The month of September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, there are many campaigns, special events, fundraisers, research initiatives, and other ways to help spread the word and make others aware of childhood cancer.
There are many forms of childhood cancer. Some are blood disorders; others include tumors and rare genetic diseases or familial cancer genetics. But, regardless of cancer, they are all cancers and have a significant impact on not only the children diagnosed but also their families.
September is the month to help promote cutting-edge research into treatment options and other options for children diagnosed with cancer. However, kids can’t fight cancer alone; they need the support of their families and a great medical team that can collaborate with others on their care team to ensure quality care at all stages of the disease.
A cancer diagnosis doesn’t just impact the child; it affects the entire family, communities, and the medical team that surrounds these children. At any given moment, children fighting for their very lives have been diagnosed with cancer.
Some siblings don’t understand what is going on and why their brother or sister has to be away from them for months on end. Some kids miss school with their peers because they are confined to an isolation ward in the hospital.
Thanks to modern technology, many of these siblings and peers can now communicate back and forth with patients and stay connected. In addition, many of these students can stay connected to their classroom and stay up to date on their class work via the Internet.
However, there is more that can be done. There is more that needs to be done here. More research is required to find a cure for every kind of childhood cancer. More treatment options are yet to be discovered, and not all treatment options are available to everyone.
No child should ever be turned away from proper medical treatment for childhood cancer. No child should ever feel alone and isolated because they have childhood cancer. No child should feel scared that they might not live to see another day.
How to observe National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
- Help to encourage and support a family impacted by a childhood cancer diagnosis.
- Raise community awareness by organizing a remembrance walk.
- Celebrate with a childhood cancer survivor.
- Get involved in a childhood cancer fundraiser.
- Volunteer to do some shopping for a family that has a child with cancer.
- Drop off donations at a Ronald McDonald House or American Cancer Organization.
- Donate restaurant gift cards/coupons/vouchers for families dealing with cancer.
- Donate items to the cancer ward at your local hospital for the “poke box.”
- Drop off small items valued from $1 to $5 for siblings and patients from birth to teens.
- Donate gift cards for Amazon/Coffee shops/and music cards for teens.
- Make cute hats for patients.
- Crochet, knit, or make a blanket for kids to encourage them.
- Donate new stuffed animals to a cancer center.
Create Emergency Bags for families that have to stay overnight at the hospital unexpectedly
Emergency kits should include any of the following:
- Small comb or brush
- Hand Sanitizer
- Travel Sized Shampoo, conditioner, etc.
Other items that are appreciated are:
- Small notebooks
- Individually wrapped snacks
- Instant soup packages
- Single serving coffee or tea products
- Hot cocoa
- Hot cider mix
- Small bottles of Tylenol, Excedrin, and Airborne
You can find more on their wish list here.
There are many great ways to help. Even if you don’t think you can handle the stress of knowing that a child’s life hangs in the balance, there are ways that you can help someone who is struggling. Go through a group like American Cancer Organization and lend your talents. You can remain anonymous, and you don’t have to interact with families or patients if you don’t want to.
Remember those who have survived childhood cancer and celebrate with them. Rejoice in the last day of chemo or radiation therapy. Celebrate the little things. One small move on your part can make a significant impact on a child with cancer and their family. As a parent of a childhood cancer survivor, thank you for your support and help. It is so appreciated.
Share on social media with #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth.