Riley Speaks

"all i have is a voice" ~ w.h. auden

What’s your child worth – Childhood Cancer awareness month

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September is coming to an end and so is childhood cancer awareness month. As we say goodbye to the month designated for awareness of ALL childhood cancers (don’t worry I’ll get to that in a sec) I can’t help but think these kids are just being left in the rubble of October…which we all know is breast cancer awareness month.

I’m not against it, not at all. I think it’s important that with the amount of people diagnosed with breast cancer that there is a month dedicated to raising awareness and discussing mammograms and ways to stay ahead. What I’m not okay with is that breast cancer is ONE adult cancer. Just one. It’s not a cluster of brain, lung, organ, and blood cancer. It is solely breast cancer. One. Breast cancer gets it’s own month. A whole 31 days – September only has 30…And while I’m thankful that September is childhood cancer awareness month, I’m mad that all the children’s cancers are thrown into one month. I know there are only 12 months in a year, I get that. But it’s not fair to give these children the short end of the stick. These are our children, our future.

Our children are the one thing we claim we protect and fight for. That we want to make this world a better place for them. Yet when I look at statistics for childhood cancer research I find it hard to believe. According the TheTruth365, over 15,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer each year. That’s a lot of our future being forced to grow up too soon. Once diagnosed they are faced with the reality that they must fight, or they will die.

With more than 15,000 children being diagnosed, the expected funding should be a big percentage. Our children are our future right? Well apparently not. It’s at this time I’m going to remind you that the term “Childhood Cancer” includes 16 major types of pediatric cancers and then over 100 sub-types. For this many types you would think they receive more funding than breast cancer, more funding that single adult cancers. When I thought about the funding I thought all childhood cancers would receive AT LEAST 30% if not more. How off was I? Only by a mere 26%

That’s right. Childhood cancers receive a whopping 4% of NCI funding. Are our children really worth 4%…do we really think that 16 types of cancers deserve 4% of funding? Are we that naive?

Yes. And it’s okay to admit that we’re naive. It’s okay that you don’t know these statistics, because that means you haven’t had your life completely shattered by the horror of childhood cancer. And that’s great. But right now, our children need us. We have to be more aware. These children are fighting for their lives and do you know what they do with their spare time? Go to school? Play dolls? Dress up? No. They have to further fight for more funding. If they aren’t fighting the cancer they’re fighting to be heard. No child should have to attend CureFest and ask for more attention, more time. No child should have to bear this weight. But they do. And it’s time we take it off our kids and carry it ourselves.

I urge you if you’ve read this, to please do one thing. It doesn’t cost, and it’s easy. Click >HERE< and press “Like”. TheTruth365 is a dedicated non-profit foundation that uses social media as a way to raise awareness and shed light on the reality of childhood cancer.

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Author: ryebreadspeaks

20. Hopeful for a future free of war.

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