By Angel MedFlight Contributor
During the month of September you may see friends or co-workers wearing small gold ribbons pinned to their shirts or lapels. These are people who have decided to “Go Gold” during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. They are sporting gold ribbons to raise awareness to this international symbol and the devastating disease it represents.
At Angel MedFlight, we are reminded of childhood cancer quite frequently as we transport children to oncology units all over the United States. We are also actively involved with children who are battling the disease at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. So it is natural for us to stand behind the American Childhood Cancer Organization as they put the spotlight on this disease and the children it affects.
According to the ACCO website, almost 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S. and approximately one quarter of them will not survive the disease. About one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls will develop cancer before their 20th birthday. The organization also says childhood cancers tend to be more aggressive than cancers in adults. For children ages birth to 14 years, leukemia is the most common type of cancer (40%).
National Childhood Awareness Month is used to raise funds to promote research and family support. One of the fundraising efforts the ACCO utilizes is the Go Gold campaign where groups are urged to hold a gold-themed event to raise gold ribbon awareness. Sadly, many do not know what it symbolizes.. Why gold? The ACCO adopted the color because it’s a precious metal and children are precious. The ACCO provides to businesses and organizations many fundraiser ideas and complete instructions on hosting a Go Gold event.
The ACCO has created another fundraiser that is perfect for schools and offices. It’s called PJammin for Kids with Cancer. For a minimum donation of $1.00, each participant can wear his or her PJ’s to work or school. Through this campaign, the non-profit organization calls attention to child cancer patients who “can spend months to years dressed in their PJ’s at home or in the hospital as they undergo treatments including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.”
So whether it’s wearing gold or your pajamas to work, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance hopes that this month, you too get involved in the fight against childhood cancer. More information on hosting Go Gold or PJammin fundraisers can be found on the American Childhood Cancer Organization website.