WHO WE ARE
Founded in 1970 by a dedicated group of parents of children with cancer, the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is the oldest and largest grassroots childhood cancer organization in the U.S. and only U.S. member of Childhood Cancer International. We are dedicated to making childhood cancer a national health priority through shaping policy, supporting research, raising awareness, and providing educational resources and innovative programs to children with cancer, survivors, and their families.
We are a community of families, survivors, and friends who have been affected by childhood and adolescent cancer. We offer our community support, information, advocacy. We are their voice.
We believe childhood and adolescent cancer must be designated a child health priority.
OUR DEDICATION TO OUR MISSION
The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is one of the nation’s largest grassroots organizations at the forefront of the crucial battle against childhood cancer. We are dedicated to improving the lives of children living with childhood cancer or its long-term impacts, and to offering critical advice, support, and assistance to families engaged in this life-altering struggle. Together with our ever-expanding network of local divisions across the country, we offer essential programs and services designed to address the critical needs that families facing this dreaded diagnosis encounter every day. As a leader in the national fight against childhood cancer, we speak for the needs of families and survivors, and in doing so, we help shape policy, research, and programs, nationally and internationally, that affect the lives of cancer-stricken families today and tomorrow. If you have a child fighting childhood cancer, if you have lost a child to cancer, or if your child is a survivor, then we are here for you, and we are committed to serving you and others like you in our nation-wide community until the day when no child dies and no child is left with life-long effects from this devastating disease.
Our mission is to:
- Help families get the facts they need about childhood cancer in simple, comprehensive, everyday language.
Nothing is scarier than sitting in a doctor’s office and being told that your child has cancer. You are suddenly inundated with medical terminology, with long, complex words you have never even dreamed existed, and yet based on those words, you are asked to make immediate, crucial decisions that will drastically impact your child’s future. The ACCO strives to offer families informational resources about childhood cancer, treatment protocols, medications, and clinical trials—in simple, easy-to-comprehend terminology—in order to facilitate the critical decisions required to fight this terrible diagnosis.
- Make the fight against cancer easier for its youngest victims through the development and distribution of the highest quality materials designed specifically for children and adolescents.
Cancer’s smallest victims are often too young to understand what is happening to them: why they feel sick, why they must spend so much time in the hospital, why they must take so much medicine and undergo so many operations. Through our Treatment Kit, Cozy Care Journal, picture books, and other resources developed and written just for children, we offer families resources they can use to help their children understand what they are going through, to make the struggle just a little bit easier.
- Provide crucial support families need—financially, socially, and emotionally—through diagnosis, treatment, and well beyond.
The impact of having a child diagnosed with cancer is deeply felt by the entire family. The diagnosis of a child with cancer often comes at a time when the family is young and has a limited income. Often there are other small children to care for, and one parent has to stop working to care for their sick child. The ACCO understands the impact childhood cancer has on the entire family, and we are dedicated to providing services and support on the ground, to help families understand that they are not alone. With the help of our local divisions around the country, we provide on-the-ground services, as well as national support through our online support network.
- Advocate for critical research on treatment protocols appropriate for the bodies of cancer’s smallest victims.
Unfortunately, the majority of cancer’s smallest victims continue to be treated with medications that were developed in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of the drugs were developed and approved to fight adult cancers. Even when the treatments work, they often result in serious long-term health problems including secondary cancers, that have a devastating impact on the future of these children. At the ACCO, we believe the time has come to devote our attention on advocating for research programs dedicated to eradicating all forms of childhood cancers, with treatment options designed for the small, delicate bodies of our children.
- Give the fight against childhood cancer the attention it deserves, because kids can’t fight cancer alone!
Unless you personally know someone whose has been touched by childhood cancer, you may not be aware of just how common and just how deadly this disease is, and yet just how little attention is given to it by policymakers, advocates, and researchers. Through our relationships in Washington, DC and our network of like-minded groups nationally and internationally, we seek to make everyone aware of just what needs to be done to ensure that no child has to die from childhood cancer, and to ensure that no child has to live with the devastating long-term impacts of aggressive treatment options.
Because kids can’t fight cancer alone!®