Did you know September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? We've all seen the pink stickers for breast cancer awareness, but the color of childhood cancer is gold.
This topic is near and dear to me, as one of my son's friends developed AML Leukemia when the two of them were 3 1/2 years old, just days before her baby brother turned 1. I learned a lot the year she was undergoing round after round of chemotherapy. It's shocking just how prevalent childhood cancer actually is, despite the fact that I very rarely hear about it. I understand why, of course. It's terrifying. No parent wants to think about their child getting cancer. I mean, isn't that just something you have to worry about when you start getting older? Isn't it something your grandparents have to watch out for? That's not even close to being true, of course, but the face of cancer we typically see is older. How common is childhood cancer? Here's a quote from the National Cancer Institute to give you an idea:
In the United States in 2007, approximately 10,400 children under age 15 were diagnosed with cancer and about 1,545 children will die from the disease. Although this makes cancer the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children 1 to 14 years of age, cancer is still relatively rare in this age group. On average, 1 to 2 children develop the disease each year for every 10,000 children in the United States. Source.
I'm not typing this to scare anyone, which is why I posted the above quote. While the number was more than I thought, it does state that it is "relatively rare in this age group," this age group being children 1 to 14. I do think, however, that it is important to shed light on an under-publicized portion of the cancer population. All cancers are not created equal when it comes to research dollars, and there are many worthy charities out there fighting to find answers to why children develop cancer. In addition, there are charities that work to provide housing for the families of child cancer patients (Ronald McDonald House, for instance); programs that help children through their treatments by bringing them toys, activities, wigs, and other special items; places like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which help give children who are suffering something to look forward to.
An all around wonderful charity supporting research and family assistance is Alex's Lemonade Stand.
My son's friend is in remission and is currently in first grade. She's doing wonderfully, thanks to her doctors, her family and many charitable groups who helped along the way. The last two years, we have attended something called The Miracle Party. At this party, children who have, or have had, cancer get to party like rock stars. They're honored in front of everyone for their bravery and strength. It truly is such a phenomenal night.
Now for a quick update on Project 52!
I have scratched out #26: Complete work on Pen Women scholarship and distribute information. Done! As a reminder, this scholarship is open to Southern Colorado women, 18 and up, who are seeking advancement and/or enrichment in areas of art, writing and musical composition. For more information, CLICK HERE.
I am making progress on several other items on my Project 52 list, but most of them are long-term projects. Still, yay! If you'd like more information on Project 52, please click on the logo on my right sidebar.
Lastly, I received two blog awards from Rachel Pudelek at Rachel-Dreamer, Bread Baker, Story Maker. Rachel is a mom and an aspiring author who blogs about writing. Thank you so much, Rachel! I hope you don't mind if I fudge on the rules for now.
I think there were other things I wanted to talk about, but this post is more than long enough, eh?
May you find your Muse.