Gold ribbons at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak bring awareness to childhood cancer

‘They’re going through something so traumatic’

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the disease doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

This year alone, it’s estimated that one in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer. At Beaumont Royal Oak there has been a tradition growing over the last seven years.

If you go to the hospital, you’ll notice hundreds of gold ribbons. If you wonder why they’re there, that’s the point. They’re there to start a conversation.

“People know a lot about pink, but they don’t know a lot about gold,” Beaumont Children’s Nurse Navigator Lisa Muma said.

The bright, bold gold color is for childhood cancer. On Sunday, cancer survivors, loved ones, and Beaumont staff members tied hundreds of gold ribbons across the Royal Oak campus.

Kaitlyn Jabczenski’s little sister has cancer.

“It affects so many people and so many little kids. They don’t get the opportunity to fully live their life because they’re going through something so traumatic,” Kaitlyn Jabczenski said. “These last three or four years, she’s been a fighter and she won’t stop.”

Her younger sister, Ava, is an 8th-grade student who is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. The 16-year-old was joined by some of her closest friends.

“The fact that I have my friends with me, it’s amazing,” Kaitlyn Jabczenski said.

Kaitlyn Jabczenski’s mother, Karen Jabczenski, is a nurse at Beaumont.

“I feel like people don’t know unless they go through it, especially teenage kids, who at this point in their life -- are more about themselves. It helps them realize other kids are going through stressful things in their life,” Karen Jabczenski said.

Only 4% of funds raised nationally for cancer research goes toward childhood cancer. They want that to change.

Read: More coverage on childhood cancer

About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism