My name is Carla Long and I started this organization with the amazing help of my family and close friends. My cousin April inspired this organization as I felt compelled to help make a change after the loss of my best friend and cousin.
As a child I grew up with a circulating list of 3 best friends. As much as that list changed over the years one friend always remained on the list. My cousin April and I had been best friends since we were in diapers.
When we were about 13 April was diagnosed with hodgkins disease at the children’s hospital of Philadelphia. April took months until she told me she was… sick. She pretended everything was normal and only when she really started to loose her hair and was about to see me again did she give in to tell me. I remember when she finally told me that she had cancer she had kept saying “don’t worry I’ll be okay” and when I started crying on the other side of the phone she said “don’t cry carla, please. Be strong.”
I remember the last time we spoke was the first time I ever said “I love you” My cousin April died of pulmonary fibrosis from the treatment for her hodgkins disease when she was 15 years old. April told me to be strong, while all along she was so strong for all of us.
Today I’m stronger for knowing her and loving her. My strength has led me to make changes in the world. To change the future for some child who will have better treatment for their cancer. We raise money for the children’s hospital of Philadelphia so that they can find a way to make these children better. Every April we walk run party laugh cry and push on. I do it in her memory, her honor, her love, and her strength. We do it to Make Every April Better.