September is the month designated for Childhood Cancer Awareness, but for the patients and their parents, it isn’t confined to a month. It is a lifetime.
This is a very informative infographic from St. Baldrick’s Foundation concerning childhood cancer stats, money allocated by the government (very little) to the cause, and where your donations may go when you donate to a cancer foundation.
I also urge you to click the graphic to visit St. Baldrick’s website. Thank you.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the color is gold. Pediatric cancer is not a popular subject. It isn’t something we like to discuss or think about. What parents want to imagine their child with cancer? We didn’t want to. Unfortunately, avoiding the thought of it didn’t prevent Robot Boy from developing brain cancer. A PNET-primitive neuroectodermal tumor-to be exact. It’s a long word, but it’s one this mother won’t forget. A PNET is a rare type of brain tumor that carries with it a survival rate of approximately fifty-three percent. My son, RB, was given a forty percent chance of survival.
Brain cancers aren’t the only types of cancer that afflict our youth. According to the National Cancer Institute: “Among the 12 major types of childhood cancers, leukemias (bloodcell cancers) and cancers of the brain and central nervous system account for more than half of the new cases.” (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/childhood) Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for those under the age of nineteen. Even though, pediatric cancer is the least funded and least acknowledged of all cancers. Maybe this is because we don’t want to talk about it. But we aren’t doing the children any favors by avoiding the issue.
Childhood Cancer Awareness is important because pediatric cancer isn’t as widely publicized as other cancers. For this reason, it isn’t funded as much as other cancers, too. It is rare, compared to other types of cancer, but it is just as important. On Sunday September 1, I’m shaving again for Childhood Cancer Awareness. Not my own head this time, but someone else’s. Someone else who is interested in helping to bring recognition to this deadly disease. He asked specifically that RB and I be involved with his selfless act to help bring attention to pediatric cancer. We are more than happy to oblige.
The last time I shaved my head was for a St. Baldrick’s Foundation Event, and though this shave isn’t for any event, you can still visit RB’s St. Baldrick’s Foundation home page (http://stbaldricks.org/teams/robotboy) and make a donation. If you’re wondering why you should donate to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, I’ll let you know that they are the second largest entity that dedicates funds to pediatric cancer research (the U.S. Government is the first). I’ll also explain that they dedicate more funds to research than any other cancer foundation-over eighty percent of each dollar donated. They’re funding research in many areas, including those for cancer treatments that are less harmful than current treatments-those that can leave patients with a variety of disabilities.
According to St. Baldrick’s website, 175,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer each year. A child is diagnosed every three minutes. There isn’t much hope for a cure for some children, but because of improved research and treatments, kids’ overall survival rate has dramatically increased over the last sixty years. (http://www.stbaldricks.org/about-childhood-cancer)
Please share. Please donate if you’re able. Any amount is helpful (and much appreciated!). Childhood Cancer is a vicious, insidious killer. Sadly, it’s one that little is known about.
Presently on the way to have my head shaved. Why would I do this? Well, I’ll explain in case you’re just tuning in.
See, there’s a foundation called St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They collect funds toward pediatric cancer research. They are the only nonprofit that dedicates all funds to ped cancer research, and they are only second to the federal government in funding pediatric cancer.
Why go bald? I’m doing it to raise donations and awareness. But also in solidarity with kids with cancer who lose their hair to chemo and radiation. One of those kids is my own son Robot Boy.
He’s currently-by definiton-in remission. The mass entombed within his brain stem and spinal cord hasn’t changed in five months, and so we are assuming and hoping that what remains is only scar tissue. There is no way to know. All we can do is monitor him, and wait.
Why should you help this cause? Well, if the fact that it helps fund life saving research that can save kids’ lives and hopefully conquer kids’ cancer isn’t enough, then I don’t know what to tell you. But I can tell you that kids’ cancer is the least funded of all cancers, and funds for research are desperately needed.
I can only ask that you consider helping our cause, and please visit our team’s link. You don’t have to shave to help a kid with cancer. You don’t have to donate a lot. Dollars add to more dollars.