September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! A whole month dedicated to reflecting, listening, and understanding the science and personal stories behind these debilitating diagnoses.
Though rare, childhood cancer remains the number one disease killer of children and adolescents worldwide; approximately 280,000 children ages 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Unlike adult cancer, childhood cancer causes are still unknown and not fully understood, as they are not linked to lifestyle and environmental influences. Childhood cancer is also immensely underfunded, accounting for only 5% of all cancer research funding in Canada (Kids Cancer Care).
Despite this, thanks to the support of millions around the world and the incredible doctors and professionals in the medical field, the 5-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has risen from less than 50% to 80% in the last few decades. A huge accomplishment!
Childhood cancers take many forms and can be quite aggressive and difficult to cure. The purpose of setting aside a whole month for these diseases is to raise awareness and funding to support the specific research of these illnesses and heighten the possibility of discovering cutting-edge treatments. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is observed and recognized by childhood cancer organizations around the world, and is symbolized by a gold ribbon, and often by the phrase “Go Gold”. Schools, organizations, and groups wear gold, sport gold accessories, or illuminate their buildings with gold light in support of the cause.
When did this all start?
Back in 1990, President George Bush initially proclaimed October as National Awareness Month for Children with Cancer. President Barack Obama then proclaimed September 2012 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Since then, it has become a global initiative, raising awareness for childhood cancer. Individuals, media, and organizations are encouraged to help increase awareness of actions we can take to support the fight.
What can you do to show your support?
Take advantage of the month of September and use your voice to organize activities such as a “Gold” day at school or at work. Research and use hashtags and take advantage of social media as a platform to raise awareness and share factual information from reputable organizations. Using the month as an excuse to host exciting events and activities will turn people’s attention to the real issue at hand, raising awareness and educating more people about the importance of this research.
At Tali’s Fund, we are focused on supporting research that targets safe and effective treatments for children suffering from rare brain cancers. If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, please visit our website. If you would like to make a donation in support of Tali’s Fund for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, you can do so directly on our website. Your donation makes a world of difference in the advancement of research for treatment and resources that will help families with young children who are living through the unimaginable. Thank you for your support!