as a child’s death. For Hinton and his wife, the death of their child to leukemia sent them into a darkness that many couples never recover from.
In his booklet, Baby Steps: I’m Diagnosed, Now What? Hinton unpacks the trauma they went through but more importantly describes what couples can do to lessen the impact. The high stress rate often leads to illness or in worst cases, separation or even divorce. “We learned that day that our baby boy had AML—Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The terms ‘acute’ refers to the tendency of the disease to progress rapidly. Unlike other cancers, AML spread throughout the bloodstream quickly and aggressively.”
Hinton says his faith was pivotal to his survival as were simple steps like learning to listen to medical professionals, self-care, building a support team, journaling, and how to navigate the complexities of treatment. “All of a sudden every emotion imaginable hits you like a ton of bricks. It hit us so hard that some days we could barely move.” But they did survive and he started the Hinton Cares Foundation to help other families who struggle with the loss of a child or a cancer diagnosis. God never promises our lives will be easy or comfortable. What He does promise is that He will be with us through the most painful times of life.