If you have been following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you probably have noticed a few posts from me asking who you’re wearing your gold for this month. And posts like this is who I’m wearing my gold for.
What does this mean? Well, Breast Cancer is wear pink. Heart disease is wear red, also AIDS and HIV is associated with red. Childhood Cancer is gold. We wear gold to show our support of children with Cancer. To raise awareness. And I will be raising that awareness with you for the entire month of September because of this one special little girl…
While her story so far seems to be a happy one so many have not been. And lets not let those losses be in vain. We need people to say enough is enough. No more children dying from Cancer.
Facts About Childhood Cancer
First you need to see the facts about Childhood Cancer. This was taken from my friend Renee who is beautiful Kennedy’s mother (pictured above) and a great source of information.
- Every school day 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. This is equivalent to about two classrooms.
- One out of every five children diagnosed WILL die. That’s over 3,000 children every year.
- Right now, there are between 30-40,000 children undergoing treatment for cancer in the United States alone.
- Childhood cancer is the number 1 disease killer of children.
- Three out of every five children diagnosed with cancer will suffer from long term or late onset side effects – one of these can be subsequent cancers.
- When a child or young adult gets cancer, it affects them differently than it does an adult. The chemo and/or radiation they go through can impact puberty, development, learning, and as a result can have greater long term affects.
- The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation and exposure to other cancer-causing agents.)
- On average, one in every four elementary schools has a student with cancer. When I read this I began to put it into perspective based on my town which currently has 6 elementary schools. That means there’s a better than average chance that at least one, but likely more than one elementary school has a student with Cancer.
- On average, every high school in America has two students who are a current or former cancer patient. Again, based on where I live there’s 2 high schools so that means 4 students who have or had Cancer.
- Right now, this second, there are 7 children fighting for their lives who won’t make it through the day.
- This year Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a Cancer of the white blood cells, will be diagnosed in about 3000 US children, making it the most common pediatric Cancer.
Now that’s just some facts and that’s pretty scary. But you can help.
What Can Be Done?
Of course the obvious thing is make a donation. Donate to the American Childhood Cancer Organization. Your donation will go to help support families in need with support and information.
Let us not forget about St. Jude. Make a donation to St. Jude because they are not only researching Cancer, but they are treating it. And we’ve all heard the commercials, no child is turned away because of the family’s inability to pay. That is made possible by donations.
You have to eat, right? Of course you do. Well, every year in September Chilis donates 100% of their profits to St. Jude’s in Memphis. This year that date is September 24th. So go there, eat lunch or dinner (or maybe both lunch and dinner), color a pepper, and make a small donation. We do this every year. Mark that calendar, September 24 eat out at Chilis.
Money isn’t all that is needed. Many children need a bone marrow donation. So sign up on the National Bone Marrow Registry to donate bone marrow. It’s a super simple task. A kit is sent to you, you do a swab of your cheek, and you send it back. I have been on the registry for the last 4 years. I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do. My husband also felt moved to get on the registry when I did. I haven’t been called upon yet, but if I am I will be there.
Make sure you update your information on there too if you move or change your number because they will need to reach you if someone in need is a match.
There are some instances which make you unable to donate bone marrow, but all of those are spelled out for you there. But if you can’t blood is always needed too. Chemo takes a lot out of a child and many times blood transfusions are needed. Of course this doesn’t just help children with Cancer, but what a selfless act to donate blood.
Now that you have done all of that share this with everyone you know. Let everyone know how they can help. Make people aware that Childhood Cancer is out there and it’s killing our children. But we don’t have to sit back and do nothing.
I became involved in this because a child that I know was afflicted with Cancer. Don’t wait until a child you know is afflicted to become passionate about this cause. Advocate for this because you never know when or if Childhood Cancer will touch your family. Every one of those families thought it would never happen to us and then before they knew it they were thrown into a world of blood counts and platelet counts and Chemo and death.
Who will you wear your gold for?