By Marissa Wetterau, Sports Editor
Hearing the phrase “you have Cancer” from a doctor is something that nobody ever wants to hear in their lifetime. The word Cancer evokes many different emotions. Nothing in this world can ever prepare someone for the devastation of finding out that someone they love has been diagnosed with cancer, especially when that person is a child. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by a disease in children that are under the age of 15.
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Every year, an estimated 263,000 new cases of cancer effect children under the age of 20 worldwide … that’s 720 kids affected every day. Roughly 250 kids a day from around the world die from cancer. That adds up to about 91, 250 children lost to the disease every year and one in every 330 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they reach 20.
Over the past 25 years the amount of research and the survival rate for children suffering with cancer have increased dramatically. Despite these successes, the funding for new research necessary to keep these children alive and healthy is minuscule and too dependent on short term grants.
For example, there are approximately 15 children that are diagnosed with cancer for every one child that is diagnosed with pediatric AIDS but the U.S. invests about $595,000 for research per victim of Pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer. Of the billions of dollars spent each year on cancer treatments and research less than a third is contributed to researching pediatric cancer.
The National Cancer Institute’s federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that $4.6 billion, breast cancer received 12 percent, prostate cancer received 7 percent, and all of the 12 major groups of pediatric cancers received less than 3 percent. Even with insurance coverage, a family will have to pay approximately $40,000 per year not including travel or lodging.
Philanthropy seems like the only way to raise money for Pediatric Cancer Research and Awareness. There are many organizations like Alex’s Lemonade, Connor’s Cure, and Max’s Ring of Fire, that are dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help out with pediatric cancer. For more information on pediatric cancer or if you wish to donate, you can visit Connor’s Cure, Max’s Ring of Fire, and Alex’s Lemonade.