Battle for Funding for Childhood Cancer
Around 13 million people have this disease and most get the support they need, but what about children with cancer? They do not have a voice in anything compared to the adults who have it, leaving them with only a little amount of money for research or funding.
November 3, 2016
Dear Future President,
Congratulations! I know that you are probably very busy considering you were just elected as the president of the United States, and you probably have tons of huge issues to deal with like ISIS, and terrorism, but sometimes the biggest problems could be ones that we do not even think about, like cancer. Around 13 million people have this disease and most get the support they need, but what about children with cancer? They do not have a voice in anything compared to the adults who have it, leaving them with only a little amount of money for research or funding. Children with cancer should be one our top priorities because they are the future generations. Without them, what would we do?
Childhood cancer deserves a lot more funding and attention towards it. Only a certain amount of money goes toward researching for cures and the rest goes to adults who have cancer. Since only a little amount of money goes toward research, many scientists have a difficult time coming up with cures and tools to help children. A lot of kids are starting to notice how unfair the ratio for childhood cancer and adults who have cancer and are trying to speak up about it. Connor Pate, who is now nine years old and used to have cancer, states, "I pray that the government realizes that childhood cancer research needs to be a priority. The government only allocates 4 percent of its funds to find a cure. This is unacceptable. Children matter! They suffer so much while going through treatment” (Pate). If we are able to increase 4 percent up to even 50 percent, things could look so much better for children with cancer and we could have so many more cures, that could also possibly affect the lives of adults with cancer also.
Along with Connor Pate, many other kids agree with him as well. One of my closest friends Bella, is thirteen years old and she has been battling osteosarcoma which is a rare bone cancer that originally started in her right tibia, for about a year now. It makes her whole body weak and she is overwhelmed with nausea. One of the worst things about dealing with cancer is all of the chemotherapy and radiation that she goes through. One of the things that the government used the money for was Immunotherapy. “Immunotherapy refers to any treatment that uses the immune system to fight diseases, including cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells, immunotherapy acts on the cells of the immune system, to help them attack the cancer”(Grady). This was a useful way to use some of the money that is used for research and we need more so we can continue to do great things like this. One of the side effects that is going to effect a lot of children who survive, are that it will lead to premature aging as they are adults. Premature aging is when someone experiences symptoms that someone older than them would have. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Researchers are also examining the role of chemotherapy on premature aging. The concerns have led to efforts to use lower doses of medicine and avoid radiation when possible” (The Wall Street Journal). These are some of the major examples of what is happening now that childhood cancer is not getting enough money. If they continue to only get 4 percent, this could lead to even worse problems for not only them, but also the future generation.
Along with children who have cancer, adults who have had cancer when they are a child are still being affected by it. They are facing completely new health problems like premature aging. This could possibly be a major concern considering it could affect their work habits or even the way they think. They are also more common to problems that older people face like frailty, and serious memory impairment. The Wall Street Journal describes one real life situation like this, “Brandy Wilbanks, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, at 13 and had a relapse at 16, is now showing signs of frailty at age 32. She took an exercise stress test as part of the St. Jude Lifetime study that showed she had fitness levels comparable to a 65-year-old woman”(Amy Dockser Mark). As a result of a limited number of ways to try to cure childhood cancer, the adults who suffered as a kid, are suffering as an adult now.
Lastly, we need to try to find more ways to cure different kinds of childhood cancer. Some of the most common cures are chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, and certain vaccines. Although some of them work well with certain kinds of cancer, they are all painful in some way to the kid who is going through it, whether it be nausea or even when they have to get poked with needles all day. "Since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer compared with hundreds of drugs that have been developed specifically for adults” (The New York Times). Tons of problems are leading back to how we do not have enough cures available to cancer for kids, so we need to put a stop to it now with more funding.
Childhood cancer is a huge problem that we need to address as soon as possible. These kids are the future generation and we should take care of them the best we possibly can. Although we have bigger problems outside of the United States, this is inside, so we need to take care of it once and for all. I don’t think people realize the extent of the problem because this will affect them and us later in life. Thank you for taking this life changing decision into consideration.
Works Cited Page
"Miles" Ventimiglia, Jack. Daily Star-Journal, The (Warrensburg, MO). Daily Star-Journal, The (Warrensburg, MO), 2015, Daily Star-Journal, The (Warrensburg, MO), search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&an=2w64273457636&site=pov-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.
Grady, Denise, and Andrew Pollack. “What Is Immunotherapy? The Basics on These Cancer Treatments.” New York Times (Online), 30 July 2016, sks.sirs.com.
“Families Urge to Continue Childhood Cancer Fight Past September.” The Brunswick News [Brunswick, GA], 1 Oct. 2016, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/newsdetailspage/newsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=news&currpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|a465159518&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=09cb567083d4fa3771e3374fe974f6a8.
Dockser Marcus, Amy. “Childhood Cancer's New Conundrum.” Wall Street Journal, 27 Dec. 2013, p. A.3. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.