What YOU can do to support childhood cancer!

September first begins the fast and fierce 30 days of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. We, the childhood cancer community, have been furiously preparing for these brief 30 days. During this 30 day period, we will be advocating our buns off to the public at large.

A few facts from St Baldrick’s Foundation:

  • More children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease—in fact, more than many other childhood diseases combined.
  • Before they turn 20, about 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer.
  • Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every 3 minutes.
As you become AWARE of childhood cancer and how it affects our kiddos, families and communities, the question remains:
What can YOU do to support childhood cancer?
For the 30 days of September, here are 30 really easy things you can do to support families like mine, kiddos like our son Gregory, and the next 46 families that hear the words: “Your child has cancer.” Know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the awareness color is GOLD. Tell your friends. Post a status to Facebook. Shoot out a tweet. Use the hashtags — #GoGold and #Every3Minutes
  1. Donate whole blood, platelets, blood products. Our kids need a lot of transfusions to keep them alive.
  2. Find your local group of American Childhood Cancer Organization. They support families of kids diagnosed with cancer. Hold a Pedi-CURE event.
  3. Hold a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.
  4. Donate art supplies, new toys, itunes gift cards, gift certificates for local quick serve restaurants, books, bright pillow cases, etc to your local hospital that treats kids.
  5. Hold a bake sale to benefit Cookies For Kids Cancer!
  6. Amazing things are happening in the world of childhood cancer research. Watch this video and be amazed.
  7. Create-A-Pepper at Chili’s Restaurants. Proceeds benefit St Jude Children’s Hospital.
  8. SPEAK UP for kids’ cancer. Tell YOUR congress members to support the STAR Act.
  9. Ever wanted to try being bald? Shave your noggin and raise fund for life saving research via St Baldrick’s Foundation. The largest private funder of childhood cancer research in the US. Not ready to channel Sinead O’Connor? Do what you want! 
  10. Read and absorb the stories shared over at Mary Tyler Mom‘s blog. Daily entries from parents of kids diagnosed with cancer, through September. While you are there, be sure to absorb her daughter Donna’s story, too. ❤
  11. Research your charity dollars, just like you would your retail dollars. Know where your donations are spent when supporting the ‘big’ cancer foundations. You will be surprised. 
  12. Sponsor a child diagnosed with cancer to THRIVE through Max Love Project’s Thrive Initiative. MaxLoveProject is doing amazing things for the nutritional well being of our kids.
  13. Sponsor a kiddo through Gamerosity. My friend and founder Manny knows what it is like to spend endless hours/weeks/months isolated and inpatient. iPads are magical coping tools for our kids and families.  Like them on Facebook, too.
  14. Your local Ronald McDonald House needs toiletries, groceries, cleaning supplies and kitchen basics. During your next Costco trip, pick up a box or two and drop it by.
  15. Are you an athlete or aspire to exercise more? Run for kids with cancer with Rally Foundation!
  16. Sponsor a pair of Peach’s Neet Feet for a childhood cancer kiddo. THE grooviest kicks anywhere! Don’t forget to ‘like’ them on Facebook, too. Madison and her team will blow you away with their heArt.
  17. Did number 9 and your noggin is chilly? Grab a fabulous head cover over at Max Love Brand. The same folks who help kids THRIVE, up at number 12.
  18. Get to know 46 Mommas Shave for The Brave. Hair grows back. Kids don’t.
  19. Support the silent and often left behind SuperSibs.
  20. Hold a P’Jammin for Kids event! PJs at your kids’ school! PJs at work, even better! Supports ACCO families like mine.
  21. In memory of the children who have died, take a moment and reach out to a friend who has lost a child. Does not matter the nature of the death. Speak their child’s name, share a memory and REMEMBER that their child LIVED.
  22. Take the B+ Foundation’s survey and find out how much you really know about childhood cancer.
  23. Know the facts about childhood cancer.
  24. Understand that survivors face their own unique post treatment issues. One is never ‘done’ with childhood cancer.
  25. Wear a GOLD ribbon. Share what it represents.
  26. Donate airline mileage points to Make-A-Wish.
  27. Get swabbed. Save a life. YOU could be a potential bone marrow match for a kiddo’s family, desperately waiting for a glimmer of hope.
  28. Know someone in treatment? Mow a lawn, provide a meal, do some laundry, offer to take care of a sibling, reach out. Make a phone call, send an email, drop a text. They are isolated and it hurts.
  29. Support The Goodtimes Project. The American Cancer Society has de-funded their camps for kids diagnosed with cancer. These camps must continue. ‘Like’ them on Facebook.
  30. Share this list. Far and wide. We, the childhood cancer community, will not quit. Cancer doesn’t care, cancer doesn’t discriminate. Remember: The only risk for childhood cancer is being a kid. Kids cannot advocate for themselves. WE must be their voice. 

