Join Children's this September Celebrating Both National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
BIRMINGHAM — Childhood cancer and blood diseases impact thousands of children in Alabama every year. More than 90 percent of Alabama’s children with these illnesses receive treatment at the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.
In September, these young warriors and their battles will be spotlighted through a number of special events to commemorate both National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month. Each of these events provides a way for the public to learn more about Children’s clinical and research programs and to be involved in raising awareness and funding:
• Children’s website features a variety of videos about some of the young patients being treated for cancer and blood disorders. The public is invited to visit www.childrensAL.org/committedtoacure to meet these remarkable youngsters.
• The 2015 Committed to a Cure Marrow Registry Drive will take place Tuesday, Sept. 1, from noon till 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m. in the Russell Building Lobby at Children’s of Alabama (1601 5th Ave. S., Birmingham). Complimentary parking is available in the Children’s 5th Avenue Parking Deck (1600 5th Ave. S.). Marrow transplants are used as lifesaving treatment for deadly cancers and blood disorders including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell disease. At Children’s, 25–30 young patients require this lifesaving procedure every year.
• Sebastian’s Annual Run/Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 19, at Veteran’s Park in Hoover (Valleydale Road). This annual advocacy and fundraising event honors the fight against childhood brain tumors.
• The Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala, presented by Dancers Fighting Cancer, will be held Sunday, Sept. 27, at the Alabama Theatre (1817 3rd Ave. N., Birmingham, 35203) at 2 p.m. A VIP after-party will be held at Gabrella Manor (8912 4th Ave. S., Birmingham 35206) immediately following the performance. The gala supports Children’s cancer research programs.
• The Alabama Grocers Association, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Alabama Food Manufacturers and Producers Association are sponsoring the “Buy Alabama’s Best” campaign to encourage purchases of Alabama-made food products. A portion of sales of participating products will be donated to Children’s to help find a cure for childhood cancer. To date, the Buy Alabama’s Best campaign has raised more than $500,000 for childhood cancer research at Children’s.
• Children’s Russell Building will be illuminated in gold in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month throughout September.
• The Dothan Martial Arts Academy is hosting Martial Arts for Children’s of Alabama during September to honor cancer patient Libby Claire Rushing. For every $10 pledge received, Martial Arts Academy students will break a board.
• The 5th Annual Caitie’s Army Day of Hope Benefit Ride and 5K Run is set for Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Covington County Fairgrounds in Andalusia. Other planned activities include arts and crafts displays, bounce houses, pony rides, live entertainment, an auction and door prizes. Caitie’s Army was inspired by Caitie Rhodes of Andalusia, who was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer at Children’s.
• The newly redesigned Curing Childhood Cancer license tag is available at every office of the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles. Every $50 tag generates $41.25 for the cancer program at Children’s. To date, tag sales have raised more than $2.6 million for childhood cancer research and patient care.
• The public is invited to share its stories of patients who have fought childhood cancer at www.childofchildrens.org.
• Children’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog and YouTube channel will feature patient stories that spotlights patients, families and staff.
• Registration opens for the Advancement in the Care of Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Symposium taking place at Children’s Thursday, Oct. 22. Experts in childhood cancer, sickle cell disease and health care disparities from Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be joined by colleagues from California, Memphis and Las Vegas to discuss the latest therapies and common challenges in treating cancer and blood disorders.
• Charter Cable, WIAT CBS-42 and WBHM 90.3 FM will run public service announcements about childhood cancer throughout September.
Details about all these events and others, including links to events pages and social media outlets, are available at www.childrensal.org/committedtoacure.
Children’s of Alabama is the 10th-busiest pediatric medical center in the United States. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's of Alabama is the state's only comprehensive center for pediatric cancer and other blood disorders, treating 90 percent of all such patients diagnosed in Alabama. Specialized pediatric services exist for all forms of childhood cancer, leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and sickle cell diseases in the state. The program is a partnership between Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders is home to the only pediatric programs in Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Pediatric Hemophilia and Sickle Cell Disease in the state. The cancer program is ranked among the Top 50 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More information is available at www.childrensal.org/committedtoacure.