Why I Failed CureFest

I so wanted to come to this place after a weekend of awareness and activism with dozens of photos of the events that unfolded and new friends we’d made. I wanted to feel I’d made a difference…raised my voice. I wanted to make Kate proud – so many of these organizations there are just overwhelmingly awesome with what they accomplish and how they raise awareness.

But. I didn’t.

I failed at CureFest this year.

It was an awesome experience, but I (literally) would not have been able to do it without my family & friends. It was HARD for me this year…much harder than I could’ve imagined. Last year was our first time and I had a speech prepared; I think that’s ALL I prepared for and the rest was a blur. Time may have passed, but the emotions that come with a weekend like this are still and always ever-present. The record-breaking number of submissions for the Tribute Wall, where we honor our fighters and our angels. The overwhelming attendance of the bereaved families breakfast but knowing how many families weren’t even there. The kids still fighting…those who are in treatment and those finishing treatment…and feeling like collectively, we are begging the public to care and feeling like we fall on deaf ears…and knowing not one single bit of it changes Kate’s outcome. Our lives were shattered. Our lives will still be shattered. Forever.

Truth is, I want to carry my baby. Not a sign.

I didn’t take but one photo. I didn’t walk around to say hello to the other foundations or seek out the families and kids I’d so badly wanted to meet. I stayed put. I hid in our tent, almost turning my back at times because I just couldn’t hand it. I want people to know Kate. But I want them to know her in real life. I want people to understand who she IS. Not who she was because I don’t want there to be a past tense.

I want my baby. Not a booth.

I may have failed at CureFest this year, but the family & volunteers who woke early, lugged our stuff, sweat themselves silly in our tent all day in the humid DC weather most certainly did not. They chatted with families, passed out Random Acts of Kateness and shared our story with love. There were bubbles, which Kate would have loved, and dinosaurs, which Kate would have REALLY loved. We were overwhelmed by the love of others who came to tell us how Kate touched their lives.

So then, why did I fail at CureFest this year?

Because I want Kate. Not her Cause.

4 thoughts on “Why I Failed CureFest”

  1. No one faults you for these feelings. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and it’s not fair that pediatric treatment is such a low priority. The world will always miss Kate.

  2. Sit, be still, rest…you have worked so very hard to climb yourself out of this nightmare. It is time to rest, and even though we don’t understand, we know that God has a larger plan in all of this. I pray for peace and joy to return to your life, but in the meantime, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

  3. That last line. I feel the same way, I want my Jackson back, not his cause. Thank you for saying what I feel. I have not been to cure fest but I am having similar feelings about September I want to spread awareness but it just hurts so much. Sending you so much love.

  4. You haven’t failed, you are walking around with a stone in your pocket. Sometimes that stone hits your leg and creates excruciating pain, other times it rubs as a reminder. Sometimes it hits the person next to you, the feel it, it’s u comfortable , but in true fashion, we are supposed to be polite and ignore what makes us u comfortable.

    Your comments truly connected with a parent who’s child is on permanent chemo… I’ve stared digging myself a hole to hide in. People don’t want to hear about the worse case scenarios…

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