Feeling overwhelmed? That’s okay. Need some help navigating something you would like to get involved with? Drop me a line (mindithemagnificent@gmail.com), friend me on Facebook. I will gladly help you in any way I can.

Would you like to KISS it and simply make a donation? I fundraise for childhood research, seeking less-toxic and curative treatments for our kids. I do this every year, in memory of those no longer with us, in honor of survivors like my Gregory, and in defense of kids not yet diagnosed. Any and all contributions are deeply appreciated.

Drop me a comment below letting everyone know what you are doing to support families like mine. This list is far from complete.

Loving every last one of you. Fiercely. *RAWR* In honor, in memory, in defense.

To quote St Baldrick’s Foundation:

Updated: August 25, 2015

31 Responses to What YOU can do to support childhood cancer!

  1. Michelle says:

    Great info! I will pass it along and I hope our organization will be up and running next year to be added to your list!

  2. Audra says:

    YOU ROCK, Momma! I always love anything that you do, say, or write. ❤

  3. Sandy says:

    Back in July, my 11 year old daughter asked me to start an Etsy shop and help her make handmade items to sell and donate the proceeds to a local charity in our community that helps children fighting cancer and their families. I am so proud to be raising this kind and beautiful child. When she reaches the appropriate age, I am sure she will be volunteering and doing more to bring joy to these wonderful souls who need to be uplifted. Thank you for your post, it is a lot of information in one place that makes it easy for people to see what needs to be done! Love and prayers to you! Sandy

    • Mindi Finch says:

      That is one awesome kiddo you have there, Sandy. Thank you for supporting her desire to give back and fostering her growth. One of our greatest gifts to one another is service. She is well on her way, Mama. ❤

  4. Sara Shull says:

    Thank you for this. Our baby Hannah has Infant ALL (MLL-r). Diagnosed August 2012 at 3 months old and given a fifty/fifty prognosis, now 16 months old, doing well in remission, still on treatment. I shared this on Facebook and plan to also share on http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahireneshull with our next update.

    Sara Dague Shull on Facebook. “I read somewhere that it would be more helpful to have a Childhood Cancer ACTION Month, though “awareness” is a great start. I admit that I am still learning the landscape of the needs of cancer fighters and survivors and their families. I mean, what can we do to make a difference anyway? Right? Well, one Momcologist put this list together… maybe something on there is doable for each of us. I would also add… Choose a child you know with cancer, keep up with their story, and pray. https://mindithemagnificent.com/what-you-can-do-to-support-childhood-cancer/

    • Mindi Finch says:

      Oh, Sara. I have a love/hate relationship with statistics. Early on, I chose to ignore the statistics and focus on the fact that Gregory is a statistic of ONE. We may know what ‘could’ happen, but what will happen is his unique experience. It’s so freaking hard. Thanks for sharing. Sending you love, light and grace. ❤

  5. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Mindi. Shared this on Facebook in addition to our blog as many of our family and friends are joining us on this journey (to fight JMML) and we want to share as many ways to help as possible!

    • Mindi Finch says:

      Truly my pleasure, Mama. JMML families are few and far between. Finding other JMML families really saved me in the beginning. Let me know if you would like to connect with other childhood families in the PNW. Keeping your family close. Wrapped in love, touched by hope. ❤

  6. Susan Schmidly says:

    Just a mom & nana who cares!!

    Another wonderful website:

    • Mindi Finch says:

      *sigh* ‘Just’? Nope. Nana’s have a special place in my heart. They are both inside and outside. Having to watch not only your grandbaby, but your baby, suffer through unimaginable hardship. Without the community that we Momcologists often find. You are a Mom & Nana who loves.

