By: Trish Adkins
Every year, an estimated 17,000 children receive the diagnosis of childhood cancer, entering a terrifying and uncertain world of hospital stays, treatments and fear. While survival rates continue to steadily increase, especially for the most common types of leukemia, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States.
Despite this fact, childhood cancer research is consistently and vastly underfunded by the federal government as compared to adult cancers. But, together, we can bridge that gap, raise awareness, and take action to support cutting-edge childhood cancer research.
September is the month that the world puts a spotlight on this urgent, desperate need for safer treatments and cures for childhood cancer. The world goes gold — the color of the awareness ribbon for childhood cancer. Gold was selected when Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was first formally recognized — because children are more precious than gold.
Not sure where to begin to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? Here are five, simple ways you can Go Gold in September and beyond:
1. Take Action: Join The Million Mile
Lace up your sneakers this September and join The Million Mile! This month-long challenge funds researchers so they can find better treatments and more cures for childhood cancer. Participants of all ages log as many active miles (run, walk, bike, swim, just move!) as possible through the month of September while raising money to help kids with cancer. You can set your own mileage goal and log miles anywhere, while working to collectively move a million miles together with supporters all over the world in September.
2. Social Awareness: Share the Facts
During the month of September, share the gold ribbon as well as childhood cancer facts on your social media platforms. We have several social media resources for both The Million Mile and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, available here. You can also follow Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation on Instagram and Facebook and share facts, inspiring stories and awareness ribbons all month long.
You can also share our new, branded GIF stickers to amp up your Instagram story posts while raising childhood cancer awareness! The new stickers include some general lemonade and stand-themed stickers, dedicated SuperSibs stickers and a set to help you Go Gold during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. They can be found in the GIF sticker option on Instagram stories - search for Alexs Lemonade Stand Foundation (no apostrophe) to find our selections.
3. Social Action: Fundraise on Social Media
Take your awareness to the next level by hosting a fundraiser on Facebook or Instagram in September. Setting up a social media fundraiser is quick and easy — and ALSF automatically receives the funds raised from the social media platform at the conclusion of your fundraiser! There are some tips on how to set up a fundraiser on Facebook and Instagram here. Here are some more virtual fundraising ideas.
4. Raise Awareness: Share Your Story
Childhood cancer impacts so many families. Sharing the story of your childhood cancer hero — no matter when they were diagnosed — helps the world understand who the faces are behind the diagnosis. Siblings are impacted, too, and sharing the stories of SuperSibs helps shed light on the way cancer changes everything in a family.
5. Keep It Going: Support Childhood Cancer Awareness All Year Long
Just because September ends does not mean the urgent need for awareness and action ends! Over 1,400 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer each month in the United States. You can get involved all year long and help kids impacted by cancer. In October, register for The End Childhood Cancer Walk/Run, on Saturday, October 29, 2022. Hosted at the Philadelphia Navy Yard’s Marine Parade Grounds, this inspiring 5K (3.1 miles) is filled with spook-tacular fun, all while raising funds for childhood cancer research. You can also participate virtually from your own neighborhood.
Want more ideas on how to get involved? Here are ways everyone can help kids with cancer all year long.