Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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Claire Payne, Assistant Content Editor and Staff Writer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, a time to honor and remember the children affected by these tragic diseases, and help rally support to give kids with better outcomes by supporting programs. In the United States, 16,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year. 1 in 5 U.S. children diagnosed with cancer won’t survive.

St. Jude is a leading children’s hospital pioneering research and treatments for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases located in Memphis, Tennessee. It has the best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers. Since 1962, it has helped to push to overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent. At St. Jude, families will never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing, or food.

This month provides St. Jude the opportunity to educate and raise awareness about childhood cancer. St. Jude has a social media hashtag #ShowYourGold to allow the Internet to show its support. On September 19 or 26, communities from 58 U.S. cities will gather to walk/ run to end childhood cancer. Memphis will walk on September 26th at St. Jude.

This month, Houston has supported a particular student currently kicking cancer’s butt, Allie Allen. In 2013, doctors discovered a brain tumor in her right front temporal lobe. Later on, they discovered she has an aggressive, highly malignant form of brain cancer called Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma. With this particular disease, there is no remission or cure. After radiation treatment, she returned to school and dance. Later that year, an MRI showed that the cancer had returned. Right before her second surgery, there was a miracle; the doctors had discovered that the inoperable tumor was not there and some of the spots were gone.

In June of this year, during her regular MRI, it showed a new tumor in a different spot from the other one. In August, she had brain surgery to remove the tumor and will now continue to get full brain and spine radiation, all while attending her first semester of junior year at St. Jude school.

In the past month, Houston has been rallying for Allie. On September 17th, $1,500 was raised at a Houston soccer game held in her honor. They have also been selling T-shirts and gold ribbons to support her and childhood cancer.

Through St. Jude and love and support, many kids such as Allie battling cancer get a fighting chance.