Last year, more than 190 children in Alabama were diagnosed with cancer and blood diseases. 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, Children’s of Alabama and community partners spotlight these young warriors and their battles through a number of special events to commemorate both National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.
The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders’ unique partnership of local, national and international centers of excellence provides care and treatment for approximately 1,500 children and adolescents with all types of cancers and blood disorders in the state of Alabama and the region each year. As a founding member of the Children’s Oncology Group – a worldwide clinical trials organization – research and innovative therapies done at Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham help to save the lives of children right down the street and all over the world.
“Continued improvements in pediatric cancer treatment have led to more long-term survivors. More than 84 percent of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer today will be cured of their illness, compared to less than 50 percent just two decades ago, and state-of-the-art screenings have reduced the rate of stroke in sickle cell patients by 90 percent. Our team of more than 300 staff members is working toward the goal of a cure for all children through exceptional patient care, education, research. Supporting the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders helps us provide the best care for children and moves us closer to cures that will save lives,” said Kimberly Whelan, M.D., interim director, The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.
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. To date, tag sales have raised more than $3 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 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 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, approximately 30 patients receive this lifesaving procedure every year. 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. For more information or to register as a potential bone marrow donor, visit join.bethematch.org/COA.
In addition, Children’s invites the public to learn more about its clinical and research programs and to be involved in raising awareness and funding through the following avenues:
Details about all these events and others, including links to events pages and social media outlets, are available at childrensal.org/committedtoacure.