Sept. 2, 2014 — The Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia kicks off September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in partnership with childhood cancer patients and survivors, their families and the larger community. This year focuses on the resiliency of kids being treated for cancer. Despite facing the greatest challenge of their lives, children and teens with cancer are still the same funny, outgoing, smart, and caring individuals who are ‘#stillme, still awesome.’ The social media campaign can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In addition to #stillme, the Cancer Center at CHOP has launched a Childhood Cancer Awareness Month website to offer ways to help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research with advocacy initiatives, fundraising and patient events. The Philadelphia community will also see transit advertising featuring the Cancer Center at CHOP’s Patient Ambassadors, who not only are #still me, still awesome, but are also gearing up for this year’s Four Seasons Parkway Run & Walk, the Hospital’s annual largest pediatric cancer research fundraiser to occur on Sept. 28.
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15. Although significant progress has been made in the last 50 years, 20 percent of children diagnosed with cancer still die from their disease. In addition, many childhood cancer survivors face life-long side effects impacting their heart, growth and fertility. Children diagnosed with cancer today are often treated with drugs developed more than 30 years ago, which may cure their cancer but also may harm developing, healthy cells.
To develop cures for aggressive childhood cancers, pediatric cancer research needs additional funding. In these challenging economic times, funding allocations from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the research arm of the federal government, is shrinking. Scientists must rely on philanthropy from companies, organizations and individuals to bridge the gap so that today’s discoveries can be translated quickly into a treatment for patients.
Patient Emma and her family know this too well. Treated at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for relapsed leukemia, 7-year-old Emma received a new T Cell Therapy treatment to target her leukemia cells, which kept returning after traditional chemotherapy. Emma is now cancer-free for more than two years. For Emma and the many children like her, treatment advances have the ability to offer new hope, but only if funding is available to support the research.
The Cancer Center at CHOP encourages individuals to help Emma and thousands of other children impacted by cancer by:
Future funding will enable physician-scientists to find more targeted, less harmful treatments that cure childhood cancers. Help make a difference during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.