Did you know that cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for children and adolescents? It's a devastating reality. In fact, approximately 1 in every 260 children and adolescents in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer before they turn 20. In 2023, it is estimated that there will be 9,190 new cases of cancer in children under the age of 15 and 5,280 new cases in teenagers aged 15 to 19. As a community, we must work together to raise awareness and support research efforts to end childhood cancer as we know it, for everyone.
Our Childhood Cancer Heros
"Rewinding about five years ago, I was a junior in college starting nursing school. I suddenly started experiencing intense pain all throughout my body. After about a month of doctors’ appointments and emergency room visits, I was told my pain was due to leukemia. I was in utter shock and disbelief. I started my treatment and quickly felt its severe effects. I didn’t look like myself anymore. And in the midst of all this, my mother passed away after her long cancer journey.
As my treatment course progressed, I settled into the mindset of taking things one day at a time and focusing on the challenges I was facing that day. Although my 21st birthday, summer vacations and weekends don’t look how I thought they would in my early 20s, I’ll never forget the creative ways my loved ones joined together to come up with unique ways for me to enjoy myself still. I am blessed to say it has been two years since I finished my treatment, and I am cancer-free. I feel so fortunate to be able to continue to give back to the cancer community through my work as an adult oncology nurse and as a volunteer with ACS.
If I could advise fellow survivors just entering adulthood, it would be to utilize their new outlook on life to push them further towards their goals. Going through cancer gives you a new perspective on how precious life is. Continue to feed off this new power inside of you. With this, there is no end to the possibilities of what you can create and share with the world."