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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEPTEMBER IS CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

(Sept 1, 2016 – Barrie, Ontario) September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Here are some startling childhood cancer facts:

  • 1,700 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed annually in Canada

  • 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer in Canada do not survive

  • 60% of survivors face late effects of their treatment, including neurocognitive impairments, sterility, and secondary cancers

  • 40% of total household income was lost by one-quarter of childhood cancer families within 6 months of diagnosis

  • 3% of cancer research funding in Canada is dedicated to childhood cancer

  • Very few new drugs for children with cancer have been developed in the last 30 years and kids are still being treated with decades-old drugs

We need your help in spreading awareness of childhood cancer, which is the leading disease-related cause of death for Canadian children. Awareness = funding = support & research!

We also need help in spreading the word to families that are already affected by childhood cancer that there are free supports available through our charity both in-hospital (at SickKids) and through parent support groups in their home communities throughout Ontario.

Please contact us if you would like to speak with OPACC further about childhood cancer awareness (such as the significance of wearing a gold ribbon), supports offered through our programs, speak with affected families on how a childhood cancer diagnosis has changed their life, see our in-hospital Parent Liaison support program at SickKids in action, and learn more about how your viewers can help with awareness, volunteering, and fundraising efforts.

You can also find more childhood cancer facts and statistics on our website, as well as read about real OPACC families in our “Faces of OPACC” feature, stories such as:

  • Mia – diagnosed with cancer at the tender age of 13 months, who is happily now cancer-free but her mom still struggles with the constant fear that it will come back

  • Jason – who unfortunately passed away this summer at only 9 years old and whose family wants to create a lasting legacy for him by educating others about childhood cancer awareness

  • Gabriel - who was diagnosed at 6 months old with an aggressive form of cancer with only a 35% survival prognosis and is now a thriving pre-schooler, but has lifelong scars from his treatments

  • Ayverie - who was diagnosed with brain cancer at 8 years old and is now nearly one year in remission, and who has faced her cancer with remarkable maturity, humour, and a positive attitude (here is one of her quotes: “You lose your hair...But you can finally feel the breeze...No more thick and annoying curly hair!”)

These are just a few of the stories from our over 900 member families, each who has their own story to tell - some have happy endings, some do not, but all are real, powerful, and inspiring!

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Contact Information:

Sarai Porretta, Administrative Coordinator, 705-828-7965, info@opacc.org

Background

For over 20 years, Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC) – a registered charity which was started by parents, for parents - has been supporting families of children with cancer in Ontario. OPACC is different because we support parents (and families) of children with cancer! While children with cancer deservedly have access to an impressive support network of healthcare professionals, friends and family, and charitable organizations focused on making them better and improving their quality of life, parents are often the "forgotten patient" and experience a high level of stress while juggling the demands of caring for their sick child as well as for the rest of the family and work. A diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating in its impact to the entire family, as they experience fear, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and frequently face financial hardships. OPACC believes in the value of providing parent support and that strong families start with strong parent support.

OPACC's three pillars of support are:

I. In-hospital support through our signature Parent Liaison program (the only one of its kind in Ontario!)

II. Community support through community-based parent support groups and training of new Facilitators

III. Leadership in Advocacy efforts to enable parents to advocate for themselves and to advocate on issues affecting childhood cancer families on a wider Provincial level, such as: E.I. legislation for benefits to Parents of Critically Ill Children, reduced hospital parking rates, representation for childhood cancer survivors, supporting the educational needs of children with cancer, childhood cancer awareness, and more!

Web: www.opacc.org

Facebook: fb.me/OPACC

Twitter: @OpaccOrg

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524 Bayfield Street North
P.O. Box 20005
Barrie, ON L4M 5E9
Canada

info@opacc.org

1-888-290-5496

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