Sunday, September 21, 2008

Childhood Cancer Awareness month

Last week I posted some thoughts about cancer, just after watching the Stand up 2 Cancer special on t.v. When I posted my thoughts, I didn't realize that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Since so much attention is often given to adults with cancer, I feel it is important that we not forget there are children fighting this disease as well.

Here are some childhood cancer statistics:

  • On the average 12,500 children and teens will be diagnosed with some form of cancer each year in this country.
  • Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.
  • One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20.
  • Although the 5 year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
  • Cancer remains the #1 disease killer of America's children - more than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.
  • In the U.S. almost 3,000 children do not survive cancer each year.
  • Over the past two decades, only ONE new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use.
  • Currently there are between 30-40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S.
  • As a nation, we spend over $14 BILLION per year on the space program, but only $35 MILLION on childhood cancer Research each year.
  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • Research funds are scarce as most money is diverted to well-publicized adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.
  • Right now, this second, somewhere in America, there are 7 children fighting for their lives who won't live through the day.

There is a great way for people to get involved that don't otherwise know how to help. On September 29, Chili's Grill and Bar is donating 100% of their sales to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Take a night off from cooking and cleaning dishes and go to Chili's for dinner. You will be helping a great cause and getting a good meal too!

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