Our journey with cancer began in January 2018 where, at just 3 1/2, our beautiful, bright and unique little boy Oscar was diagnosed with DIPG, a rare and terminal form of paediatric brain tumour. As we sat in complete disbelief, we were told our son had just a couple of months to a couple of years to live. In that moment, our lives changed irrevocably, never to be the same again.
It was during that time, as we thought of new ways to make Oscar smile, that we decided to contact Melissa. Oscar was a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory and in particular, the character of Bernadette, who he declared with a smile one day was his ‘girlfriend’. While we knew it was a long shot, one night we decided to send Melissa a message publicly in the hopes she might notice it. We went to bed that night not expecting anything, only to wake up to a beautiful message from Melissa herself and, with that first contact, the beginning of a hugely important friendship. From that moment on, Melissa was a true best friend to Oscar, sending him presents, messages, photos and videos. She kept in touch every week and in the final weeks of Oscar’s life, messaged every day, sending videos and words of love and comfort. She remained as true a friend after his passing and it was in that darkest time that she came to us with the most wonderful idea – to start a paediatric cancer charity inspired by Oscar. That was our spark of light in the darkest of days, knowing that he would live on not just in our hearts, but in the wider world helping other children. And so the four of us joined together, as both friends and parents, to help other children and families both in Ireland and America. Nothing can alter our grief and sadness, but also nothing can alter the love and happiness our son gave us. Each and every one of us should aim to leave this world a little better than we found it and that is exactly what Oscar did. The world is a better place for having him in it and through this charity, it can continue to be.
Oscar’s Kids was created in honor of our incredible son who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January 2018, passing just 19 months later in July 2019. Our mission as a charity is guided by the immense joy with which he lived life, his endless bravery and the magic he injected into every day, even the hardest ones. It is also inspired by the kindness and support bestowed upon us by so many charities and individuals during that time. One of the greatest gifts was the beginning of our friendship with Melissa Rauch and her husband Winston which not only brought great happiness to Oscar’s life and created a deep bond between our two families, but also led to us taking this journey together as friends and parents to create an international pediatric cancer charity to benefit and support children on both sides of the Atlantic.