Frankie M. Ohio

ChildHood Cancer

In my family, I have seen relatives that have gone through this painful and hard situation. I made the decision to help not only the child but also the parents, because the child goes through a lot right along with the parents. Parents are the ones that really understand the pain. They want to help but don’t know how. They have to rely on others to care for their child. I want people to be aware that this can also happen to anyone of them as this happened to my family.

Dear Future President,

One thing people do not know or choose to ignore is that cancer is the leading cause of death for children. Childhood cancer research receives “less than 1% of government funding from the NCI” ( National Cancer Institute) and “less than 4% from the NIH” (National Institutes of Health). This is sad, I see no type of humanity. Most children with cancer are treated by drugs developed in the 1950’s. 

Why does this have to be true, why are we wasting time? Many innocent lives could have been saved if we, the community, act together to help and try to give donations to these children. 71 years of life have been taken away from these children. Imagine the impact we could create for the children if we at least are aware of what's happening in the real world. Only three new drugs have been approved for use in childhood cancer treatment in 30 years, if you ask for my opinion these children have faced many more challenges than most of our seniors that have lived a lifetime.

Most of the time children are given drugs that were originally intended for adults. The doctors just give smaller amounts. Everyone knows that a child’s body is very different from an adult’s body so these drugs can sometimes do more harm than good. According to the new research done by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) “about 215,000 children worldwide from infants to 14-year-olds are newly diagnosed with childhood cancer each year. “These new numbers definitely mean that the burden of cancer in childhood is larger than what we thought before, which means that greater resources are needed to tackle the burden,” said Dr. Eva Steliarova-Foucher. “These new numbers, which are larger, should also mean that there should be more attention devoted to the issue of childhood cancer, especially in those settings where children with cancer are not diagnosed at all or do not receive adequate care for various reasons,” Dr. Steliarova-Foucher said.

I know and believe with all my heart that we the community can do something about this situation, we can raise awareness by distributing brochures with information about this delicate topic. We could give out wallet cards, magnets, stickers things that would make people remember the truth that is happening in the world that we share. We could bring people together who have a common interest and facilitate their sharing and networking, so they know they are not alone. We the students can do something as well, we can display art that expresses childhood cancer, we could write poetry, public display and most important donate money to this sad but important topic.

 Big or small, every donation counts. Awareness does not have to be extravagant we could go out and get some thin purple ribbon and safety pins to make awareness ribbons. It’s a small act that will get attention, maybe even make a few extras to give out and spread the awareness to others. We could simply spread the word Rome wasn’t built in a day, but awareness can be. We live in a time where the resources to make a difference are right in front of you on your computer. If each person shares one thing it can make an impact on many people.

Thank you, have a great day,

Frankie Martinez Alvarez