Northern Nevada's Childhood Cancer Awareness Day|
RENO, Nev. (Aug. 26, 2008) – In accordance with September’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, northern Nevada organizations that support families afflicted with childhood cancer are uniting with medical professionals, families, patients and survivors to help increase awareness that will lead to a cure for children with cancer.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon in Reno’s Pickett Park, 1198 Mill Street, which is located across from Renown Regional Medical Center. The free event will be open to the public and will host a variety of games, prizes, kid activities, speakers, resource booths and a free pancake breakfast. The primary focus of the event will be on local resources and local families in the fight against cancer.
“We are fortunate to have the knowledge and resources to provide treatment to children and adolescents with cancer, and, in fact, the majority of them will become long term survivors,” said Caroline Hastings, MD, pediatric oncologist/hematologist, Children’s Hospital and Research Center – Oakland. “A true challenge for us remains the ability to ensure that all children with cancer and blood diseases have access to quality and compassionate care in their communities. This challenge requires us to engage the community in the awareness of the diseases, therapies, and resources that these children and their families need to optimize their chances of being one of those survivors.”
Earlier this month the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act was signed into law. The bill received historic support from Congress as it was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and signed by President Bush. For the 40,000 children living with cancer and the 12,500 diagnosed each year, the act authorizes $30 million annually over five years, providing funding for collaborative pediatric cancer clinical trials research, to create a population-based national childhood cancer database and to further improve public awareness and communication regarding available treatment and research for children with cancer and their families.
“There are over 45 children diagnosed with childhood cancers each year in our region,” said Linda Ferris, Ph.D., vice president of the Renown Institute for Cancer. “And with treatments lasting anywhere from one to five years, that number is compounded to an estimated 150 patients. As the title sponsor for this event Renown Health and its Institute for Cancer is working to provide full-time pediatric hematology and oncology coverage to northern Nevada.”
Renown Regional Medical Center was the first hospital in northern Nevada recognized by the American College of Surgeons for comprehensive cancer care and has maintained that designation for nearly 20 years.
At this year’s event, the Renown Institute for Cancer, The Keaton Raphael Memorial and The Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern Nevada will unveil the first comprehensive Childhood Cancer Resource Guide. This guide was designed to help those touched by childhood cancer understand and access local and national pediatric cancer resources. Included are the numerous resources available to patients and families in northern Nevada that allow them to receive their care at home without having to travel out-of-area. The guide was made possible through a generous grant provided by the Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern Nevada.
“Childhood cancer is the number one disease-related killer of children,” said Lizzie Dalton, event organizer, The Keaton Raphael Memorial. “During the month of September, we must join others across the nation and gain support in the northern Nevada community to help make childhood cancer an urgent national priority. Together, we will send a message to our top decision makers to provide critical funding for research, improved treatment and information, and most importantly, to continue to provide hope to families fighting childhood cancer.”
Renown Health’s Pediatric Specialty Care offers the only pediatric hematology and cancer care in the region. These services allow children to receive specialized care for major illnesses while remaining in the community. The program brings in highly trained physicians who specialize in treating children and adolescents with blood diseases and cancer, including leukemia, solid tumors and brain tumors. The service is driven by physician referrals.
For those attending the event, award-winning Chef Joe Eidem, director of food and nutrition services at Renown Regional Medical Center, and his culinary team will provide creative pancake creations including Mickey-Mouse-style pancakes.
Renown Health is the only sponsor of the event. Organizations that have united to create the special day are Angel Kiss Foundation, Builders Association Charity, For Kids Foundation, Give Hope Foundation, Keaton Raphael Memorial, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nevada Cancer Institute, Pediatric Oncology Children’s Hospital Oakland, Reno Cancer Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Renown Regional Medical Center and The Solace Tree.
Sidebar Details: · Congressman Dean Heller will be honored at the event for his support of the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act that passed in the House and Senate and was recently signed into law by the president.
· A Wall of Courage will be on hand to decorate with names, photographs, stories, poems and memoirs of northern Nevada patients and their families that have been afflicted with childhood cancer. This Wall will honor the incredible strength, courage, spirit, determination, love and support of childhood cancer patients and their families and friends. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to honor a loved one, please call 775-327-6275.
· For more information about Pediatric Specialty Care visit www.renown.org/children.
Images form last year’s event are available upon request.