Childhood cancer does not only strike families of brave children and heroic parents. In the United States, the popular press has responded to peoples terror of cancer by churning out story after story of people who faced the diagnosis with almost superhuman hope and strength. Families rally round, the community cheers, and human will triumphs over the evil of cancer. This simply is not always the case. Cancer strikes all types of families: single-parent families, those with two parents in the home; financially secure families; those with no insurance; families with strong community ties; those who have just moved to a new community; families of every size, type, and color. Most parents do find unexpected reserves of strength to deal with the crisis. They survive the years of stress and pain, emerging different and sometimes stronger. Still, expectations of heroism are not appropriate.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.