By d-mars.com News Provider – Marla Jones is known for her sweet spirit and kind heart. She is also the mother of Khyrstin Andrews aka Kyssi, the angel who “won” her battle against pediatric cancer after being diagnosed multiple times. Marla founded the Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer to keep Kyssi’s legacy and spirit alive, not only on a local and state level, but a global level as well. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and d-mars.com shines the spotlight on Marla and the work she does through her foundation, helping to allow every child with cancer to have a voice.
Kyssi was a very cheerful and energetic six year old, and ask anyone, she always brightened up any room that she walked into. Her smile and personality were genuine and very contagious. Kyssi was diagnosed at the age of three with a rare form of cancer called Wilm’s Tumor (kidney cancer) on May 1, 2012. Like many kids who are diagnosed, she had no prior symptoms or pain. After surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy treatment, she was considered in remission for the first time at the end of 2012. Kyssi had over 200 blood and platelet transfusions combined, and she’s definitely the toughest kid that most people knew, being in remission a second time at the beginning of 2014. On June 7, 2015, at 1:57AM on a Sunday morning, Kyssi “WON” her battle against pediatric cancer, receiving her wings, becoming an angel and resting peacefully with God in heaven.
Though cancer was a cruel component of Kyssi’s childhood, you would never know it, because she would always have a smile on her beautiful face. Anywhere Kyssi went, she was quick to strike a pose and smile for the camera. She was smart beyond her years, polite, and friendly, no matter where she was or who she came into contact with. Kyssi’s slogan was “I’m Gonna Kick Cancer Right in the Butt!”
Although she is dearly missed, Marla is ever so blessed and grateful for all of Kyssi’s remission statuses and the fact that the entire world was blessed to be a part of the daily smiles, fight, strength, and journey of Kyssi. Kyssi’s story did not end on June 7, 2015, and her legacy continues through Marla’s work with the Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. The foundation was founded from Marla’s personal experiences dealing with a child with cancer. The foundation’s mission was designed with every child and their families in mind who are in the fight against pediatric cancer.
The Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer
The Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer is a foundation that provides global awareness and allows every child with cancer to have a voice. Through this organization, Marla uplifts the patients and encourages their families, helping to make life more livable during treatment and hospitalization. Every cancer diagnosis that each child encounters is handled differently. With knowledge, support, prayer, and a strong community, comes hope.
The foundation is striving to:
- Provide global pediatric cancer awareness
- Bring happiness to the children fighting cancer through gifts and visits
- Assist families financially with specific needs that arise due to their child’s diagnosis against pediatric cancer
- Provide emotional support to embattled families
- Provide grief counseling and burial assistance to bereaved families
- Save more children’s lives and allow them to LIVE to celebrate more birthdays
About Childhood Cancer
Although cancer in children is rare, it is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among children in the United States. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children and adolescents are leukemia, brain and other central nervous system tumors, lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, bone cancer, and gonadal (testicular and ovarian) germ cell tumors.
As of January 1, 2010, there were approximately 380,000 survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer (diagnosed at ages 0 to 19 years) alive in the United States. The number of survivors will continue to increase, given that the incidence of childhood cancer has been rising slightly in recent decades and that survival rates overall are improving.
The cancer mortality rate—the number of deaths due to cancer per 100,000 people per year—among children ages 0 to 19 years declined by more than 50 percent from 1975-1977 to 2007-2010 (6). More specifically, the mortality rate was slightly more than 5 per 100,000 children in 1975 and about 2.3 per 100,000 children in 2010. However, despite the overall decrease in mortality, nearly 2,000 children die of cancer each year in the United States, indicating that new advances and continued research to identify effective treatments are required to further reduce childhood cancer mortality.
The causes of most childhood cancers are not known. About 5 percent of all cancers in children are caused by an inherited mutation (a genetic mutation that can be passed from parents to their children). For example, 25 to 30 percent of cases of retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye that develops mainly in children, are caused by an inherited mutation in a gene called RB1. However, retinoblastoma accounts for only about 3 percent of all cancers in children. Inherited mutations associated with certain familial syndromes, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Fanconi anemia syndrome, Noonan syndrome, and von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, also increase the risk of childhood cancer.
- Childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.
- Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S.
- One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old.
- Every year, an estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide.
- Two-thirds of childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment.
- Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group; socioeconomic class; or geographic region.
- In the United States, the incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group, except those over 65 years.
- Childhood cancer is not just one disease. It is made up of a dozen types and countless subtypes.
The Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer was developed from Marla’s personal experiences. The mission of the organization was designed with every child fighting against pediatric cancer and their family in mind. For more on Marla Jones and the Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, please email email@example.com or visit www.kyssiandrewsfoundation.org.