Tecumseh mom turns heartbreak into a call for change

The Root Family. (WNWO)

TECUMSEH, Michigan (WNWO) - A Tecumseh, Michigan mother has been working to create change across the country when it comes to battling childhood cancer.

Nicole Root is one of the moms who traveled to D.C. in support of the STAR Act. The Root family was once a family of four boys. Now, there are just three.

“He was spunky, sweet, he was always giving, always thinking of others,” said Nicole Root, whose son died from cancer.

Miles Root was just five-years-old when he started experiencing horrible headaches.

“We went through a lot of complications in the first couple of weeks,” said Nicole.

After many weeks in the hospital, things only got worse.

“He ended up with some brain damage," said Nicole. "In a wheelchair, unable to speak, unable to walk or eat orally."

Nearly two months after the trials and tribulations, Miles was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.

“He went through 30 days of radiation and nine major rounds of chemotherapy,” said Nicole.

Miles was cancer free in 2011 but relapsed in 2013. Cancer took his life in March of 2014. The Root family continued fighting for the STAR Act.

“Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research,” said Nicole.

Nicole and her youngest son traveled to D.C. speaking with leaders about their story. It’s the biggest comprehensive bill to hit Congress, and it was signed into law last Tuesday.

“To provide kids that are surviving better options, so they don’t have as many complications, and to give access to treatments that otherwise weren’t given,” said Nicole.

Nicole said people don’t realize how common childhood cancers are.

“Right now, childhood cancer receives 4% of the entire budget of the NCI,” said Nicole.

It’s supposed to put $30 million, once funded, into childhood cancer research. The STAR Act will also give more options to people like the Root family.

“When you lose a child, you lose a piece of being able to parent that child,” said Nicole. “For me, I’m still fighting for him even though he’s not here.”

Nicole said while in D.C., most were on board. It was more of an opportunity for moms who went to share their experiences and say thank you.

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