A Gold Ribbon
The other day on Instagram I stumbled across a post from @fit.way (one of the fitness people I follow) and he had a picture of a superhero up. His idea was to get people to post different superheroes each day as a way to bring attention to the fact that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
It worked because I had no idea Childhood Cancer Awareness month even existed. Honestly, nothing scares me more than stories of children suffering. As a mother, as a human, my strongest desire is to avert my eyes and pretend that nothing bad ever happens to kids.
But it does. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 out of 285 children gets diagnosed with cancer. Some of the most common childhood cancers are leukemia, brain tumors, lymphoma and bone cancer. After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause for childhood deaths. That’s the bad, scary news.
But here’s a reason to have hope: Today, more than 80% of kids treated for cancer have a survival rate of 5 years or longer. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the better the survival rate. The problem is that a lot of childhood cancer symptoms can be confused with regular kid bumps and bruises of daily life.
Here is a link to see the symptoms of the most common childhood cancers: Top 5 Pediatric Cancers: The Warning Signs Trust your gut, and if you feel like something isn’t right take your child to the doctor.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer the entire family’s life is turned upside down: Emotionally, physically and financially. If your child has cancer here are some charities that can help:
How Can I Help?
- Donate. Cancer research takes money.
- Offer specific help. If you know someone with a sick child, they are probably overwhelmed. Instead of saying, “How can I help?” try asking, “Would you like me to bring dinner for your family one night?” or “Can I babysit your other kids while you’re at the hospital?”
- Do a charity run.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a great program called Team In Training. They train you for an endurance event (marathon, bike race, triathlon, etc.) and in exchange you raise money for cancer research. The American Cancer Society hosts Relay for Life, where participants raise money for the event and then take turns walking or running around a race track for 24 hours (because cancer never sleeps). There are also numerous 5k, obstacle races and fitness-themed fundraisers all year long. Find one that works for you.
- Raise awareness. Social media is for more than just cat videos (although they’re great too). Tweet, post, comment, share about Childhood Cancer Awareness month – the symbol is a gold ribbon. You never know who is reading and who it may help. Feel free to share this blog post too.
If you are going through this right now, I’m saying a prayer for strength for you and your family and a speedy recovery for your child. If you’re not, count your blessings.
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