CHOP Cancer Center Kicks Off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September 3, 2013 — This September, the Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia kicks off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in partnership with childhood cancer patients and survivors, their families and the larger community. Throughout September, the Cancer Center at CHOP has created ways to help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, including advocacy, fundraising events and an advertising and social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.
The Cancer Center at CHOP invites the community to help make a difference by registering for the Four Seasons Parkway Run/Walk, sharing an infographic about childhood cancer, and advocating for childhood cancer research. These action steps will help increase funding for pediatric cancer research and support development of new treatments. The goal is for the next generation of children diagnosed with cancer to have an increased chance of surviving their disease, with a decrease in the long-term side effects of treatment.
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15. Although significant progress has been made in the last 50 years, 20 percent of children diagnosed with cancer still die from their disease. In addition, many childhood cancer survivors face life-long side effects impacting their heart, growth and fertility. Children diagnosed with cancer today are often treated with drugs developed more than 30 years ago, which may cure their cancer but also may harm developing, healthy cells.
To develop cures for aggressive childhood cancers, pediatric cancer research needs additional funding. In these challenging economic times, funding allocations from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the research arm of the federal government, is shrinking. Scientists must rely on philanthropy from companies, organizations and individuals to bridge the gap so that today’s discoveries can be translated quickly into a treatment for patients.
Patient Emma and her family know this too well. Treated at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for relapsed leukemia, 7-year-old Emma received a new T Cell Therapy treatment to target her leukemia cells, which kept returning after traditional chemotherapy. For Emma and the many children like her, treatment advances have the ability to offer new hope, but only if funding is available to support the research.
The Cancer Center at CHOP encourages individuals to help Emma and thousands of other children impacted by cancer by:
- Registering for the Four Seasons Philadelphia Parkway Run/Walk on Sunday, September 29 to support pediatric cancer research and survivorship programs at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
- Joining the community of supporters by “Liking” the Cancer Center at CHOP on Facebook, Tweeting @PedCancerCare, and checking out videos featuring the 2013 Parkway Run Patient Ambassadors.
- Sharing an infographic about childhood cancer that explains why we dedicate the month of September to this cause.
- Being an advocate with the help of a Childhood Cancer Advocacy Toolkit created by the Cancer Center at CHOP.
- RSVP’ing to the Power to the Ponytail Party on Saturday, September 21 at the King of Prussia Mall to donate your natural hair to create wigs for kids with cancer, or, get a haircut for a $20 donation.
- Joining our “First Steps Toward Healing” webinar for childhood cancer patients, survivors and their families on September 17 about post-traumatic stress disorder, presented by the Cancer Center at CHOP’s Psycho-Social program.
- Donating to the Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Future funding will enable physician-scientists to find more targeted, less harmful treatments that cure childhood cancers. Help make a difference during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Rachel Salis-Silverman, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6063, Salis@email.chop.edu