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BIRMINGHAM — Each year, more than 190 Alabama children are diagnosed with cancer, and around 2,000 are treated with serious blood disorders including sickle cell disease. Many of these children are treated at the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.
The center represents a unique partnership of local, national and international centers of excellence including the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Children’s of Alabama, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and National Childhood Research entities including the National Cancer Institute and the Children’s Oncology Group. Ranked among the top pediatric cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, the center features a team of more than 300 dedicated pediatric healthcare professionals committed to exceptional patient care and innovative research. A summary of some of the current patient care programs and ongoing research advancements at the center is available at insidepeds.org/category/inside-pediatrics/hematology-and-oncology/.
None of this extraordinary patient care or promising research would be possible without generous support from the community and families who have been affected by pediatric cancers and blood disorders. Each September, Children’s of Alabama and community partners spotlight the children and their battles to commemorate both National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.
One way the community can support the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama is by purchasing the Curing Childhood Cancer specialty car tag that 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. Over the last 15 years, tag sales have raised more than $3.8 million for childhood cancer research and patient care. When state residents renew or purchase a Curing Childhood Cancer tag, they are providing valuable funds for patient care, research and specialized physician training for the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama. For more information about the Curing Childhood Cancer tag, visit www.childrensal.org/committedtoacure.
Another way to support the young patients facing childhood cancer and blood disorders is by registering as a potential blood and marrow donor. The Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Children’s of Alabama – the state’s only dedicated pediatric bone marrow transplant facility – specializes in therapies for deadly cancers and blood disorders including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell disease. At Children’s, nearly 30 patients receive a transplant every year, and the program’s multidisciplinary team has performed more than 330 transplantations in its 13-year history. You can become a potential blood and marrow donor by joining the Be The Match registry at join.bethematch.org/ChildrensAL. Joining the Be The Match Registry® means volunteering to be listed as a potential bone marrow donor, ready to save the life of any patient in need of a transplant.
Children’s invites the public to be involved in raising awareness and funding through the following avenues:
Details about all these events and others, including links to event pages, are available at www.childrensal.org/committedtoacure.
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient, outpatient and primary care throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. Children’s is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.