Friday, September 15, 2023

F ³: The Most Precious


Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? Until very recently, I didn’t. 

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month began in 2012. President Barack Obama made the first proclamation establishing September as a month to increase awareness of the particular challenges of childhood cancer, the necessity of increased reasearch, and to…”pay tribute to the families, friends, professionals, and communities who lend their strength to children fighting pediatric cancer. May their courage and commitment continue to move us toward new cures, healthier outcomes, and a brighter future for America’s youth.”

The symbol of Childhood Cancer Awareness is a gold ribbon. The theme for this year’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is “Go Gold.”

Although many colors were considered, gold was agreed upon as the ideal choice for childhood cancer awareness because gold is a precious metal, and is therefore the perfect color to reflect the most precious thing in our lives—our children. - - American Childhood Cancer Organization 

Image from American Childhood Cancer Organization 

Cancer is one of those things that most people fear and probably don’t want to think about. Childhood cancer is even more frightening. We see fundraisers for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation or St. Jude’s Research Hospital and we give if we can. Sometimes it’s easier to look away or change the channel and pray a thousand silent prayers that our children will never be affected.

My first deep dive into childhood cancer awareness came in 2020 when CNN Reporter Andrew Kaczynski chronicled the diagnosis and subsequent illness of his daughter Francesca on Twitter. They called her “Beans”. Beans was born in March of 2020 and succumbed to brain cancer in December of that same year.  Since that time her parents have become ongoing fundraisers through Team Beans to fund reasearch into infant brain cancer. 

Often it takes a personal connection to truly light up your brain about something. Francesca Kaczynski became mine. I followed her treatment one tweet at a time. I saw photos of her sweet little face and how it was changed by medications and treatment. I ‘listened’ to her father’s hopes and dreams and hoped right along with him. I mourned her passing. I made time to read his grief-filled words and to follow his determination to make the world better for infants diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

Team Beans raises funds for Dana Farber Cancer Institute

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a time to recognize the children and families affected by childhood cancers and to emphasize the importance of supporting research on these devastating conditions. Since 1947, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital have worked together to care for children with cancer and to improve outcomes through cutting-edge research.

This month, and throughout the year, we honor the children currently battling cancer, the families who love them, the clinicians and other caregivers treating them, the survivors of childhood cancer, the children who lost their lives to childhood cancer, and the researchers working to conquer childhood cancer.

It just so happens that two very important people in my life are survivors of childhood cancer. I won’t say more than that because it’s their story to tell, not mine. I will go out on a limb and say that I am so deeply grateful that they are here today as adults and that the treatment they received enabled them to have a future, go to college, have careers, friends, love, hobbies, dreams…I can’t imagine a world that didn’t have them in it.

If you know of any local observances of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Columbia/HoCo, let me know and I will share here.

Village Green/Town² Comments

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.