Childhood Cancer Month
Globally, cancer is the #2 cause of death in children aged one to fourteen years, and the #1 killer of all children in developed countries.
More than 300,000 children develop cancer each year around the world, and 240,000 will eventually die. Only 1 in 5 children survive.
More than 85% of children with cancer (90% of children with retinoblastoma) live in developing countries, where access to expert medical care is limited. They receive less than 5% of global childhood cancer funds.
Cancer places huge burdens (psychological, financial, practical and social) on families and often mutilates regular family life. Divorce rates are as high as 80%, financial meltdown is common and risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is high in the affected child, siblings, parents and carers.
Children and their families need different approaches to medical and supportive care than adults, and often for a longer time, especially after treatment has ended but risk of relapse may remain high.
Cancer treatment often has harsher physical effects on children than on adults because their bodies are still growing. These effects can be lifelong, including increased risk of other cancers throughout life. Children who have survived cancer frequently require ongoing specialist care and understanding from the people around them, especially about the invisible legacy of cancer.
There are many types of childhood cancer, and many organizations working hard to bring cure to every child. Childhood cancer generally is uncommon, and it can be very hard to be heard as cancer campaigning focuses primarily on adult care.
Childhood Cancer Month is also known as “Gold Ribbon Month”.
Shining with the vibrant joy of children, the gold ribbon is the official symbol of childhood cancer. It is recognized and promoted by hospitals, organizations, families, friends and caregivers worldwide.
Each gold ribbon brings hope to children and their families who are currently battling childhood cancer, celebrates the victory of each survivor, and cherishes the memory of every precious life lost.
Gold Ribbon Month is celebrated worldwide through a range of activities that:
- raise awareness of childhood cancer and the gold ribbon;
- raise funds to advance research and provide family support
September was first adopted by the USA and Canada to focus attention on childhood cancer issues. Families and organizations in other countries gradually became involved in these activities through Social media, and the month-long campaign was gradually adopted in other countries to increase the impact of speaking with one global voice at the same time each year.
Please support the global fight to bring effective care to all children with cancer. Here are five simple ideas for lifting the gold ribbon high for all children, survivors and their families:
- Display the gold ribbon on your website and social media profile picture during September, with a brief explanation of its significance. Post a link to this website and encourage your friends to get involved.
- Sell gold ribbons to your family, friends and co-workers or at your school to raise awareness and funds. You can order a Gold Ribbons Pack online if wish to sell gold ribbons to benefit World Eye Cancer Hope.
- Contact your local media to share your experience of childhood cancer. Our Fundraiser Pack includes a template letter and media release you can personalize.
- Host a Daisy Bake to raise awareness in your community and raise funds that will bring life-saving care to children with eye cancer in the world’s poorest countries.
- Organize a Golden Glow Day at your school or workplace to promote awareness and raise funds. Charge a nominal fee to people who want to dress down, or invite people to dress up and charge an entry fee to a “best dressed” contest. Award a gold medal to the winner.