Sammy's Superheroes - Fighting for Childhood Cancer
In July 2012 then 4 year old Sammy was diagnosed with Stage lV High Risk Neuroblastoma.
In August of 2012, some of our closest friends developed Sammy’s Superheroes. They made t-shirts and asked local schools to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, by having “blue out” football games, where players, coaches, students and fans bought and wore blue Sammy’s Superheroes t-shirts, with all funds to be donated to childhood cancer research.
In the process of researching agencies to donate to, we were shocked and horrified by the information we learned. For example, while childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children, pediatric AIDS receives four times the amount of funding! There were several statistics that shocked us and solidified our resolve to make a difference, not only for Sammy, but for ALL the children fighting this horrible disease. Here are a few to consider:
•Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in the US and it kills more children per year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.
•There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
•In the past 20 years, only one new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use. Children continue to receive toxic drugs intended for adults.
•3 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer suffer long term and often life-threatening side effects, such as heart damage, chemo induced secondary cancer, lung damage, infertility, hearing loss, growth defects and many more.
•Cancer symptoms in children include fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection They are often misdiagnosed and treated as other childhood illnesses.
•The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
•80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.
•14,000 children will be diagnosed this year with cancer. That is the size of 2 average classrooms every single day, year after year.
•Pharmaceutical companies fund over 50% of adult cancer research, but virtually nothing for kids.
•September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, which nationally goes largely unrecognized.
At 7 years old, Sammy is still fighting, he doesn't remember a time when he didn't have cancer. Currently in Chicago for scans and biopsies, he continues to live with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. Please take a moment to learn more about our organization and the steps we are taking to find a cure for Sammy, and every child, family, and friend fighting this horrible disease.
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