by Jonathan Agin, CKN Childhood Cancer Awareness Co-Editor
For those of you who are aware of the significance of September for the childhood cancer world, you are no doubt conscious of the flood of gold and the social media deluge that has begun. Despite the fact that children are diagnosed with cancer 365 days a year, for thirty of those days the community is pressed into a frenzy to grab as much attention and awareness as possible to overcome the lack of focus on the number one disease killer of our kids. Buildings, bridges, monuments; they are all targets for a steady stream of gold lights used to illuminate them for the world to see in an effort to make even just one more person aware. It is a stark reality that the world turns pink rather abruptly, and in many instances right under our noses, before the calendar pages say October.
by Jonathan Agin, Editor, CKN Childhood Cancer Awareness and Advocacy
The calendar has yet again flipped to September. Summer has wound down and school has begun to kick back into full swing. Facebook and other social media sites are replete with people posting smiling pictures of their children bounding onto the steps of the school bus or wearing their new backpack. It is a cycle that repeats itself like clockwork. Then there are those of us who post about a different subject. Gold; the color of childhood cancer. For those of us who have been touched by childhood cancer, September means the start of a month-long mad dash to create as much awareness as possible. The question is, are you aware?
by Jonathan Agin, CKN Section Editor
I was never very good at math. Point of truth, as I was preparing to walk down the aisle right before high school graduation in 1989, my then math teacher and vice principal, put his rather frightening hand on my shoulder and told me he had some advice. With all the conviction of someone who thought he was doing me a favor, he told me that I should never again take another math class. Somehow, I got through undergrad and then law school while heeding that gentle recommendation. Fast forward to 2008 and my then twenty-seven (27) month old daughter Alexis is tragically diagnosed with DIPG, a rare brain tumor that is almost universally fatal in ninety-nine percent of the children who are diagnosed with the disease. We were not so fortunate as to have been given one of the “better” cancer diagnoses, if you can even meld those words into the same sentence. Alexis outlived the prognosis by about twenty-one months, battling with amazing grace and courage until she was just two weeks shy of her fifth birthday. On January 14, 2011, my daughter became one of the many children who do not fit within the often-overstated statistic of an eighty to eighty-five percent overall survival rate for childhood cancer.