Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Every September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is recognized as a way to honor the children and families affected by pediatric cancer and an opportunity to raise funds to help support their emotional and physical wellbeing. This year Scientist.com took to social media in order to highlight a different childhood cancer organization each week in September and raise funds and awareness to help support them. As this month comes to an end, we would like to extend the opportunity to our community to donate to these wonderful organizations as well. Please continue reading to get a glimpse into the life-changing work these organizations are conducting and how you can help support them.
Emilio Nares Foundation
The Emilio Nares Foundation was founded by Diane and Richard Nares shortly after their son, Emilio, passed away from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The Nares family felt grateful for the abundance of support they received from friends, family and even strangers. However, what they discovered while living at the hospital during Emilio’s treatment was that not everyone was as fortunate. And just like that, the Emilio Nares Foundation was born. Their goal is to help low-income, underserved families navigate through their child’s cancer journey. One of their most impactful programs, Ride with Emilio, ensures that no child misses a cancer treatment due to lack of transportation.
Ronald McDonald House Charities San Diego
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego was opened in 1980, after a social worker named Irma Gusfield and a group of parents of young cancer patients recognized the scarcity of support for families affected by pediatric cancer. The first Ronald McDonald House was opened in Philadelphia, named after one of their first funders, McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc. Eventually, after acquiring knowledge and experience from opening the original house, they decided to open one in San Diego as well. Their mission is to provide a homebase for families of young cancer patients so that they can better focus on caring and supporting their children. At the Ronald McDonald House, families can receive free lodging, meals and other essential resources.
Friends of Scott Foundation
Scott Delgadillo, “a passionate and caring young man”, was diagnosed with cancer at age 13. Throughout his journey with the illness, he was constantly surrounded by supportive friends who were by his side until the very end. Unfortunately, after a year-long battle with cancer, Scott passed away. Scott’s friends were so inspired by him and so concerned for other children coping with cancer, that they decided to do something in his memory. The Friends of Scott Foundation was created as a way to ensure that every child and family affected by cancer receives the emotional and financial support that they need to battle this disease. One of the events that they put on is the Annual Unforgettable Prom Night, an evening of food, music and dancing. Current and past cancer patients are provided with a limo service, tuxedos, gowns and an opportunity to walk the red carpet into their unforgettable prom night.
Oncology and Kids (OAK)
Last, but definitely not least, is Oncology and Kids (OAK). OAK is an organization that was founded with the goal of bringing a sense of normalcy to the otherwise tumultuous and scary journey that children with cancer must endure. By providing a voice and community to these children and their families, OAK hopes to help them recover from the emotional toll of this devastating disease. Through their series of camps for children with cancer and their siblings, OAK provides a safe space and community that allows them to simply be kids.
September may be over, but unfortunately the reality of pediatric cancer persists. Please continue to spread awareness of this devastating disease and find a way to support those in your community that are forced to struggle with it. Whether it be through a monetary donation, providing a ride to an appointment or simply being there as a friend, these small actions can make a difference. We are so grateful for the organizations mentioned above and all the others that are working tirelessly to put an end to the suffering that childhood cancer brings about. Thank you for all that you do!