You might have heard. September is Childhood Cancer
Awareness Action Month.
Are you wondering why I crossed out Awareness, and put in the word, Action? Take a moment to read Erin Santos’ post, Awareness … What a Bullsh*t Word, published in the Huffington Post last September, and you’ll quickly understand why.
Erin is right. It’s time for Action. Awareness is great, but Action is where the real work begins. The work of saving children’s lives. And that is what September is all about. Raising awareness – and critically needed funds – to save children’s lives. As the old saying goes, “Action speaks louder than words.”
Why Support Childhood Cancer Research Efforts?
Because childhood cancer research is drastically underfunded. Because research can result in better cure rates and improved quality of life. And because research might just save the life of a child you know. Research is the single-most reason my own son is alive today.
Did you know that in the last 20 years, only two cancer medications have been specifically developed for children? Did you also know that federal funding for childhood cancer research has been shrinking the past 10 years? And that last year, less than 5% of federal funds for cancer research was dedicated to child- specific research?
Yet research is tantamount to saving children’s lives. Our children need more cures, less harsh treatments, and improved quality of life. So, without further adieu, here are five fabulous national childhood cancer foundations dedicated to funding life-saving treatments for children diagnosed with cancer. Won’t you consider supporting one today?
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is world renown for it’s innovative and highly successful childhood cancer research programs. Did you also know that no child is denied treatment for any reason at St. Jude, including the inability to pay?
Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation has been funding cutting edge childhood cancer research for over 30 years. These efforts have significantly helped increase survival rates and overall quality of life for children with cancer. See how you can help.
CureSearch For Children’s Cancer Foundation
CureSearch not only funds targeted and innovative children’s cancer research, it also provides invaluable information and tools for those affected by childhood cancer. Helping out is as easy as joining a Curesearch Walk.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation
St. Baldrick’s Foundation helps kids with cancer one shaved bald head at a time. This volunteer-driven charity raises critically needed research funds through it’s signature head-shaving events. So go bald for the cause!
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand began as the vision of childhood cancer patient, Alexandra Scott. Her goal? To eradicate childhood cancer one cup of lemonade at a time. Help Alex reach her goal by getting involved, be it a lemonade stand or with Alex’s Million Miles.
7 Facts About Childhood Cancer
Despite the efforts of these five fabulous foundations and others dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer, it remains the #1 cause of death by disease in children. In fact, more children die from cancer than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS – combined! Here are seven more childhood cancer facts to inspire you to Action not only this September, but at any time of the year.
1. One in 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer by age 20. That’s a lot of kids! Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and across all ethnic groups.
2. More than 40,000 children are in cancer treatment each year. Treatments can take as long as three years, and are often grueling, with long days spent at hospitals.
3. Each year, an estimated 15,700 children will be diagnosed with cancer. That’s 42 children every day. Think about it. Two classrooms of students. Every day.
4. One out of 8 children with cancer will not survive. Despite the high survival rates for specific childhood cancers, the survival rate is much lower for many more rare cancers. About 12% of children with cancer will not live to be adults.
5. 60% of survivors suffer challenging long term side effects. Treatments are harsh on growing bodies, often leaving survivors with life-altering, sometimes life-threatening, and certainly life-long side effects.
6. Childhood Cancer is not one disease. There are 16 major types of childhood cancer, and over 100 subtypes. The causes for most are unknown. And, children’s cancers are not the same as adult cancers. Research is desperately needed.
7. Less than 5% of federal funds are dedicated to childhood cancer research. Despite all these facts, childhood cancer remains drastically underfunded year after year. Our kids deserve more.
Let’s put some Action behind that Awareness, shall we?
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Together, we can make a difference! Whether it is a financial contribution to a leading research organization, donations to your local children’s hospital, volunteering your time with a local childhood cancer support group, or coordinating a volunteer lemonade stand, every effort counts. Your help, no matter the size, will make a difference in the life of a child with cancer.
As they say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And it definitely will take a village to eradicate childhood cancer.
What do you say? Have you known someone directly affected by childhood cancer? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
This post is written in honor and remembrance of the many children, past, present and future, and their families, who will hear those fateful words, Your child has cancer. I hope you never hear those ugly words. I have, and it is one of the most devastating moments a parent can have.
I am grateful to say that our son is a childhood cancer survivor, eight years cancer-free now. There have been many ups and downs over the years, and it hasn’t been easy. However, it is because of research that he is here with us today. If he had been diagnosed just 10 short years before, his chances of survival would have been much lower. Let’s strive to give all kids the same success story.
Learn about other ways you can help the Childhood Cancer cause at last September’s post, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – 5 Ways You Can Help.