And that saddens me because my nephew, Jake, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma at the age of 4 and received multiple treatments over a 7 year period before he lost his battle at age 11. Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer. Throughout those seven years I learned A LOT about cancer, chemotherapy, blood counts, medications, and just how amazing pediatric cancer nurses and doctors are among so many other things cancer-related. I even learned that a gold ribbon symbolizes support for pediatric cancer and I have one I can pin on my shirt. But I was never made aware that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
I know that April is Daffodil month, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month with a pink ribbon symbol, and November finds mustaches sprouting everywhere changing the face of men's health. I've walked the track and lit candles at a Relay For Life and cheered on those shaving their locks at Cops for Cancer. Each of these events and awareness campaigns make a huge impact and mean a lot to me personally because people I love have been impacted by cancer. So how did I miss September's campaign about something so close to my heart?
I'm not even sure how I became aware that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month actually. I believe it may have popped up somewhere in one of my social media feeds at some point along the way. So now I am informing myself more about it and want to make others aware of it as well.
Did you know...
- pediatric cancers are unique from adult cancers
- pediatric cancers are most often found in the blood, brain or bones
- pediatric cancer is the leading cause of disease related death in children (www.cancer.ca)
- in Canada only 3% of all cancer research funding is directed toward childhood cancer research
- there are 10,000 children in Canada living with cancer
- 1,500 children will be diagnosed with a pediatric cancer this year
- 1 in 5 children will not survive
- survival rates for childhood cancer patients is now over 82%!
- 2 out of 3 survivors live with long term side effects (www.childhoodcancer.ca)
To get started finding out more information and ways to donate you can check out the following websites and videos:
Childhood Cancer Canada Whiteboard Video
SickKids - Childhood Cancer
Maybe you can help me spread the word by sharing posts on social media to make others aware. The children fighting these diseases and their families need all the support we can give them.
I know. I was part of the family team that helped care for Jake when he was home from the hospital. All the prayers and love that were directed toward Jake and his family through a really tough time has never been forgotten. Jake will never be forgotten. He was one of a kind.
1. www.cancer.ca, Childhood Cancer Statistics, 2016 [Sept 21, 2016]
2. www.childhoodcancer.ca, 2016 [Sept 19, 2016]