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Pediatric Cancer. “I don’t like being tricked, and I felt really fooled by organizations like the American Cancer Society,” Libby said. The Society’s Relay for Life gives only one cent on the dollar to pediatric cancer. The federal government allocates less than four percent of its federal research budget to pediatric cancer. And while she praises the important research that organizations like Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital does on behalf of pediatric cancer, she feels that the marketing of “smiling bald children” as seen in their commercials is misleading. “People don’t know that many kids are terminal upon diagnosis, that seven die a day, and that there are long-term side effects for surviving kids,” she said. Libby learned that little girls who undergo radiation to their chest for cancer “are more likely to develop breast cancer than women with the BRCA gene, the one that Angelina Jolie has.” Unravel was born out of a desperate action to do something, reflecting the motto she now lives by: “Don’t just be sorry, do something,” she urged. She finds it tragic and frustrating that in the realm of pediatric cancer you hear parents comforting themselves by saying that at least their child is still alive. “Yet they have to have painful surgery to make their legs grow, or they’re deaf or infertile. Nowhere else in society would we say ‘it’s better than dead,’” she said. Her fury about the misinformation and low funding for pediatric cancer has helped build this non-profit organization that has already surpassed her wildest expectations. In just two and a half years, Unravel has raised approximately 1.7 million dollars that has directly funded cancer research labs and families with children fighting cancer. “These kids surviving cancer is what drives me on a day-to-day basis,” Libby said. Supporting the Research Since many scientists must navigate numerous legal and bureaucratic obstacles to receive grant money, which they can’t always spend the way they want to, Unravel takes that hurdle away. “We give unrestricted funding, no hoops to jump through. Scientists give us abstracts and they can utilize the money however they need,” Libby said. Unravel funds cancer families in the same way, after Libby attempted to help a family with a dying child get money, but met obstacle after obstacle. Those who fundraise through Unravel can choose from one of twelve different types of pediatric cancer researches, and the foundation chooses a lab or a researcher that is focusing on that kind of work. Two of Libby’s favorites are Mama’s Night Out, and Fluttering. Mama’s Night Out takes the idea of women going out to “Eat, shop, dance and just have some quality girl time,” and turns it into an inspirational evening of awareness and fundraising for pediatric cancer. Unravel provides the template and the person power, and the interested group can honor whichever people they like and choose a type of pediatric cancer to fund. “It really engages communities to be active and allows people to showcase their talents,” Libby said. “It allows other families out there who want to have their kids remembered but don’t have a lot of support.” Fluttering is a way to engage kids and the community in the act of raising awareness, too. A flutterer receives a kit of twelve plastic dragonflies on lawn stakes, one of Jennifer’s favorites, and pamphlets about pediatric cancer and Unravel. The flutterer surprises a friend by decorating their yard with the dragonflies for a day, and asking that the person leave a donation and a suggestion for who to flutter next. In 2015, teams raised $190,000, which was donated to a program called Project Violet. blog quickly spread, gaining reader- ship, and offering an unexpected outlet for the usually private woman. “I think the therapy for me was being public; it’s been very cathartic to share it,” Libby said of the blog. Even more meaningful to her were the replies she has received from fellow grieving parents and the families of those who have experienced loss. “The most powerful ones are people who say ‘My mom lost my sister fifteen years ago and I never really understood but now I get it. Your writing helps me understand her pain,’” Libby said. Moreover, writing helped her to be a better mother to her other children. “The blog helped me drain it out so I could be much better for them during the day. I think in the long run we’ll be better for the dirt I’ve drug us through,” she chuckled. Her husband Tony, agreed. His tendency in dealing with the loss was to isolate himself. “At the beginning I had to go away to deal [with feelings], there had to be no one around,” Tony said. Yet he found that his wife’s blog was helpful to him in accessing his emotions. As was his recommendation that they see a couple’s counselor, which they now encourage other grieving families to do. “Grief still catches you off guard but it doesn’t last as long,” Tony said. Although they are finding a place of balance, it’s a challenge to help their young children navigate their feelings, even nearly three years later, and even for Charlotte, who was just a baby when Jennifer died. “Our kids are getting to the point where they want to talk about her more than we do,” Libby said. “For the kids, as their depth and knowledge opens up, sometimes we have to treat it as though she just died all over again.” Surviving Grief The Kranzes consider themselves immensely lucky in terms of how much support they received from their community, friends, and even strangers all around the country. Some form of help is usually better than none, even if it’s not clear what the [Z[HYY˂'Y[H[Y][\‘]\H[Z[K[[]YX[ ܚY]\™Y\[KHܘ[\^H]ܚYY\۸&]]^K]\[\˂'H۸&][[H]\Y] [B\]ۙ\[Y\Y ]\x&\[]X]H\[8'HXBZY HY[Y\[HXX›ۛ[H[[YYX][HY\[Y\&\™XYۛ\ˈYܙو[]\SH8(SԑSS8(SPTSSKUQT MYXHH[\۝[YYۈYH Z^KB