September is Childhood Cancer awareness month. It quietly rolls in every September, often getting muffled in the anticipation of the multitude of activities for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. However, slowly and steadily more and more people are determined to make this relatively low key gold ribbon recognition a thing of the past. It is our mission to make people aware that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and that Gold is the ribbon for children. I would be more than happy to make Childhood Cancer Awareness a distant memory.
Because cancer usually strikes children at a young age, their families are often very young as well. There may also be other small children at home to look after. These children may develop behavioral problems, anxiety, or depression. Counseling specifically for siblings is often necessary.The effects on parents are almost always long term. If the child dies, parents deal with difficult and long-lasting grief. If the child lives, parents may still have to care for a child who has mild, moderate or severe physical or emotional late effects.
Did you know childhood cancer is the number one killer in children; more then AIDs, diabetes and cystic fibrosis combined? Did you know that cancer strikes without any warning? Did you know in the USA about 46 children are diagnosed with cancer every day? Did you know 2,300 children in the USA will die of cancer each year? Did you know there are mothers and fathers visiting their child’s grave instead of visiting their child’s room? Did you know there is no cure for cancer? Did you know that when a child with cancer relapses they have a poor prognosis? Did you know that a gold ribbon is the symbol for Childhood cancer?
I hope you never have to hear the words “Your child has cancer”. I hope you never have to hear “The prognosis is not good, there is nothing we can do." I hope you never have to watch your child have a “port” surgically implanted in their chest, be connected to an IV pole while they look at you with fear in their eyes. I hope you never have to watch the “cure” you pray for slowly take away your child’s identity, as they lose their hair, become skeletal, develop mouth sores.I hope you never have to watch a family wandering aimlessly, minutes after their child’s body has been removed. I hope you never understand.