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September 13, 2015

Capes that Care ›  



Meet Aliza Settecase

Capes that Care for Childhood Cancer Awareness

 At SAMIMAY, we feel that individual and corporate giving make this world a better place.  The reward for offering help is far-reaching as it impacts not only the beneficiary, but also the giver and anyone observing the act.  It betters society as a whole.

In order to be a part of this pay-it-forward movement, and to recognize those serving others in need, we decided to launch a simple giving initiative: Capes that Care.  Periodically, we will choose a charity or fundraiser that inspires greatness through dedication to a cause.  We will choose a person who promotes this greatness through her hard work and compassion. Our program will include a short interview with our guest and, in the month that follows the publication, we will donate 50% of our online sales to her charity or fund. 

As a Thank You for the inspiration through such heroic work, we’ll also present our guest with one of our capes.  Because #EveryHeroNeedsaCape.

 

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This month, to commemorate the National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we are writing about our friend Aliza Settecase.  Aliza, a mom of three from Chicago IL, has been recently fighting a battle for her 1 year old son Lukas, who was diagnosed with leukemia at 10 months of age.  Since this diagnosis, this courageous family has faced multiple hospital admissions, unknown fevers, infections, remission and ongoing chemo.  They also have traveled a spiritual journey in which they have found many supporters as well as inner strength.  Aliza and her husband Joel have been writing about their journey in their inspiring blog at PrayForLukas.  Their friends also have started a go-fund-me page to help with the financial burden of the treatment. . 

Meet Aliza Settecase in our short interview:

 

 

SAMIMAY:  What is the biggest challenge for you as you're supporting your one-year-old Lukas in this fight?

AlizaWow that is a tough question!  There are so many difficult parts to this battle.  Being away from my other two kids, Jakob (3) and Anna Sophia (2) has been very challenging.  It has been rough not having quality time with my husband Joel.  Lukas not being able to talk to me, to tell me what is hurting or how he is feeling, has been a real struggle.  But, the most challenging thing has been trusting in the protocol and the doctors and nurses that handle Lukas' treatment and care.  I can be a control freak, so realizing that I have no control over this situation and the outcome is very hard.  

 

SAMIMAY:  What would you like others to know about a fight with cancer, especially childhood cancer?

AlizaWell, I currently have cancer as well.  I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer when I was pregnant with Lukas and because I wanted to nurse him, I have prolonged my own treatment.  So, I can share that the fight for cancer is different for everyone.  There are the physical challenges of surgeries and treatment (radiation, chemo, radioactive iodine, etc.), the emotional challenges of being away from your family and friends, being cooped up in the hospital, and the fear of not getting better.  Then there is the realization of all that you have missed out on because you have been busy fighting cancer rather than enjoying your life.  The fight against cancer, especially childhood cancer, is intense.  Lukas was diagnosed with infant ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), which is super uncommon.  In fact, only 150 infants get it a year!  Because it is so uncommon, and because babies don't typically respond as well to treatment, they attack the cancer hard & fast.  His treatment occurs over two years and in those two years countless days are spent in and out of the hospital.  Cancer is especially challenging when it’s in kids, because they are growing and developing so much. Therefore, high-dose chemo can have a more detrimental impact on their bodies' development. This can have long-term side effects. Add to all that the reality that they are missing out on so much of their childhood.  

 

SAMIMAY:  On your blog, you share a spiritual journey. What is one of the most encouraging lessons you’ve learnt in the last few months?

AlizaI have learned that, even when life is super hard and seems hopeless, joy can be found. A passage from Scripture that I was constantly reminded of, when Lukas was first diagnosed, was James 1:2-3, which says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." I also have learned that in the midst of sorrow and fear the Lord can draw you near and carry your burdens.  I have been reminded that we can see Jesus through the love and generosity of others.  I have been reminded that this world is temporary, but through faith in Jesus, eternal salvation can be found. It would be easy for me to constantly wonder why this is happening to me, and don't get me wrong, I have wondered that.  But regardless of those haunting questions, I know that I serve a just God who loves me and Lukas, and whatever the outcome I will continue to have joy.

We thank Aliza for leading by example and inspiring so many through showing so much strength and compassion in this challenging situation.

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Thank YOU for reading!  Thank you for considering making a donation!  Through October 15th, SAMIMAY will donate 50% of all online revenue to Aliza’s fund.  

We humbly ask everyone for prayers for Lukas, Aliza, their whole family, and team of doctors and nurses that work with them.

 

To learn more about childhood cancer in the US and other inspiriting stories, please see the below links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqueline-dooley/childhood-cancer-dont-loo_b_8067188.html

 http://www.upworthy.com/one-mom-asked-for-donations-to-fight-childhood-cancer-20-years-later-95-million-and-counting?c=ufb1

 

Thank you,

SAMIMAY Team