      Thank you so much for sharing Kids of Childhood Cancer. I have been a long-time lover of Vinny. His Mama orbits my heart. ❤

  7. Pingback: Childhood Cancer Stories: So You Want to Help | Mary Tyler Mom

  8. What an incredible post! I get asked a LOT “What can we do?” and you just gave me an entire list of answers. I’m the Treasurer for the Orange Out Foundation in Keller, TX. We started this now 501(c)3 organization all because a big sister wanted to help families that were going through the same nightmare as hers. Little Sister Chloe was diagnosed at 18 months with leukemia. She’s since fought and WON the battle TWICE at the ripe old age of 6. We just celebrated her 2 year remission anniversary. When Big Sister Bailey saw a need, she came up with a way to fill that need. Since then, we’ve become a genuine not-for-profit foundation, and we help families every single week by delivering snack bags and laughs on the Oncology/Hematology floor of Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, TX . We also help families with bills, groceries, gas, whatever we can do. We pray with them and for them. We celebrate and we cry too. Please take a look at our website http://www.orangeout.org. We’re also on Twitter @OrangeOutFound and on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/OrangeOutFoundation

    Thank you for sharing this list! It means the world to those of us who haven’t dealt with the Cancer monster personally, but we love many who have.

    Marcey Martin

  9. I love this list. Thank you so much for posting! I don’t have personal experience with cancer, but I’ve been so moved by the cancer stories on Mary Tyler Mom’s blog.

  10. Pingback: A Mother's Story of Courage: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

  11. Pingback: Anniversaries | The Luckiest

  12. Jill says:

    Thank you! Your list is so complete and easy to follow. Our daughter is 2 years NED and we are so blessed for that. However, we need more research! She received adult chemo in high doses as a toddler. We will always wonder with every sniffle, headache, etc…. is this a side effect or a second line cancer? We need better drugs to help our kids survive AND lead healthy lives. Thank you for this list. Go gold!

  13. From one mommy fighting this battle to another, thank you. My son has a small page where we do everything we can to spread awareness and support for other families. I also give a glimpse from a mom’s-eye view of what this horror is like. I will be sharing this and promoting awareness until I’m blue in the face! We are also thinking of things we can do during September to get more attention on pediatric cancer. You better believe we will be doing all of the things on this list! Thank you!

  14. Tamara Pool says:

    We throw the biggest party for childhood cancer victims you have ever seen! We also raise awareness in the process.

  15. Pingback: Gregory’s Story: Hoping for Hope | Mary Tyler Mom

  16. Kory says:

    We went through the list above and well do what we can. Thank you for posting. We here suffer from a different disease it’s called LYME DISEASE, and we HATE any disease and that our kids are suffering cause of the pain and everything that goes with it. So we here in the James residence will do our part.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mindi, what a great job you are doing Raising Awareness. My daughter Kellsie passed away 3 years ago this June and I am still grieving and trying to learn how to run a foundation. Kellsie’s Hope Foundation was thought of and started by Kellsie from her hospital bed but unfortunately she passé away before she could see any of her wishes come true. We are a young foundation but we have made it our mission to give back and carry on Kellsie’s wishes to help children with cancer like herself and to Raise Awareness of this devastating disease. In September we host our “States of Hope” campaign where we try and get a donation from every state, representing that there is at least one person from every state that has been made aware of childhood cancer, the state turns yellow. When there has been $200 or more in donations from a state the state turns PINK. This was Kellsie’s favorite color and since this campaign starts in July on her b-day, it’s my b-day gift to her each year to try and make first all states yellow and then turn them PINK before the 30th day of September. We also host our “Sock it to Cancer” fundraiser where we take socks to schools and pass them out and ask the kids to fill their socks with change to help find a cure for other kids who have this disease. They can decorate their sock and at the end of the month we come back and collect all socks. All proceeds from these two events go directly to fund Childhood Cancer Research. We are a foundation that is comprised of only volunteers and we have been able in the last 2 years to donate $30,000.00 to Childhood Cancer Research. Our Foundation also focuses on children that have relapsed or at the age where they have fallen out of the system. WE have been able to send families to Disney, Meet pop star Hunter Hayes, swim with the dolphins and even bought a chair lift for a child so that she could enjoy her new room down stairs that was done for her before she relapsed. I love what you are doing and hope that we can be added to your list of groups that are fighting this fight for Children. Thank you
    Gail Marchbanks – Director
    Kellsie’s Hope Foundation

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