Did you know September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? Most people “go pink” in October to support breast cancer awareness, but few people know about going “gold” to support Childhood Cancer Awareness. Many individuals do not understand the challenges that pediatric researchers, doctors, and patients are facing. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death for children ages 15 and younger. Childhood Cancers are often caused by a change in the child’s DNA, which happens very early in life, even in some cases before the child is born. In 2013, approximately 11,600 children ages 15 and younger will be diagnosed with cancer, and 1,300 children are expected to die of this disease this year alone – as cancer is the second leading cause of death in children after accidents.
Unfortunately, childhood cancer research does not receive the amount of funding necessary to help doctors treat patients and help researchers find a cure. The National Cancer Institute allots 4.9 billion on average during the fiscal year, but critics say that more funding is necessary to put towards childhood cancer. Recently, President Barack Obama proclaimed September 2013 as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. As a result, many foundations such as CURE, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), The American Childhood Cancer Organization, and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation have each been able to share their passion for raising awareness about childhood cancer. Although each of these foundations raises funds differently, all are still being acknowledged throughout media. CURE Childhood Cancer Foundation, has been recognized for its start of “Bank for a Cure,” a partnership with Affinity Bank, which will make a quarterly donation to CURE, based on the cumulative balance of all clients. The Pediatric Cancer Foundation has started “Cut for a Cure,” which so far has raised approximately $450,000 for the organization and other local and nonprofit foundations.
During the month of September, many childhood cancer organizations have been acknowledged by different sources in the media. These efforts have given much-needed visibility to the reality of childhood cancer, and the need for more funding. It is important for people to continue to “Join the Fight,” against pediatric cancer, not only by creating awareness for this cause, but by also making an effort to help. So spread the word, and help change the future for the next generation of children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.