September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and today, September 12, 2009, is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. I wanted to have a post written and up this morning, but life is just crazy busy right now and this is the first chance I've had to sit down and write anything.
If you've read my blog before, you already know that cancer is one of my biggest causes, especially when it comes to children. You also probably know that one of my closest friends from childhood recently lost her 3 year old son to Neuroblastoma. This is a friend I just reconnected with last October, just about two weeks after I wrote a post about Childhood Cancer Awareness month. I thought it only appropriate to repost it today, updating it with some current information and some pictures. I didn't include any pictures when I wrote that blog, because I didn't personally know anyone who had a child with cancer. Sadly, that is no longer true.
Here is what I wrote last September:
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, 36 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 28, 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!
You can also visit Chili's any day during September and can contribute to St. Jude in multiple ways:
- Make a donation to St. Jude and receive a Create-A-Pepper chili pepper coloring sheet. Decorated sheets will be displayed in restaurants nationwide throughout September.
- Purchase Create-A-Pepper T-shirts that can be customized with permanent marker.
- Buy a customized Create-A-Pepper key that can be cut for use at home or the office..
- Visit www.createapepper.com to make an online donation.
There are so many other ways you can help. Give up a little bit of your lunch money and donate to Lunch for Life, which raises money for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. Help to spread cheer by volunteering at a local children's hospital. Prepare meals or help provide childcare for families who have children in the hospital or sick at home. Donate blood or bone marrow. Or just simply take the time to help raise awareness. For starters, get your gold on this month. If you don't own any gold clothing, go to your local fabric store and buy some gold ribbon. Spread the word on Twitter or Facebook. Write about cancer on your blog. Just taking the time to do something so simple can help more than you can possibly know. DO IT.
I am hoping to share some stories about children with cancer this month to help raise awareness and put a face to this horrible disease. I already have a couple of stories in the works. If you know anyone who would like to share their story, please send me an email. I am more than willing to talk about these cancer warriors and give them the spotlight they deserve. I only wish I could do more.
**Other sites to visit: