The Childhood Cancer Blog

Your Guide to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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By: Trish Adkins

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September is so important.

The statistics are staggering. Each year, an estimated 15,590 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. And despite this, less than 4% of the federal government’s total funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancers each year. 

For many of us, the day we become aware of childhood cancer is the day a child we love is diagnosed. While knowing a child battling cancer is heartbreaking, the awareness of the need for more research is empowering. 

During September, follow along on the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) blog as we share stories about the challenges children with childhood cancer face, the opportunities to make a difference for these children, and the hope that lives in the research aimed at finding cures. 

Childhood cancer impacts everyone in its radius — and in turn, we all have an opportunity to make a difference. Here are the stories we will share this September:

1.   How a lemonade stand can cure childhood cancer.
Our founder, Alex Scott, believed a lemonade stand could cure childhood cancer. Alex was just 4 years old and battling neuroblastoma when an experimental treatment, called MIBG, made her feel better. Alex emerged from the hospital certain of two things: the treatment worked and that she wanted to host a lemonade stand. The rest is history. 

2.   Our heroes: children battling childhood cancer
Childhood cancer is not one disease, but several. One type, leukemia, accounts for nearly 28% of all childhood cancer diagnoses. The most common type of pediatric leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, has a high survivorship rate, but it is not 100%. Other types of leukemia come with a worse prognosis. 

3.   Supporting families on their quest for cures
From traveling for childhood cancer treatment to struggling through a global pandemic to pay for basic necessities, the cost of childhood cancer has a big price tag. Childhood cancer also depletes families psychologically and emotionally. 

4.    The impact on siblings
Childhood cancer affects the whole family and in the chaos of treatment, siblings are also forced to navigate a scary, shifting world. Siblings, or as we call them at ALSF, SuperSibs, are also some of the greatest advocates for childhood cancer research. 

5.    The Breakthroughs
The selection of the most promising projects through a rigorous scientific review combined with innovative collaboration and the investment in all stages of childhood cancer research is what delivers breakthroughs. Since its inception, ALSF has been integral in accelerating the pace of discovery and cutting down the time it takes for projects to go from bench to bedside, bringing safer treatments to children every single day.

6.    The Miles
Every September, supporters across the country go the distance for kids with childhood cancer by joining together to log their miles, drive awareness and raise money to fund research. You can join The Million Mile at any time in September!

7.    Supporters 
From grandparents to athletes, ALSF supporters all do their part to make a difference. These inspirational people show the world how important it is that we all work together to make a difference and help families as they go through their childhood cancer battle. 

8.    Survivorship
Childhood cancer treatments can leave a lasting impact on children. From short- and long-term physical side effects to the psychological and emotional impact, understanding survivorship and searching for safer treatments are two major areas of focus for childhood cancer researchers. 

9.    Future of Research
 For some childhood cancers, treatment plans have not changed for decades. For some children, there will be no cure. ALSF has a plan to change this — and the plan is the Crazy 8 Initiative — a multimillion dollar research initiative that focuses on the hardest-to-treat cancers and uses cutting-edge technology. 

10.    How to make a difference beyond September 
Childhood cancer happens every day — not just in September. Find out more about how you can make a difference all year long. Can’t wait? Learn more about how you can get involved here. 

This September, you can make a difference for children with cancer. Follow along in the ALSF Blog to learn more, register for The Million Mile or sign up to be part of our One Cup At a Time Club.  

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