September is designated for raising awareness of childhood cancer, which is the leading cause of death in children younger than the age of 15, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
President George H.W. Bush signed the first proclamation to name October as National Awareness Month for Childhood Cancer, although the designated month is now September.
The America Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) said 13,000 youths younger than 21 are diagnosed every year with cancer, and about one-fourth will died from the disease.
In Montcalm County, the statistics for children having cancer are not quite as high.
“We only found five children diagnosed with cancer between 2009 and 2011 in Montcalm County,” said Susan Krieger, Spectrum Health/Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital media relations spokeswoman.
According to ACCO, the survival rate for childhood cancer is on the rise.
“Thanks to ongoing advances in research and treatment, the five-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has climbed from less than 50 percent to 80 percent over the past several decades,” states the ACCO website.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s website, while many are doing research to help find a cure for childhood cancer, the programs need more funding to succeed.
Many local organizations are pulling together to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including The Daily News.
During September, The Daily News has been selling gold ribbons for $1 to be displayed in the front business windows to support Childhood Cancer Awareness.
“One hundred percent of the proceeds from these window ribbons will be donated to the B Foundation, based in Belding,” said Amber Rood, team leader and customer solutions specialist at The Daily News.
The B Foundation supports local families in their time of need when a family member is battling cancer, said Rood, noting The Daily News chose the foundation because the funds remain local.
“Last year, I heard the phrase ‘Gold is the new pink,’ and it triggered an emotion that more awareness needs to be raised for childhood cancer,” said Rood, adding she has three friends with children who are battling childhood cancer. “While keeping other awareness campaigns high in priority, I feel it is important for us to talk about childhood cancer.”
Although Childhood Cancer Awareness Month ends on Sunday, The Daily News will be selling gold ribbons until they are gone.