Remember September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Why is it that we need to have a month to raise awareness about a life threatening disease like cancer in children?  How is it that everyone in the United States isn’t clamoring for more childhood research, advocates or financial support for families who are clearly suffering?  
Five years ago I would have said because it hasn’t personally happened to me so although I knew of local families with cancer, helped them at fundraisers, I didn’t feel the full devastating effect until I lost Nick to cancer after a traumatic four months.  That’s not to say I think everyone needs to feel the pain and fear of having a child with cancer, but the awareness needs to occur because there are families losing their homes, since they can’t afford to pay for their child’s medical bills; there are families who don’t have heat in the winter, as they can’t pay for their oil to be replaced; there are families who don’t have the means to get their child to the hospital on a daily basis for life-saving treatments;  and there are families who have to quit a job so that one caregiver can take care of a child or teenager who can no longer take care of himself.  The reasons go on and on.
The Capital Region Childhood Cancer Coalition is a group of local foundations who have been placed in the same situation because of a terrible circumstance–our children were diagnosed with cancer and most of our children have died.  Those who are still battling or are in ‘remission’ fight side effects every day. So we felt that more had to be done based on our personal stories and the stories that we have been told by others.
The coalition’s mission is to
  • Increase public awareness, attention and focus on childhood cancer.
  • Educate, inform and provide solutions on local childhood cancer issues.
  • Support children affected by cancer, their families and the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.
  • Foster collaboration with various childhood cancer foundation, resources and organzations.
Our September goal is to unite local foundations to have daily events to raise $100,000 in support of the new dedicated Pediatric Oncology space at the Children’s Hospital at Albany Med.
This is in addition to our individual foundations’ missions to financially and emotionally support local children with cancer and their families.  It’s a daunting task, but together and with your support we can help children with cancer heal.  Please visit our website at www.crccc.co/ for all the information about upcoming events.
Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation’s largest annual event Nick’s Run to be Healed 5K is Sunday, September 29, so please register today at www.fighttobehealed.org
Nick’s Warrior, Parker Ragone, is being honored at Nick’s Run.  Parker is 4 and has been battling Leukemia since he was 2. Parker loves action heroes, especially the Hulk and Iron Man.
September we wear gold in honor of our children with cancer, who are more valuable than gold.  Raise awareness and save lives.

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