Saturday, September 12, 2009

Childhood Cancer Awareness Day

Many of you know that cancer research has a large spot in my heart. Breast cancer for sure, as so many women in my life have fought the disease. But, all cancer are horrible. All cancers need cures. And pediatric cancers are often overlooked--the littlest patients are often overlooked. But not today. Today they will be our focus.

Be Aware. Care. Save.

Today is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. Did you know? No?

Here are a few facts, taken from the internet,which will hopefully help enlighten you:

1. Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease for children, killing more than asthma, diabetes, pediatric AIDS, congenital anomalies, and cystic fibrosis combined.

2. 46 children are diagnosed with cancer every day in the US.

3. Every year, 35-40,000 children are in treatment for cancer.

4. Less than 3% of all cancer research money goes to all pediatric cancers combined.

5. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month yet most people have never heard of this.

6. Only about 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread to distant sites on the body at diagnosis yet 80% of children are diagnosed with advanced disease.

7. Each year, 3000 children die of cancer in the US- or 1 in 5. That's 20%.

Think about your child's class at school. I'm guessing around 20 kids, right? Now imagine the principal told you four of those children, picked at random, would be dead by the end of the school year, just for showing up to class.

Would you send your kid to school?

Think about your child's football, or baseball, or soccer team. Ten or fifteen kids, right? Imagine three of them will be killed on the court or on the field this fall. Would you let your child play?

I'm always amazed when I hear someone say, "I'm so lucky .... I've been blessed with (insert number here) healthy children and I count my blessings every day."

Guess what? Many families are blessed with healthy kids, too.

Until one of them wakes up one morning with cancer.

Don't think it can't happen to you.

It can.

It does every day for forty-six families in this country alone.

It did for Dillon.

Who was one of the "lucky" ones.

And it did for Tuesday.

Who wasn't.

Don't assume that you're somehow exempt, that it's not your problem, because your children have always been healthy thus far...

But there is something we can do to help ensure luck won't be a deciding factor anymore --

Donate to childhood cancer research.

The best organization I know for this is CURE Childhood Cancer. They are doing their best to help fund research for PEDIATRIC cancers, something the American Cancer Society does very little of.

A few facts about CURE, taken from their website:

"What exactly does CURE fund?

Research into the development of “targeted therapies” – that focus only cancer cells and do not harm surrounding healthy cells. Targeted therapies are critical to ensuring that patients are spared the devastating and often life-threatening “late effects” caused by current conventional therapies

Basic and clinical research

Training of future pediatric oncologists and researchers through the fellowship program at Emory University School of Medicine

Emergency financial assistance for families stricken by childhood cancer

Professional development and continuing education efforts for nurses, family support team members, and others caring for children with cancer

Innovative programs that address the critical and urgent needs of patients and their families, such as meals to inpatient families, outreach at the time of diagnosis, and bereavement support"

Because every child deserves to experience their first day of school. Every child deserves to make goals and plans for the upcoming year ..... to HAVE an upcoming year ....


Please, go to CURE Childood Cancer and donate in awareness of Childhood Cancer Month.

In preparation for the forty-six kids who will be diagnosed TODAY.



***This post was originally written by Kristie at "Not Quite What I had Planned" and then by Mrs. Staff Sergeant at "Married to the Military", whose children are both alive and healthy to this day***

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