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BIRMINGHAM (Jan. 31, 2013) – Sales of the Curing Childhood Cancer license tag in the state of Alabama have reached a milestone. Earlier this month, the tag surpassed $2 million in much-needed funding for pediatric cancer research at The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama pediatric hospital.
The tag was introduced to Alabama drivers in 2004. Of every $50 fee for the specialty tag, $41.25 is donated to find a cure for children like 18-year-old Corbyn Wile of Enterprise who was diagnosed with rhabdomysarcoma two years ago.
Corbyn underwent a grueling 20 months of treatment at Children’s and is now cancer-free and completing her senior year of high school. These days, her attention is turned toward enrolling in college where she plans to major in psychology to prepare for a career in counseling.
The Wile family first learned of the Curing Childhood Cancer tags during visits to Children’s for Corbyn’s treatment when they noticed the tags on vehicles in the hospital’s parking decks. “The parking garage was full of them,” Melinda Wile, Corbyn’s mother, said.
As soon as it was time to renew their own tags, both of Corbyn’s parents, two sisters and Corbyn herself chose to support the cancer tag program.
Melinda said the tags not only provide financial support to cancer programs at Children’s but also create more awareness about pediatric cancer. The family’s tags have prompted conversation around Enterprise and Melinda has seen the tags on more vehicles in her community.
Each year, more than 12,000 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer, including about 150 annually in Alabama. Three hundred cancer patients are currently in treatment at Children’s. Despite medical advances, cancer accounts for the deaths of more children through young adulthood than all other pediatric disease combined, and supersedes all other causes of death among children except unintentional injury. Research has made great strides, but the work is not yet done. At Children’s, the goal is a total cure for all patients. Support of the Curing Childhood Cancer tag provides valuable funds to enhance services, build new programs and recruit new physicians and researchers.
The car tags can be purchased at any Alabama DMV office and may be personalized with up to five letters or number free of charge.
Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 47 other states. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children’s hospital programs in the country for the past three years by US News & World Report.