September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

I know it’s not easy but please read…

This month you might notice parents of children with cancer “going gold” for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month…

In the four Septembers since William’s diagnosis I can’t recall seeing a single non-parent sport a gold ribbon on their Facebook profile pic and I’ll admit to never having heard of it before we were told the words no parent wants to hear – your child has cancer

Similarly, I’d never really been aware of such a thing as a childhood cancer – surely it’s an old persons disease… isn’t it? I was well aware of testicular, prostate and breast cancer but not childhood leukaemia and certainly not childhood brain tumours…

Ok so this is partly due to the (thankfully) relatively lower number of childhood cancer cases there are compared to adult ones and the (very false) assumption that treatments for adult cancers can be used as effectively on their childhood equivalents.

However, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that cancers of middle aged wealthy people are better funded than those of young people dependent on their parents.

What I do think is that research into childhood cancer needs much more funding – I’m aware of only three drugs EVER having been developed specifically for childhood cancers – the others used on children are those designed for their adult cancer equivalents…

The point, as I alluded to earlier, is that most childhood cancers are completely different from their adult counterparts and the use of adult treatments is, quite simply, crude and often ineffective.

So, what can be done?

Firstly, please don’t be afraid to acknowledge that kids get cancer.

It’s not contagious and I’m not exaggerating – friends I thought I’d have for life wrote me out of their lives after hearing William had a brain tumour, as if his imminent death would upset their own children or they just couldn’t deal with having to speak to us about him. (I’ve also found out who my true friends are)

Secondly, please support childhood cancer charities.

Ok so you might want yourself covered in case you get cancer when you’re older but hey, there’s already a ton of money going into most cancers you’ll be likely to face in comparison to the fractions of percentages that go towards, for example, childhood brain tumours.

Campaigns like ours urgently need more money for clinical trials to happen sooner – they will happen one day but the longer it takes to fund them the more children like William are going to be mutilated by barbaric conventional therapies not even designed for their type of cancer.

Before I go, please think on this… wouldn’t you want to have more than three drugs available should you hear the words your child has…

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