Monday, August 29, 2011

Get your GOLD on!

As we quickly approach the beginning of September, I want to remind everyone that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Since my visit to St Jude last year, I've been on a mission to make sure that the month of September is plastered in GOLD.  Why you may ask?  Because GOLD is the ribbon color for Childhood Cancer and  last September, on my first trip down to St Jude, one of the biggest childhood cancer hospitals in the U.S., I did not see one gold ribbon, shirt or anything that indicated that anyone knew it was Childhood Cancer Awareness month or that they even had a ribbon color!

Not surprisingly, the next month, October, everything was bathed in pink to show support and promote breast cancer awareness.  Even the flight attendants on the plane were wearing jeans if they had on pink shirts!  Everyone seems to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and if you don't know the color pink everywhere cues you into the fact that something is going on.  Heck, even U of M had a pink ribbon painted on their football!

My goal , as the website Gold: The New Pink explains,"is not to take away from the efforts that have been made to advance the cause of breast cancer awareness or to suggest that breast cancer awareness is not as important, but rather to elevate the cause of childhood cancer to equal stature. So much more funding is given to adult cancers than for childhood cancer. The parents of children stricken by cancer want to level the playing field."

Do you know that:

The National Cancer Institues' federal budget was over $3 billion dollars.  Breast cancer received more than 20% for funding, while all the major groups of childhood cancers received less than 3%.

The American Cancer Society put more than 11% of their funding towards Breast cancer which was identified in the "Society Priority Areas of Research", and  Childhood Cancer which was listed in "Other Research Areas" again received less than 3% of the money.

In the past 20 years the FDA has initially approved only one drug for any childhood cancer • 1/2 of all chemotherapies used for children’s cancers are over 25 years old. • Research and development for new drugs from pharmaceutical companies comprises 60% of funding for adult cancer drugs and close to zero for childhood cancers. • However, the NCI spends 96% of its budget on adult cancers and only 4% of its budget on children’s cancers.

Again, the website Gold: The New Pink explains it well: "As a society, we like to say that “children are our future.” If we truly believe children are our future; why do we sit idly by while more than 12,000 children in the United States are ravaged by this disease each year, and approximately 3,000 die from it each year? Worldwide, 80,000 to 100,000 children die from a form of childhood cancer every year. EVERY YEAR! If we truly believed that children were our future, and our future was being threatened by this evil, would we not do something? We commit billions of dollars each year to protecting our country, and yet do so little to protect the generation to come from a disease that comes silently and kills so many."

So...I'm seeking to do my best to build awareness that CHILDREN GET CANCER TOO and they need funding, research, new treatments,new protocols!!  All this comes first by making people aware and with that awareness comes action and funding.

Here's what I ask of you...three things....

1). Spread the word!! September, the month that many kids go back to school, is also the month to remember the many children who are fighting cancer.  

2). Get your GOLD on!  Wear something gold!  The ribbon color for Childhood Cancer is GOLD because gold is a precious metal and the color symbolizes our precious children. Let's bathe the world in GOLD in September; you can switch to pink for October! 

3).  Continue to pray....many childhood cancer warriors are fighting a battle with few weapons...there are not currently cures for their disease so each day is truly a gift and your prayers buoy the children and their families along.

Have a wonderful Monday and for those of you who need some GOLD to wear, feel free to check out our BLASTnb website where we still have t-shirts and other BLAST items for sale.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought I would let you know that your blog post on Childhood Cancer Awareness month inspired me. I asked the principal of our school in Romulus, MI to support childhood cancer with our monthly jeans day. Know that Metro Charter Academy is going to donate part of the funds raised this Friday, 9/16 to the Children's Cancer Resarch Fund. Thank you for all you do for Lisa and other children with cancer. God bless, Christine Progar