MESSAGE FROM ADAM- Committed to Child Cancer Awareness
Childhood cancer needs more attention and funding. I’m sure you have heard the word cancer. Most of you probably know an adult that was diagnosed with cancer. In fact, you probably know that breast cancer awareness is October and the color is pink. But, did you know that September is childhood cancer awareness and the color is gold? You probably had no idea about childhood cancer awareness! Nationally childhood cancer awareness goes unnoticed.
I know a lot about childhood cancer. You see, I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four. I spent 325 nights in the hospital getting 120 rounds of chemotherapy and 18 days of radiation from my neck to my pelvis. The doctors told my parents that I would not live to see kindergarten. I only had a 25% survival rate. We’ve learned a lot about childhood cancer since my diagnosis. It is something that should be heard more throughout the world. Did you know childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents? Every year, an estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide.
Every school day 46 kids are diagnosed with childhood cancer and approximately 2,300 children with cancer will die each year. You see, there is very little federal money that goes to childhood cancer research. Only 4% of the federal budget is given to childhood cancer research.
Only two new drugs have been developed and approved for use in treating childhood cancer over the last 20 years. These statistics and numbers are unacceptable. Why is there not more money given to childhood cancer research and treatment? Because there are more adults that have cancer the pharmaceutical companies make more money from the development of drugs to treat adult cancers. Childhood cancer is not as profitable for companies, so, less time and money is spent finding better treatment and cures for kids with cancer. Yes, it is a business, a money-making business!
This is hard to believe, but, true! I wish I hadn’t experienced childhood cancer personally to be aware. I am alive. I have defied all the odds and I am currently a survivor. I am alive and “cancer-free.“ I, however, deal with cancer on a daily basis. The long-term side effects of chemotherapy and radiation have caused problems with my other organs and health.
This is not unusual for childhood cancer survivors. Two-thirds of childhood cancer patients will have long-lasting chronic conditions from treatment. About 35% of children diagnosed with cancer will die within 30 years of their original diagnosis. Do you see why we need more research and awareness of childhood cancer? Don’t wait until you experience cancer of a child before you help. There are a lot of local and national organizations that raise money for pediatric cancer. These organizations try to do as much as possible for kids fighting cancer. We need more support and effort to find a cure for all kids fighting cancer.
Funding and research are needed for childhood cancer and I think it should be taken more seriously. I believe we can do a better job in helping kids battle and survive cancer. You can help and make a difference by spreading awareness and helping with organizations that raise money for childhood cancer. Everyone can do something to make a difference. Breast cancer survivor rates have increased tremendously over the last few years. Lots of new drugs and treatments have been developed for breast cancer and other adult cancers. Awareness and funding have made the difference in survival rates and cures for adult cancers. Shouldn’t children get the same attention? Help make a difference. Kids lives matter!