If cancer is a word which strikes fear universally as many claim, it is guaranteed to illicit extraordinary fear when it is associated with the children in our lives. It is a diagnosis that changes families forever.
With thousands of children being diagnosed each year, the need for awareness of cancer in children is paramount. CURE Childhood Cancer worked hard throughout September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, as we do every month, to raise awareness of the devastation of childhood cancer and to raise funds for research that will develop treatments which will cure all children with cancer.
Just imagine how hard it would be to receive a diagnosis of cancer during your or your child’s prime growing years. Yet, to know the children who fight cancer – to know how they face their disease and treatments – is to see strength that could move mountains. Those who haven’t been touched by childhood cancer can’t help but be moved and inspired by cancer’s youngest victims – by their bravery, their resilience, their spirits. That’s why we felt the best way to raise awareness during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was through their stories, written by them or their family members.
On September 1st, CURE launched the first annual “CURE Kids Conquer Childhood Cancer One day at a Time” initiative. Each day throughout the month of September, we honored and remembered two special children. Some children are on treatment, some are long term survivors and some children tragically lost their battles with cancer. The children we honored and remembered and whose stories we shared each day with our community represented the 12,700 children diagnosed each year. Each child is unique and each story is different. yet the children fight similar battles against similar vicious diseases, and in telling their individual stories, we hoped to ignite the hearts of those in our community and strengthen the resolve to find cures.
We could not have anticipated what this initiative would mean to us – the staff at CURE- to the families of the children honored and remembered and to our greater community. As we began our days reading the stories of the children honored that day and we took to heart their journeys, we were changed. Employers of some of the parents of the children honored and remembered offered donations to match those raised by the family, on their child’s day. Communities rallied around families as a show of support. Offers of volunteer service poured into the CURE office as strangers to the cause were awakened to the need for their support. yes, the initiative was a tremendous fundraising success, raising $161,000 in just 30 days. But it was so much more!
The page on the calendar has now turned and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month has concluded. yet we are energized to press on. We hope you will continue your walk with us over the course of the other 11 months of the year. Our children need you and so does CURE.