September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

29 September 2014
Fun at the tea party
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2014 – a look back on the month.

September has been a busy but exciting month for us

We have proudly been wearing our gold ribbons to increase awareness of childhood cancer. It’s the first time that Childhood Cancer Awareness Month or ‘CCAM’ has been moved from December to September in the UK.

We are pleased to be part of a global effort to highlight this immensely important cause. The UK are now aligned with other countries that are raising awareness during this month, we hope that our combined effort has made a real difference.

Digital campaign

We began our digital campaign asking people to post their #youngerselfie on Facebook and Twitter. Having our online community sharing photos of themselves as children, we highlighted the importance of childhood and how it should be protected. We had lots of fun with it, we hope you did too.

Diagnosis - raising awareness

The theme for the first week was diagnosis and our aim was to raise public awareness of the impact that a child being diagnosed with cancer can have on them and their family.

Our guest blogger Dr Phil posted her diary from when her son was diagnosed with leukaemia. Unfortunately around six children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer every day.

Treatment - investing in research

The theme for the second week was treatment and our aim was to highlight why investing in research to understand and minimise the impact of treatment is important.

We had the pleasure of attending a Golden Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych Hotel in London. There we met Hollie, Luke and Bethan and their families. It was a pleasant surprise for them when four-time Olympic gold medal winner Sir Matthew Pinsent came along to meet them - and brought his Olympic medals with him!

We hold our patient families in high regard and know that a fun afternoon of treats can provide welcome relief to treatment and hospital visits.

An Amazing Day Out at Zippos circus

We also hosted our annual Amazing Day Out at Zippos circus, which was great fun!

The feedback we received from some parents was that it was beneficial to talk to other families about their experience of having a child who was diagnosed with cancer. The highlight of our day was when a family informed us that that their little girl had been clear of cancer for five years and her life was back to normal. 

We are grateful for the generous donations which allowed us to invite children and their families along for such a fantastic experience.

Side effects of treatment

In the third week we concentrated on side effects of treatments and the impact that they can have on young lives.

We featured a patient story video of an inspirational young man, Charlie Williams, who has come through treatment for a brain tumour.

We will continue to fund research into new and more effective treatments so that children and teenagers like Charlie can go through treatment with limited side effects.

Survival - the good news and the bad

In the final week we highlighted the issue of survival rates and mortality. Unfortunately cancer remains the biggest cause of death for children aged between one and 14 in the UK.

Many developments have been made in recent years - leukaemia survival rates have increased from 9 per cent in the 1960s to around 90 per cent in 2014 - but with 1,600 new instances of childhood cancer being diagnosed each year there is still much more to do.

This is why our efforts do not end with CCAM finishing. We will continue to fund research into cures, treatments and provide welfare for families as well as raising awareness.

Thank you for your donations and backing. We are extremely grateful for your continued support in helping Children with Cancer UK.

Read more: Funding research | Supporting families | Raising awareness

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