Son’s memory keeps family fighting on

To any parent who’s suffered the loss of a child, hearts everywhere go out.

To anyone whose child is currently sick with a terminal illness, we don’t even know where to begin.

The pain and the unimaginable loss must be horrific. No parent should have to watch their child die.

After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14, the American Cancer Society says.

Cancer—that ugly word again—isn’t reserved just for adults and seniors. Its victims can also be young and full of vitality.

In our community, many of us remember the inspiring story of Kevin Cordasco, a Calabasas resident who was diagnosed at the age of 10 with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of the nervous system. Battling the disease for more than six years, Kevin shuffled in and out of multiple hospitals and underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries. If there was a glimmer of hope, it was usually followed by a round of disappointment. A fighter like the world has rarely seen, Kevin died in 2013 at the age of 16.

In 2014, the Cordasco family launched a nonprofit foundation in Kevin’s name as they began a personal mission to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The Something Yellow campaign raises funds to fight childhood cancer and help families cope during their difficult time.

The father, Kevin Cordasco Sr., and mother, Melodie, work tirelessly for the Something Yellow cause, not only to remember their son, but to bring to an end the kind of sorrow that other parents have also had to endure. Yes, theirs is a club marked by eternal sorrow, but also by hope—hope that one day the disease will be conquered. And it will be.

“I don’t know if time heals the loss of a child,” said Cordasco Sr. “There are stages of grief that must be passed through. There is a giant hole that can never be filled, and you have to learn how to exist and find peace and happiness in a world that has been shattered. I think that is the key. For us, helping others seems to be working, as I know that Kevin would have done the same thing if he had survived.”

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a time when the Something Yellow campaign is especially active. At the Sept. 14 Calabasas-Rancho Cucamonga high school football game, the CHS players will honor the heroes of childhood cancer by wearing helmet stickers with the words: “Courage, Strength, Believe.”

On Sept. 29, the organization will host “A Sky Full of Stars” childhood cancer benefit gala at the Warner Center Hilton. It will be a beautiful evening for the community—and all are invited. Said Kevin’s dad: “Seeing the smiles from the children and families that we are helping is very rewarding.”

Words to live by.

For more information, and to sign up or donate, visit SomethingYellow.org.