C.S. Mott Children's Hospital kicked off a new campaign this month to "Block Out Cancer" with a month of promotions designed to increase awareness of the need for research into pediatric cancer.
Each year, more than 13,000 parents will learn that their child has cancer. Despite all that's been learned, one out of five children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
"Despite those alarming statistics, a small percentage of research funds granted by the National Institutes of Health are allocated to researching cancer that affects children," says Valerie P. Castle, M.D., chair of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital's Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases and a pediatric oncologist.
"It is the No. 1 cause of death by disease in children. We need to do more to find cures and treatment. This campaign is about letting everyone know that they can be part of the effort to block out cancer."
Getting involved can be as simple as sharing the Block Out Cancer graphic, which features the familiar baby block and the block M. Michigan residents are encouraged to share the graphic on Facebook and Twitter and post links to a new, touching video that features Mott patients and staff in their daily struggle against cancer.
The effort is tied to national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
"Just by spreading the word, you can be a hero. And every gift, no matter the size, helps us advance research and move closer to better treatments or even cures," Castle says.
Donations can be made online at www.mottchildren.org/blockoutcancer and T-shirts featuring the logo can be purchased. The Mission Restaurant Group is also offering an "add to your check" option for donating to Mott.
Each day during September, Mott's Web site will feature a new blog post highlighting important ways our faculty, staff, families, volunteers and donors are doing their part to Block Out Cancer.
Research has made advances in improving cure rates for children's cancers, which have increased from less than 40% to nearly 70%.
Future progress is highly dependent on new biological discoveries leading to the development of drugs specifically designed for pediatric cancers. Funding for those efforts is crucial to continuing progress, says Castle.
"C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is home to the largest, cutting-edge pediatric research effort in the state of Michigan. We believe every child deserves a cure, and that's why we established the Center for Childhood Cancer to help us find different, better ways to cure childhood cancers," says Castle.
"We hope this effort to Block Out Cancer" raises awareness and helps everyone realize they have a role to play in the effort to fight these diseases."
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