International Childhood Cancer Day is an international, collaborative awareness campaign dedicated to spotlighting the critical need for heightened commitment in the fight against childhood cancer in all its forms, in every country around the world. Yet International Childhood Cancer Day is not just a call for greater awareness. It is also reminds us that childhood cancer is personal: it presents a way to express our support for the children who are battling childhood cancer and for childhood cancer survivors, as well as a way to honor the children who have lost their fight against this deadly disease. Started in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International (CCI), a network of more than 180 grassroots and national childhood cancer and parent organizations in 90 countries, the goal of this international awareness day is to promote greater understanding of the challenges facing children with cancer today, as well as highlight the need for more equitable access to high quality healthcare and cancer treatment for children around the globe.
Why Is International Childhood Cancer Day Important?
Because even one death from childhood cancer is unacceptable. Around the world, more than 700 children that we know of will be diagnosed with cancer every day, while hundreds more in low- and middle-income countries go undiagnosed due to lack of appropriate diagnostic tools and even access to basic medical care. Recent advances in treatment options for some forms of childhood cancer have greatly increased survival rates in high-income countries, yet cancer still remains the number one disease-killer of children. The statistics are even more grim in low- and middle-income countries, where even “treatable” childhood cancers have unacceptably high death rates and where mortality from childhood cancer is increasing, not declining. Indeed, only 1-2 children out of every 10 diagnosed with and treated for childhood cancer in low- and middle-income will survive.
Because children around the world facing childhood cancer need our help. International Childhood Cancer Day is an opportunity to shed light on the critical need for research into new and better treatment options for childhood cancer. It is an opportunity to remind policymakers and researchers alike that childhood cancer deserves the same attention and commitment that adult cancers currently receive. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the gross inequality in access to high quality diagnostic tools, desperately-needed medications, treatment protocols, and even basic elements of quality healthcare facing children in middle- and low-income countries. International Childhood Cancer Day is an opportunity to remind the world that access to the best possible care for children battling childhood cancer is not a privilege, but a human right that should be enjoyed by all children.
What Can I Do On International Childhood Cancer Day?
Together with CCI and childhood cancer groups around the world, our goal is to continue to increase awareness of childhood cancer, the threat that it poses to children today and tomorrow, and the critical need for new treatments and better access to high-quality medical care. But we cannot raise awareness on our own; we need your support. Here are just a few simple ways you can help:
- Go Gold for Kids with Cancer: help us increase awareness of childhood cancer by spreading the visibly of the Gold Awareness Ribbon as the international symbol for childhood cancer
- Join the global social media campaign on February 15 by posting a selfie on your social media pages with the hashtags: #actnowiccd, #actnow4kidswithcancer, #ICCD
- Wear your International Childhood Cancer Day t-shirt honoring the names of more than 4,000 children whose lives have been impacted forever by childhood cancer
- Download We Are One, the hit song available today on major global streaming and music platforms, and view the official music video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBzuYXCEDis
- Participate in the Child4Child awareness campaign at child4child.com; the first phase of this campaign created the hit song We Are One, but you can still join the chorus today
- Support the STAR Act: reach out to your Congressmen today and encourage him/her to support this critical legislation that will promote funding for increased research into childhood cancer
Watch the amazing, moving We Are One music video:
About the American Childhood Cancer Organization
The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship. Internationally, the ACCO is the sole US member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world. At the national level, the ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer. At the grassroots level, the ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for families and learning resources for children in order to make the lives of children and their families a bit easier and perhaps even brighter during this difficult time. Many of our resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.