September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month so I wanted to share four key facts everyone should know about childhood cancer, as well as some important resources you can review and share.
But first, a little story time.
You know how there are those key memories during your childhood that seem to stay with you?
Maybe it was an extra special outing with your best friend, or the origin story of your favorite family pet, or your first love and subsequent heartbreak.
And among those memories, you were also likely to have been confronted with situations that felt beyond your years.
It could have been a cross-country move, or the divorce of someone’s parents (possibly your own), or even the death of a same-aged friend.
One of those pivotal moments for me was when my friend died from leukemia when we were 12 years old.
I remember the sequence of events leading up to her death like a slideshow:
- Her birthday party where we got to drive cars around a track, laugh together, and enjoy some cake.
- The handwritten letter she sent to me over summer, telling me about her out of town adventures, her new dollhouse.
- In that same letter, she also let me know she wasn’t responding as well to treatment anymore.
- The call my parents received letting us know that she had passed away.
- Sitting in a packed church and processing my loss while I listened to people memorialize a child.
Clearly, I still think of her.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Keep These 4 Facts In Mind
And I wanted to share my own experience knowing someone with pediatric cancer, because the outcomes have improved by leaps and bounds.
Where childhood leukemia was usually a terminal diagnosis when I was 12, that is no longer the case.
To give you a better idea of the current day outlook, here are four key facts about pediatric cancer:
- One in 285 children under age 20 will be diagnosed with cancer each year. (Source: AACR)
- Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children. (Source: Childhood Cancer Cause)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia, brain and other central nervous system tumors, and neuroblastoma are the most common types of cancers in children. (Source: AACR)
- In United States, more than 80% of childhood cancer patients become long-term survivors. (Source: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)
Websites With Information On Childhood Cancer
If you would like to learn more about childhood cancer, here are some websites that provide valuable information and resources.
American Association for Cancer Research
The American Association For Cancer Research was founded in 1907 in Washington, D.C. and is, “the first and largest cancer research organization dedicated to accelerating the conquest of cancer.”
The AACR’s Pediatric Cancer Working Group supports a cross-functional platform for communication and collaboration.
They are also committed to making childhood cancer research a global priority and to ensuring that the necessary funding is dedicated to the cause.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society, “is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.”
The American Cancer Society is broad-based in its initiatives, but very specific in its resources.
Not only do they have a dedicated page to Cancer in Children, but also a thorough guide for parents whose child is recently diagnosed with cancer titled, “If Your Child Has Cancer“.
Children’s Cancer Cause
Originally called The Children’s Cause, Inc, what is now Children’s Cancer Cause was founded to, “take a leadership role in advocacy and training on national issues affecting childhood cancer.”
For example, they strive to engage new advocates who will help make their voices heard about reauthorizing Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access, Research) Act, among other things.
The Children’s Cancer Cause has dedicated this year’s childhood cancer awareness month to elevating the issue of cardiac late effects in childhood cancer survivors.
You can support their efforts by downloading and sharing any one of their social media graphics available here (an example is below).
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital intends to lead, “the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”
If you’re looking for an easy way to support a family at St. Jude’s, consider sending a free card and message.
Honor Pediatric Cancer Awareness With A DIY Awareness Ribbon
If you’re looking for a simple way to show your support for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, consider making an awareness ribbon.
All you need to make an awareness ribbon is some colorful felt, a glun gun, scissors, and a pin backing.
I have listed the necessary supplies below to make it easy.
Please note: If you purchase a product using one of the above links, I may receive a small commission.
Share The Goods: Which Cancer-Focused Charities Do You Support?
Do you know of or donate to a local cancer support organization that would like to be featured on Create To Donate?
Please drop comment (and link) below with their information or use my contact form so that we can connect.