November is a month for remembering in the UK. Many of us have family, friends or acquaintances who are/were serving members of the armed forces and Remembrance Day is an important time for us to mark their courage. Those who fought and also those who gave the ultimate sacrifice are heroes, each in their own way.
One definition of the word hero is “a person who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great”. No arguments about our soldiers, sailors and airmen then, whom we so often hear say, “I was just doing my job.” We thank you for all your service. Sometimes gratitude almost doesn’t seem enough, does it?
For me, there are also other heroes who come in many different shapes and sizes. Some receive honours from our Queen to recognise their service, and rightly so. Others are almost unseen, or unsung heroes. They go about their lives making a huge difference to others, “just” doing their job, whether it’s paid or unpaid, and achieving “great” things: these may be small things that mean the world to someone, or using their skills and expertise for the benefit of others.
And this is where I could easily write you a list of everyone who works alongside children and young people with cancer, supporting them on their rollercoaster ride through appointments, tests, treatment and care. Only I’d be here all day, and you’d stop reading. So let’s just spare a little time to remember them today. They give and give and then give some more. I’ve lost count of the number of times parents have told me about medical professionals and support staff who have made a difference and “achieved great things”. And then, of course, there are the parents themselves…
Finally, a thought for those young people and children with cancer “doing something very brave” every single day. To their families, they are all heroes, even Superheroes. In our long list of people to remember, let’s please remember them too.