Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
Did you know that almost 400 000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year? It can be said as a great number. According to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the survival rates continue to rise every year. More than 80% of children with cancer are cured in high-income nations, where comprehensive services are widely available. On the other hand, in low- and middle-income countries, an estimated 15-45% are cured. Lack of diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, barriers to receiving care, abandonment of treatment, death from toxicity, and increased rates of relapse are all causes of avoidable childhood cancer fatalities in low and mid income countries. “Childhood cancer is the number one killer of children by disease. And while statistics now show that 83% of the almost 16,000 children diagnosed in the US each year ‘survive’, this does NOT necessarily mean that they are cured and go on to lead healthy lives,” says Laura Thrall, CEO of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.
Therefore, every September, childhood cancer organizations all over the world commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was established in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama. The goals of this month are spreading awareness and raising funds for those affected by childhood cancer.The Gold Ribbon is the International Childhood Cancer Awareness Symbol, and gold is the international color for childhood cancer awareness. As we know, gold means honor. At Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we honor the children who are currently fighting cancer, their families, the clinicians and other caregivers who are treating them, the survivors of childhood cancer, the children who have lost their lives to childhood cancer, and the researchers working to conquer childhood cancer.As a society, we should consider supporting children with cancer. As a society, we should consider supporting children with cancer. So, how to get involved in supporting them during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?
Here are few suggestions given by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer :
- Leave Your Mark and #MakeItGoldForKids
We can spread awareness by using #MakeItGoldForKids on our social media post. The hashtag will connect to a tight-knit community of people who are leading the fight against children’s cancer. The more people who know about the how this disease devastates children, the faster we can produce results that save lives Moreover, you are supporting an organization that cares about improving childhood cancer treatments and cures for childhood cancer patients.
- Connect With Others by Sharing Your Story
One of the best ways to raise awareness about children’s cancer is to connect to other people affected by it. If you know a child with cancer, or someone who supports the fight against cancer, why don’t you listen to their stories and share it. There are a lot of motivational stories that you can listen to from a child with cancer. By listening to their stories, you can have a new perspective and it helps them to be happier because there are people who support them.
- Shop with Purpose
On these days, there are a lot of brands that work together with childhood cancer organizations. So, if you want to buy something, you can buy from there. You get what you want, and you have given an indirect donation to the childhood cancer organizations that the brand works with.
- Contribute to Finding a Cure
Contributing to the cure here does not imply that you must conduct cancer research and discover a cure. It means you can give a one-time or recurring donation to help fund research that could save children’s lives. Maybe you can find a local childhood cancer care organization in your country, and donate there. For example, there is Yayasan Onkologi Anak Indonesia in Indonesia. In the US, there is the American Childhood Cancer Organization. And many others across the world.
This month, let’s share awareness to the world about childhood cancer. We give honor to them, children with cancer. It is time to shed light on the realities of childhood cancer, underline the need of life-saving research, and band together to make a difference for kids who have been diagnosed with the disease. Let’s give gold for the fighter, the survivor, and the taken.