Childhood Cancer Awareness

Get your gold on in September! That is the rallying cry of the Gold Together Champions Northern Ohio fundraising campaign. Virtual and limited in person fundraising is now underway by champions who are each pledging to raise $1,000 during September.

The campaign is even more important in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant decline in fundraising across the board. This puts important research funding in a precarious situation.

The Gold Together movement is a national Relay for Life program that specifically raises funds to support childhood cancer research, support services, and awareness as well as promoting cancer prevention efforts targeting children. The movement was created by childhood brain cancer survivor and Relay for Life volunteer Cole Eicher. The #GoldTogether for childhood cancer team started in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2014, grew to six teams in Florida in 2017 and 12 teams in the southeast in 2018.

Since 2019 #GoldTogether has raised more than $1 million. The funds raised are 100% dedicated to childhood cancer research, support services, and awareness as well as cancer prevention efforts targeting children.

As of March 2020, the American Cancer Society supports 60 multi-year grants totaling $34 million dedicated to childhood cancer.

The Gold Together team also connects and empowers children and families impacted by cancer. It creates a community within the Relay for Life event where children and families can share their stories and learn more about caregiver resources, new research, treatments, and support services that positively impact their lives.

According to information from the American Cancer Society, about 11,050 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades.

Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, 84% of children with cancer now survive five years or more. Overall, this is a huge increase since the mid-1970s, when the 5-year survival rate was about 58%. Still, survival rates can vary a great deal depending on the type of cancer and other factors. After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14.

More information on local involvement is available by contacting karla.batt@cancer.org.

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