Monday, September 8, 2008

Pepper in some hope

OK guys, it's that time of year again. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

gold ribbon Every day 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.
....................when I first read this statistic, I remember thinking: "Only 46 - out of the whole United States? And one of them was my son????" I never seen it coming.

gold ribbon 1 out of every 330 children will be diagnosed before they are 19.
....................our softball league consists of 350 children aged 5-18... Joshua drew the short straw.

gold ribbon 1 in 4 children will not survive...
....................someone once told me that 75% was a good survival rate. Let me ask you this: if you knew that 1 out of every 4 children that got on a roller coaster would not make it off - would you let your child on that ride?

gold ribbon 35,000 children are currently fighting this battle.
....................If it's someone you know and love; one is too many!

gold ribbon Number of new drugs developed for childhood cancer in the past 25 years: ONE

If you guys will remember back, last year we (parents of children with pediatric cancer) flooded the internet asking everyone we know to write their congressman to ask them to support the Childhood Cancer Act. The letters were heard!!!! The bill passed this spring and was signed by the president on July 29 becoming law! This means that $150 million over a five-year period will be allocated for pediatric cancer research!

What a giant step.

Also since last year, in conjunction with the bill Senators Wayne Allard and Hillary Clinton introduced a National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day resolution. “National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day” is September 13, 2008. I dont know what this means yet... I mean how many gold ribbons have you seen on your grocery store shelves? Have you seen all the commercials? All the TV news stories or newspaper interviews? Me either... But I hope this year is the beginning of something great. To quote Senator Clinton, "National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day is an opportunity to reach out to all Americans with the facts about childhood cancer, and this day will be an important symbol of our commitment on all days to find a cure."

Awareness, whether it's one day, one month or an endless tirade, is designed to draw attention to the troubles of childhood victims of cancer. By helping to bolster awareness and coordinate a National effort; families, doctors, friends and whole communities can work to improve the lives of children with cancer and those children who will be diagnosed in the future.

A friend from my childhood cancer support group devised a plan to hand out 46 hand-made gold ribbons every day this month to represent each child that will inevitably be diagnosed with this life-altering illness. I dont know if I can match such numbers, but I will also hand out gold ribbons this month. Wear them proudly to show your support. Everyone knows what the pink ribbon represents - let gold be the new pink!

The girls have devised their own plan against our battle this month. Chili's Restaurant will once again host their annual fight against childhood cancer and for every person who dines at Chili's on September 29 they will donate all proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Also on their website is a place for you to design a pepper. The girls have colored theirs, and they challenge you to make one yourself. If you go to their site, the program is very easy to operate. After you created your pepper click on the "Finish Your Pepper" button. Then on the next page fill out the information and choose the "Save and Share Your Pepper" link. This will then take you to another page with a picture of your completed pepper. On the right-hand sidebar there will be an option to "Add Pepper to Your MySpace Page". Click on this link. It will then show you a box with a whole bunch of gibberish code in it. Highlight all the text, right-click on it and COPY the code. Then visit Joshua's guestbook and PASTE the code into message. Be sure to leave your name and city so we can see who made him a Pepper, the girls will track it on a map for Josh. This should be fun. The girls are excited to see your work! Their goal is to see 46 peppers by the end of the month. Have fun!

...and dont forget to put on your ribbon!!!

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