Northern Nevada's Childhood Cancer Awareness Day|
RENO, Nev. (Sept. 3, 2009) – In accordance with September’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, northern Nevada organizations that support families affected with childhood cancer are uniting with medical professionals, families, patients and survivors to help increase awareness in our local community.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Day is Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon in Reno’s Pickett Park, 1198 Mill Street, located across from Renown Regional Medical Center. The primary focus of the event is to highlight local resources and local families who have made a genuine difference in the fight against cancer.
The free event is open to the public and will include a variety of games, prizes, children activities, speakers, resource booths and a free pancake breakfast. A wall of Courage will also be on display to decorate with names, photos and stories of patients, survivors and heroes that we have lost.
This year, a special bone marrow drive will be held to help find a match for Tanner Bertauche, a four-year-old who was diagnosed with a very rare histiocytosis disease (JXG) that affected his entire airway. After fighting the disease for a year with a tracheotomy and chemotherapy, the disease spread to his bone marrow. Tanner also developed myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a pre-cursor to leukemia believed to have been caused by his chemotherapy.
Tanner recently began more chemotherapy, but ultimately needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life. Event organizers are inviting people to help Tanner, as well as many other children with cancer, celebrate life, disease free, by joining the National Marrow Donor Program. Registration is as simple as providing a mouth swab. The culture will then be used to find appropriate matches and eventually give the children a second chance at life.
Since it is about $100 to add each donor to the Marrow Registry, a financial contribution of $25 cash or check at the event is greatly appreciated. No one will be turned away, but a donation of any size is always helpful.
“We lose more children to cancer each year than juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis, pediatric aids and asthma combined,” 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 healthcare 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 living with childhood cancer.”
This time last year 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 then 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 more than 45 children diagnosed with childhood cancers each year in our region. And with treatments lasting anywhere from one to five years, that number is compounded to an estimated 150 patients,” said Linda Ferris, Ph.D., vice president of Renown Institute for Cancer. “As the title sponsor for this event Renown Children’s Hospital is working hard to ensure all children with cancer and blood diseases have access to quality and compassionate care in their communities.”
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 more than 20 years.
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.
Organizations that have united to create the special day are Access to Healthcare Network, American Cancer Society, Angel Flight, Angel Kiss Foundation, Builders Association Charity, Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital Oakland, Family Ties of Nevada, For Kids Foundation, Give Hope Foundation, Keaton Raphael Memorial, Nevada Cancer Institute, Reno Cancer Foundation, Renown Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
# # # #
Don Butterfield, Director of Communications, 775-690-4208
Daniel Davis, Public Relations Business Partner, 775-691-7308
Nicole Shearer, Public Relations Business Partner, 775-772-5191