Let's rally for the cause; September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we could think of no better cause to trumpet, as children are the most innocent, undeserving, and heart breaking victims of this terrible disease. On Aug. 31, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed the month of September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Charity fundraisers (some of them pretty fun and creative!), sponsored walks and plenty of celebrity support and publicity are all contributors to raising money during September for childhood cancer, a pervasive decease that attacks up to 175,000 children every year.
It’s now for all of us to promote awareness and gather support for children who are afflicted with cancer and their families, and also to raise funds for research so hopefully one day we’ll be able to cancel National Childhood Cancer Awareness. In the Sacramento area, there are plenty of fun charity walks, fundraisers, and events to assist the fight against childhood cancer, so educate yourself a little here and then get out and get involved!
Important facts about childhood cancer:
-The sad fact is that cancer remains the number one cause of death by disease among children.
-But the good news is that increased awareness, support, medial technology, and advances in science have brought the survival rate from a mere 10 percent only 50 years ago to nearly 90 percent today!
-Despite these encouraging numbers, the number of children diagnosed with cancer every year has not declined over the last 20 years.
-Currently, about 43 children are diagnosed with cancer every day.
-And each year, about 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer.
-The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is only 6 years old.
-More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
-That means there are approximately 375,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the U.S., or 1 in 530 adults who are between the ages of 20 and 39.
-So what are the main forms of childhood cancer?
Children generally suffer from very different types of cancer than adults, though there is some overlap.
Here are the main types of childhood cancers:
30% Leukaemia. Cancers of the bone marrow and blood make up 30% of all childhood cancer diagnosis.
26% Brain and other central nervous system tumors.
6% Neuroblastoma. This violent form of cancer attacks early, with the development of nerve cells in the embryo or fetus.
5% Wilms Tumor. Developing in the kidneys, Wilms Tumor accounts for about 1 out of every 20 cancers in children, yet is still not widely known.
3% and 5% Lymphomas. The 2 main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma (3%), which is sometimes called Hodgkin disease, and and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (5%). Both types can occur in children and adults.
3% Rhadbdomyosarcoma. The most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children.
3% Bone cancers. Primary bone cancers actually develop in the bone, as apposed to metastatic bone cancer, which actually starts somewhere else and spreads to the bones. The two main types of primary bone cancers that occur in children are Osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.
2% Retinoblastoma. Unlikely to be found in a child older than 6 years old, this cancer of the eye accounts usually occurring in children around the age of 2.
Raising awareness and funds:
There are some amazing organizations and charities doing some amazing things to help childhood cancer causes. But no matter how big and established an organization, it’s the small, grassroots movements by regular people that often make a big difference. Here are just a few of our favourite charities that work tirelessly to eradicate cancer in children:
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
The founder of the foundation, Alex, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma before her first birthday and sadly passed away at the age of 8, having raised an amazing $1 million for research into cures for the cancer that took her life at such a young age.
"While bravely battling her own cancer, Alex and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands in her front yard to benefit childhood cancer research. News spread of the remarkable sick child dedicated to helping other sick children. People from all over the world, moved by her story, held their own lemonade stands and donated the proceeds to Alex and her cause."
Alex’s Lemonade stand has a strong celebrity following – from the likes of sports heroes to TV stars, singers and models, in particular Jordin Sparks and Cindy Crawford, who have both felt the effects of cancer taking a life close to them.
Maybe you’ve heard of St. Baldricks recently, a fantastic volunteer organization dedicated to raising money for treatment of childhood cancer. Every year, they raise pledges from friends, family, and co-worker in exchange for the fundraiser to shave his – or even her – hair completely off. This year they are recruiting college students for a ‘College Head-Shaving tournament’ and have already had great success.
The St. Jude’s Research Hospital is on the cutting edge of combatting cancer and treating children with the disease. The great thing is that families with a sick child never receive a bill from St. Jude’s, as care is completely free, as well as travel, housing, and food expenses. This September, St. Jude supporters in 58 communities will join together for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by participating in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.
This is a great non-profit that helps children with cancer cope with the emotional and mental side of illnesss – fear, loneliness, isolation, and even boredom – by providing entertainment and family fun.