There is one thing in the world that all of us can agree shouldn’t exist, and that’s the Child Oncology Ward in any hospital, anywhere. But living with cancer is a reality faced by thousands of children all over the US. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month reminds us that this is an ever-growing epidemic, and that with the combined efforts of us all, there is something that can be done to prevent this horrible disease.
History of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
ACCO, The American Childhood Cancer Association, has been deeply involved with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month since the first one in 1990. President Bush proclaimed October 1990 as National Awareness Month for Children with Cancer, but it was only for that year and that month. In 2012 Barack Obama issued a proclamation that September would be, then and always, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month isn’t just for those children who are fighting this horrible disease, but for those who have lost that fight and their families. Cancer takes over a family’s life when even when it’s an adult patient, when it’s a child everything is overturned. Even with organizations like St. Jude who do everything they can to help children battle the disease and remain in good spirits, life outside the hospital moves on, and medical bills continue to crop up.
Survivors who have lost children to this disease are also in need of support, and the ACCO works hard to provide that as well. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month raises awareness not just of the epidemic that is Childhood Cancer, but at the effects it has on the family that is fighting it right along with the child they love and cherish.
How to celebrate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Start by getting involved, and there are a lot of ways to do so. If all you have is money and no time, make a donation to a local organization that battles Childhood Cancer and supports those suffering through it. Even a few dollars can go a long way to really helping continue research and run support programs that can be what a family needs to get through it, come what may.
If you have more time than money, check and see what you can do to volunteer with these organizations. Drives for money and toys to help the children in the oncology wards and their families to see through high medical bills and other challenges can go a long way, and someone has to be there to collect it. You can even volunteer to go in and spend time brightening the kid’s days by spending time with them!