By Sierra, Founder of Childhood Cancer Kids

I was diagnosed with cancer when I was five years old.

My mom is a yoga teacher, so I’ve been doing yoga since I was a baby. I was five years old when I was diagnosed back in 2012. I had about a year of treatments, and five more years of tests and appointments. I feel more emotional about having had cancer now, because it still makes me feel like I am different from other kids.

About a year after finishing chemo, I was wondering whether there was a childhood cancer awareness month. I soon found out that there was; it is in September and the color is gold. At the time, I was having a lot of anxiety, and my parents heard it would be good for me to do some charity work. So, after I said someone should do something about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, they agreed that I could do something. To begin with, my sister and I decided to raise awareness, then I had the idea to share what I learned about yoga breathing.

Yoga helped me get through cancer.

If I didn’t have yoga when I was going through cancer, I think I would have been a lot more stressed than I am now. Yoga helped me get through it; it made me feel more relaxed about my treatments. Yoga breathing helped me feel calmer. Yoga didn’t just help me with cancer; it also helps me to not be afraid when I have blood draws and shots. It helps me now too — when I feel stressed about homework, when I act in plays or play sports, and when I feel I have too much to do.

Cancer As a Kid: How It Feels

When you have cancer as a kid, it can make you feel sad, alone, and different. When I raise awareness about Childhood Cancer and honor its month, it makes me feel good; I know I am helping other kids to feel part of a group, to feel less alone. It is important to me to share yoga with them too, because I feel like I am able to help them feel better, calmer, and more peaceful.

I am happy I am a survivor. Now I want to help raise funds to research cures. I also want to study how yoga can help kids feel better during their treatments, and how it can help them deal with the stress after too.

Help more people like Sierra

With your generous support, we can help more childhood cancer survivors like Sierra find peace and relaxation through yoga.