On Monday, January 24th, the world lost Liam Witt – a gentle, inquisitive child who loved life and lived it to its fullest. . .a brave, sweet little boy who endured so much without complaint and inspired his parents each day with courage and love. The son of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founders Gretchen and Larry Witt, Liam will forever be the inspiration for their mission to fund new, less toxic treatments for pediatric cancer.
Twenty-four hours ago at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in New York City, I joined hundreds of friends and family to celebrate the life of Liam. In the time since Liam’s memorial service, nearly 50 families in this country received the very same news the Witts received four years ago: Your child has cancer – the disease that kills more children in this country than any other. Tomorrow, about 50 more will get that same news, and in an instant those families will learn what is impossible to accept – cancer can impact any child. It happens every day.
So, how can we help these families? How can we improve their odds? How can we save more kids?
Yesterday, surrounded by those who knew Liam best, the answer seemed quite clear to me.
Together, we can honor Liam best by continuing the fight against pediatric cancer.
You don’t have to know lion-hearted Gretchen and Larry Witt to be inspired by their example. After learning that Liam had a 30 percent chance of survival, they focused every spare second they had on increasing support for and funding of new, less toxic therapies in an unbelievable effort to save Liam’s life and the lives of so many other innocent children.
Yesterday I made a resolution in Liam’s name. I vowed to honor this amazing child and his valiant family by taking specific action to advance pediatric cancer research.
Today I ask that you join me.
I can’t think of a better way to show support not only to Liam’s family but to all families in the fight against pediatric cancer than to get involved.
Yesterday, I called my resolution the “Prince Liam Pledge.” Today, I ask you to join me by vowing, in Liam’s name, that the 50 kids who get his diagnosis today will have a better outcome than he did. Every child deserves it. And there is arguably no better way to honor the bravest person most of us have ever known.
With sincerest thanks,
ABC News Anchor