Organizations shine spotlight on the No. 1 disease killing children

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ST. GEORGE — Every day, 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, with more than 40,000 children in active cancer treatment each year. Nearly 1,800 will die of the disease in 2017 despite numerous treatment advances that have improved the outlook for many children.

September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, ushering in events focused on raising public awareness and funds to ultimately end the pediatric disease that can strike any family without warning.

Cancer is the No. 1 disease killing children, 6 months old to young adulthood, and is the leading cause of nonaccidental death in children, according to the Children’s Cancer Institute; but only 3 percent of all cancer research money goes to childhood cancers.

In the United States, currently, the National Cancer Institute states that 1 out of 8 children will not survive their cancer diagnosis.

Kneaders Bakery and Cafe 

During the month of September, Kneaders Bakery and Cafe is running a “Hope Fights Childhood Cancer” campaign in all of its 56 locations. Throughout the month, elephant-shaped sugar cookies and campaign-themed retail items will be sold. All proceeds will be used to benefit the groundbreaking work of Dr. Joshua Schiffman, world-renowned oncologist, hematologist, teen cancer survivor and respected cancer researcher at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Schiffman’s team has been exploring a cancer-fighting elephant protein which helps protect elephants from developing cancer. Research has shown that elephants have 40 of these proteins in their cells, while humans have only two, which might explain why more than 4,600 humans in the U.S. are diagnosed with the disease everyday.

Kneaders Bakery and Cafe located at 199 N. Bluff Street participating in “Hope Fights Childhood Cancer” campaign to raise money for the cause throughout the month of September, St. George, Utah, Sept. 15, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

In St. George, the Kneaders Bakery and Cafe located at 199 N. Bluff Street is owned by Kathy and Lowell Hansen, and they are committed to the cause, Kathy Hansen said.

The store participates in the month-long campaign with “Hope Fights Childhood Cancer” themed items offered on a large display and employees wearing powder-blue campaign T-shirts.

“It really all started on a corporate level with the company’s owners, Gary and Colleen Worthington, when their grandson was diagnosed with cancer and treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute,” Kathy Hansen said.

Kneaders, a Utah-based company, raised $142,000 in 2016. In the first half of this September, more than $120,000 has been raised, Carrie Hill, Kneaders’ public relations manager, said.

Kneaders and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation hope to raise $300,000 throughout the month.

In addition to the elephant cookies and campaign-themed retail items, Kneaders customers will also have the option to donate to the campaign by making a cash donation of any amount they choose or by rounding up their purchase at the register or online – kneaders.com/hope.

One hundred percent of the sugar cookie sales and a portion of the retail items sold online and in-store will be donated to Schiffman and his team at Huntsman Cancer Institute. The institute unveiled the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center in June – a 225,000-square-foot building that will house researchers focusing on cancer that affects children and runs in families.

Amazon’s “Go Gold” Campaign

This month Amazon will deliver 10 million boxes featuring gold ribbons, the international symbol of childhood cancer, empowering customers to join in the fight one box at a time in the company’s month-long campaign to help the American Childhood Cancer Organization, or ACCO. The campaign aims to raise awareness and elevate childhood cancer to a national health priority.

On behalf of each child, Amazon will make donations to pediatric oncology programs across America committed to saving lives.

Amazon also donated $1 million to help ACCO fund initiatives that provide educational, financial and emotional support to children and families in communities across the country.

Utah Childhood Cancer License Plate

These plates aim to help raise awareness of childhood cancer and to help fund childhood cancer research taking place in Utah. The proceeds from the plates will go to the oncology department of Primary Children’s Hospital. For more information, go to the Childhood Cancer License Plate for Utah Facebook page.

“It’s time for us all to help make childhood cancer a Utah Priority,” Krystal Hansen, program founder said.

Summit Athletic Club

Summit Athletic Club, 1973 W. Sunset Boulevard, St. George, is hosting a “High Fitness” fundraiser Sept. 29 starting at 7:30 p.m. The club is asking participants make a $10 donation, and each donation will be entered into a raffle with prizes.

Kneaders will provide snacks for after the workout, and all donations will go to Schiffman’s research for a cure at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.

To sign up, call telephone 435-628-2151.

Cookies for Kids Cancer

Cookies for Kids With Cancer is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt to help fight against pediatric cancer | Photo courtesy of Cookies for Kids with Cancer, St. George News

Another organization involved this month, Cookies for Kids Cancer, is running the “Good Cookies” campaign to honor the 40,000 kids actively battling cancer daily, as well as holding events to raise money for research. The organization provides annual research grants to five of the nation’s leading pediatric cancer centers to advance the development of less toxic, more effective treatments for children battling cancer.

The company offers 10 cookie flavors and every box ordered supports research.

Childhood cancer facts

  • The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer is 6.  
  • Approximately 1 in 8 children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. will not survive, according to the National Cancer Institute.
  • Eighty percent of children diagnosed with cancer are in developing countries.
  • The most common form of childhood cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • In 80 percent of childhood cancer cases, the disease has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it’s discovered.
  • Many of the discoveries and research that help adult cancers were found through pediatric cancer research.
  • There are more than a dozen types of childhood cancer and a hundred subtypes.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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