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Cancer Narratives: Childhood Cancer Advocacy and OPACC

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Using scientific research as a springboard for discussion, CKN is distilling this research into practical narratives that will improve the quality of life for patients and offer deeper understanding and connection for physicians.  Please join this Doctor-Patient conversation about Childhood Cancer Advocacy.

 


by James Thomson, Resource Development & Community Engagement Coordinator, Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC)

Childhood cancer affects 1600 Canadian children each year and of that number approximately 400 of these are in Ontario.  Sadly childhood cancer also claims over 227 young lives each year; those who survive often require ongoing mental, physical, and financial support.   In addition to the daunting statistics, childhood cancer also has a devastating effect on parents, siblings, extended family, friends and their communities.

It is for these reasons and many more that Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC) was created; to provide support to families throughout their cancer journey and to let them know, they are never alone.

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Go for the Gold

goldribbonAs part of CKN’s commitment to raising awareness about Childhood Cancer, we invited various organizations to join our “Childhood Cancer: Go for the Gold” campaign.  We feel the time has come to join together and unite in the effort to increase public knowledge about childhood cancer through the Gold Ribbon Symbol and September: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Please join us as we come together to give a voice to the children who are silently fighting this deadly disease.  Like us on Facebook so you receive our powerful line-up of articles this month – and please share them with your contacts to spread the word.

 

Today’s Feature:  Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC)

 

Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC) is a registered charity whose overall goal is to be the parent voice for families with children diagnosed with cancer across the Province of Ontario. Established in 1995 and a charity since 2006, OPACC is comprised of parents, guardians, survivors, or close relatives of a child/teen diagnosed with childhood cancer. Our primary focus in helping these families is the Parent Liaison program, which is already operating at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  Parent Liaisons are professionals and parents who have already undertaken a childhood cancer journey and understand the impact a diagnosis has on the entire family. They help parents from a non-medical point of view and can help direct them through the myriad of services and opportunities that exist for families both in and out of the hospital. They offer drop-in support groups, one-on-one visits to families, distribution of free support materials, and more. In addition to the in-hospital support provided through our Parent Liaison program, OPACC also works with local community groups across the Province to build a network of local community-based Parent Support groups to ensure that families are supported once they are back home. As OPACC grows, we will continue to establish more Parent Support Groups throughout Ontario, as well as bring our Parent Liaison Program to other Pediatric Cancer Centres.

 

This September, we are running a Parent Facilitator training course in Toronto for those interested in becoming facilitators for new or existing childhood cancer parent support groups, and we are also hosting the Toronto location of the National Inside Ride Tour in October to raise funds for support and awareness for childhood cancer.

http://www.opacc.org