(cell phone pic from my Instagram feed)
Everyone and their neighbor knows about the pink, but for the last couple of years there has been a concerted effort to bring that same level of awareness to the GOLD ribbon representing Childhood Cancer Awareness, especially during the month of September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (#CCAM on Twitter).
That effort has been spearheaded by mostly moms, and a few dads, who have begun to unite around a cause, and begun to put their heads together to use their collective knowledge and reach to educate the world around them.
Why? Because when one of us asks at a store displaying piles of pink merchandise, in September, why they don’t have any GOLD ribbon emblazoned things for sale, we’re met with a blank stare.
We tell them about the GOLD, about what it stands for, about the research funding gap, about our children and their stories, and we’re given a meek, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know”, because the hard truth is that most people still don’t know.
Breast Cancer has Susan G. Komen, a foundation with MILLIONS upon millions of dollars each year to fund research, and to fund the incredible marketing campaign that has made the pink almost universally recognized.
It wasn’t always that way. There was a time when nobody talked about Breast Cancer, and no one knew what that iconic pink ribbon stood for, but years of serious marketing have changed all of that.
We don’t have millions of dollars funding any massive marketing campaigns, and I’m pretty sure that if any of us (cancer parents, momcologists and dadcologists alike) had a million dollars to fund such an awareness campaign, we wouldn’t even do it, we’d give that million dollars to an organization like CureSearch or St. Baldrick’s, so it would get in the hands of researchers who are actually researching the cancers that are affecting our kids, so we could see some new drugs and safer therapies developed to save more of our precious children. (Did you know that only 1 new drug has been approved for use in Childhood Cancer in the last 20 years?! One!?!)
We don’t have a marketing machine, but we have each other, and each of us has a voice, and as we unite and raise our voices together, the cry is becoming louder and louder, and people across the country and all over the world, are starting to hear!
People are noticing.
Awareness is spreading.
Slowly, but surely, it’s happening.
I wish nobody needed to be aware, because like any human with a heart, I wish that cancer didn’t happen to children. But it does. It happened to my son, Ian. It happened to my sister’s son, Tenney. It happened to my friend’s baby girl, Hannah.
It’s going to happen to 36 more children in the US today, and 36 more children in the US tomorrow.
And so, I, for one, am excited to see the awareness spreading!
PS- Want to help? One easy-peasy way would be to click on one of those sharing icons just below. Together we can spread the word a little farther! Thanks!!