The numbers are staggering.
1 in every 250 kids will have cancer by the time they are 20.
Michael Mugrage was only 15 when he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
Even though he was told he only had a 4% chance to get through one year, Michael fought anyway.
The disease won nine months later, taking his life at 16, in August of 2018.
Now a little over a year later his mom, Jessica is still fighting for Michael’s memory and for the next generation of patients, to make them survivors.
“You go from having a high schooler and these dreams and in a flash of a minute your child has cancer and its not a cancer diagnosis with a positive outcome,” said Jessica Mugrage.
“I would say I’m always crying behind my eyes. Grief is so unimaginable and everyone’s journey is different.”
“You may be smiling and having a great time but at the end of the day you are always thinking about your child and how much you miss them.”
“He never gave up, not even until the very end. He was praying for a miracle and he really wanted better for everyone else.”
“I was really strong. I would say I was a strong mama bear. Then the funeral happens. I came home, everyone left my house that night. and I finally came home and cried.”
“The only thing that keeps me going, doing all these charity things and raising money for cancer is that someone doesn’t end up like me a bereaved parent. It is really the worst thing someone can go through is losing their child.”
“He (Michael) is the motivation, He told me on his deathbed, you need to find a cure for cancer, you need to raise money. Do it through CURE, that’s who I want. that’s who was there for us in the beginning. they came to the hospital. they are doing things and its impacting local kids.”
“They have had only four drugs developed by the FDA in history for childhood cancer. none of which were for Sarcomas like Michaels’s. That’s not acceptable. So if you compare four drugs in however many decades to hundreds of drugs for adults.”
“In the Lowcountry of South Carolina, there are at least a dozen kids I can name since Michael died August 20 of last year that I have met personally who are fighting the disease. 60 families total who’s children have died from cancer.”
“The kids, they don’t want to go to a funeral for their childhood friend. it causes not only incredible grief for the family but for the classmates. We just need to do more.”
Jessica has started “Michael’s Fund 4 a Cure” to try and raise money for Childhood Cancer research.
In addition to accepting donations, she plans on doing a fundraising event soon. It will be a luau, at Michael’s request, to combine some of the things he loves most, Hawaii and helping others.
To make a donation to CURE Child Cancer in Michael’s name: https://curechildhoodcancer.org/about-cure/named-funds/michaels-fund/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelsfund4acure/