By: Adriana Clark
September is the month that brings awareness to those who are facing or have faced childhood cancer, a time for people to focus on the importance of finding the cause, making a prevention plan, seeking possible treatments, and cures. Families often come together during this month to tell inspirational stories of the children who are facing or have faced cancer. Each year, 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and 175,000 are children under the age of 14. Cancer does not always mean that it is just one disease. Instead, it can often be found in different places in the body; the most common type of cancer found in children is leukemia (a blood cancer). Cancer is less likely caused by a child’s environment and lifestyle, but instead can be caused by genetic changes or better known as mutations. A strong family history of cancer may increase a child’s risk. Thanks to therapies, over 80% of the childhood cancer patients have become long-term survivors. Organizations the help bring awareness is the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) who help by shaping policy, supporting research, and providing free education to kids with cancer, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California help by creating a home away from home so they are able to stay close to their hospitalized child without causing any financial toll on the family, and the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation help elevate the mental, social, and emotional wellbeing of families that undergoing cancer treatment volunteers prepare packages filled with board games, books, and toys for different age groups which are then shipped out to hospitals and oncology centers across the world.