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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

When most people see pink ribbons, they automatically think of breast cancer. Red ribbons? HIV/AIDs. But do you know what gold ribbons stand for? Gold is the color for pediatric cancer, and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month just so happens to be September. The objective of this month is to put a spotlight on types of cancer that can affect children (such as leukemias), share survivor stories and, of course, help raise funds for research and family support.

According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, in the U.S. alone, approximately 15,780 people under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year and about a quarter of those diagnosed will not survive. While going through diagnosis and treatment, kids and teens face challenges that prevent them from living normal lives. They miss school, are unable to attend social activities and constantly feel pressured to stay upbeat and optimistic in order to prevent their families from continuously worrying. That's a lot for just one person, let alone a child, to deal with. 

But you have the power to make a difference. One way you can help kids suffering from cancer this month (and every month!) is by funding research. Even the smallest donation can make a difference. Organizations that seek contributions include: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, CureSearch for Children's Cancer Research, American Childhood Cancer Organization and St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Social media is a fantastic way to raise awareness. In fact, the hashtag #MakeItGoldForKids is currently being used on various platforms and has a simple yet powerful underlying message: End children’s cancer. Additionally, #KidsAreGold challenges us to remember that children deserve to be treasured, and that we should aim for the gold standard in research for a cure.

But social media is only a catalyst for change. To really make a difference, you've got to get out from behind your screens and do something—anything! Try creating an event in your town to raise money for an organization of your choice. Whether that means organizing a day where your community donates their hair for Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths, or raising money for a 5K—anything helps.

No matter what you do, paint the world gold and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families today.

How will you make a difference in the lives of those with cancer? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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by Yasmeena Fakhouri | 9/6/2016
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