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HAPPENINGS: September is Child Cancer Awareness Month

CRESTVIEW — According to the American Cancer Society website, https://bit.ly/3BYu9Gh, "About 10,500 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades …  After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. About 1,190 children under the age of 15 are expected to die from cancer in 2021."

These are sobering statistics. Childhood cancer is not talked about as much as other cancers, but it should be as it affects so many families.

Survivor Katie, left, and her cousin Carys support Childhood Cancer Awareness by placing a sign at Garden Park in Crestview.

There are resources available to childhood cancer patients, but there needs to be a great deal more research and awareness about this horrible disease.

One group that is raising money for childhood cancer research is Rally Foundation, which has offices in Pensacola; Atlanta, Georgia; and Memphis, Tennessee. Their only focus is raising money to fund children's cancer research and according to their website, https://rallyfoundation.org/, $22 million has been donated to research to date.

Furthermore, 93 cents of each dollar goes towards funding this research. To me, that is an impressive statistic as many organizations that raise funds have significantly higher overhead expenses.

The National Institute for Health (NIH) only allocates 4 percent of their budget to childhood cancer research.

Jamie Mitchell, a Community Engagement specialist for Rally Foundation, said, "Children typically get blood, brain, and soft tissue cancers, as opposed to adults who typically get lung, breast or prostate. Different cancers require different research.

"The average age of a child dying of cancer is 8 years old, as opposed to an adult of 65 years. Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death by disease for children. Every school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

"Two thirds of children with cancer will experience late effects from treatment, which will include heart and lung diseases, infertility, learning disabilities and secondary cancers from the treatments used to save their lives. And only 4 percent goes towards better treatments for our children. That is why organizations like Rally Foundation exist, to fill the funding gap."

As a parent, it is a helpless feeling to have your child diagnosed with cancer. It is a blessing to have organizations like Rally Foundation specifically raise money for cancer awareness and research grants.

September fundraisers

There are fundraisers planned for September, such as: #RallyFit 46 challenge, which brings awareness to the fact that 46 children are diagnosed with cancer each day. This is a fitness challenge. One can sign up to participate at the Rally foundation website, https://bit.ly/3A05mBd.

Since cancer, unfortunately, doesn't quit in September, Rally Foundation raises money all year long. Those who wish to contribute may visit its website.

Not only can we, as a community, support groups such as Rally Foundation, we can also pray for all of those children and families who are affected by the scourge of childhood cancer.

Pray for wisdom for the researchers, breakthroughs in research, discernment for the child's medical team and strength for their parents. Most of all, pray for the children affected, that they will be healed physically and emotionally.

Let's all pitch in and eradicate childhood cancer.

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: HAPPENINGS: September is Child Cancer Awareness Month