Did you know that in 2010, President Obama declared September “National Childhood Cancer Awareness” Month? Well, he did.
It’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart, and I am a proud Junior Board Member of Solving Kids’ Cancer, which is an awesome organization that directly funds clinical trials for the most untreatable pediatric cancers. They are doing amazing things — I urge you to check them out, and if you’re so inclined, to donate. 100% of their proceeds go directly to clinical trials. WHAT?!? It’s true.
I really think that immunotherapy is going to change the game, and there just isn’t government funding out there for research. I guess in the scheme of things, cancer in kids affects a relatively few number of people (compared to, say, breast cancer or heart disease). But tell that to a parent whose kid just got diagnosed with sarcoma — am I right?!? Oh, sarcoma. And blastoma. And other “omas” that I hope eventually become a thing of the past. Here are some more facts about childhood cancer:
- Childhood cancer is the No. 1 disease killer of America’s children (0-18 years of age) – killing more children than cystic fibrosis, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, birth defects, asthma and AIDS combined.
- Great strides have been made for blood cancers with survival rates now up to 80%. Unfortunately for children with neuroblastoma, sarcomas and brain tumors, the five-year survival rate remains less than 50%. The rates have not changed in decades.
- Less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes toward childhood cancer research and drug companies don’t include childhood cancer in their Research & Development
- Each school day, enough children are diagnosed with cancer to empty two classrooms.
So, what can you do? You can start by donating to SKC! And if you’re in NYC, you can come by the Junior Board’s Happy Hour Friendraiser on 9/24 at O’Lunney’s on 45th Street. If you’re further upstate, you can shop at Adams Fairacre Farms— they are partnering with SKC on a clinical trial and raising money all throughout the month of September. Today they tweeted that they have raised over $11,000 and it’s only September 12!
Get involved! And always be thankful for the healthy children in your life 🙂
Thanks for reading!