September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This month, we recognize the children and families fighting, and encourage all Houston moms to get involved in the events happening in and around Houston to raise awareness and money for the cause.
It’s not every day you receive a phone call from your parents saying that your brother has been diagnosed with cancer and that he will be having emergency surgery and chemotherapy is to start immediately. It is not every day you get to watch his body fight not only the cancer but the drugs dripping through his system. It is not every day you get to see how his body changes, the weight loss, the gaunt look on his face, the hair loss, or the seven shades of green due to the constant nausea. It is not every day you get to watch someone you love fight so hard to live. It is not every day you get the news that years after remission that his cancer has returned and he is back on the hamster wheel and starting radiation. He is a testament of survival. Not everyone gets the chance to survive.
My brother was not a child at the time but a very young youth, too young, and it took every ounce of his energy to fight. He is someone’s child.
Every day there is someones child being diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer – as it unfolds – like a weed
There are many hardships families experience when a child is diagnosed with cancer. There is the initial panic of what now, what next and absolute fear. The panic of getting treatment, some families need to move cities to find the suitable treatment centers. The financial burden of medical aids, co pays, medications, loss of earnings due to being in hospital for undetermined days, weeks or even months. The impact of the family left home whilst another is caring for the sick child. The emotional burden on the family, the fear of the treatment being unsuccessful, the fear of the child not surviving and the ever looming fear of the cancer returning.
This is why we need loud voices to raise money, platforms that create awareness and to make a change.
Here are some hard facts that you might not be aware of. A sad reality and a very tough pill to swallow.
- 20% of children with cancer in the USA will NOT SURVIVE IT.
- Every 3 minutes a family hears the words that their child is diagnosed with cancer. EVERY 3 MINUTES!!
- Cancer remains the number 1 cause of death by disease for children in the USA.
- Each year in the USA an estimated 15,780 children aged 0-19 are diagnosed.
- 1 in 285 children in the USA will be diagnosed before the age of 20.
- Globally there are more than 300,000 children diagnosed with cancer every year.
These are shocking statistics and as a nation we need to stand up. Globally we need to stand up.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
It is recognized yearly by childhood cancer organizations globally. Gold is the color that represents childhood cancer. We as individuals can also create a movement and not only rely on charities or large companies campaigns.
Use your Gold – cash, cheque, credit card.
- Donate money, as little as $10 a month can make a change in some child’s life. Cancer research – family counseling – emotional assistance – medical bills – hospital costs.
- Other ways we in our individual capacities can do is wear GOLD, wear your gold ribbons, host gold parties and donate proceeds to local charities. Go gold in your schools, do pajama days, sell ribbons, do a donation drill where all kids bring extra pennies. You could even organize a teddy bear drive.
- Donate blood platelets – Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can damage cells in the bone marrow that manufacture blood and platelets. This may lead to low blood counts and lead to possible infections. Blood transfusions of red blood cells or platelets address such problems.
- Create meal trains for those that you know. A dinner prepared for a family with a child going through chemotherapy takes so much pressure off, it is something less to worry about. One small step is one giant leap to a family suffering. (MealTrain.com)
Every little bit helps.
Events happening in and around Houston
7 September – TRC Run Over Cancer – Sugarland
21 September – St. Jude Walk / Run – Houston
21 September – Houston Dynamo vs Orlando – Soccer Kicks Cancer – Houston
5 October – Heart of Gold Luncheon Celebration Fundraiser – Houston
10 November – Walk by Faith 5k/Kids Fun Run – Houston
Cancer does not choose.
Cancer does not happen to just the poor or just the rich. It does not know skin color; it does not know religion, it does not know who is good or bad. Cancer does not happen to “just next door”.
Cancer is not “it won’t happen to me.”
Childhood cancer is on the rise, it is happening every day, it is happening in our neighborhoods, in our homes, to our friends, our families and it’s happening now.
Do your bit.
Please, we would love to hear from you – send us your stories. What ideas do you have to support childhood cancer charities? Have you a story of a superhero child?