September 2018 is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and is symbolised by a gold ribbon, worn to commemorate the event. This is an annual international awareness month to raise support, funding and awareness of childhood cancers and the impact for sufferers and families of sufferers of childhood cancer. It was founded in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama and is mainly run in the form of awareness events by cancer charities.
Childhood cancer is devastating to growth and development in children, and devastating to their families and friends. At a time when young people should be focusing on school, play and socialising, if they have cancer, their focus can be on medication, operations, and what life they have left.
Parents of childhood cancer sufferers have the anguish of watching their children suffer, and the stress of decisions on medications and treatments as well as decisions on time of work for themselves and time off school for the child, and worst, trying to explain to a child what is happening to them and answering the resulting questions on life and faith, and worst of all is the loss of a child to cancer, a devastation that can never be put right.
Some forms of cancer are mainly or exclusively only seen in children, and that is something highlighted by the awareness month. Children can be more resilient to cancer and cancer treatments than adults, and there are many cases of triumph and complete recovery, where children make a complete recovery and grow up to normal life. But awareness, education and support are vital, which is why Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is also vital.