These Kids Are Sharing Their Experiences With Cancer To Help Increase Awareness

"She just wanted to be like every other child, and now she is."

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of the month, we will be highlighting the stories of those affected, as well as the people who come to their aid and help bring awareness to the issue. 

It's possible you, or someone you know, has been affected by childhood cancer as approximately 15,700 kids are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. While survival rates have increased over the last few decades, the number of annual diagnosed cases has not declined in nearly 20 years. 



The type of cancers that develop in kids typically differ from those in adults. Common childhood cancers include leukemia, bone cancer, brain and spinal cord tumors, lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin), neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, and retinoblastoma.

While this topic is a hearth-wrenching one, it's important to discuss and shed light on how we can help further research for treatments, and provide resources for those in need. 

Cancer Research UK is doing its part to raise awareness with a video that highlights kids' experiences living with cancer. 

The video features four children — Izzy, 8, Rhys, 10, Nengi, 10, and Bella, 12  — who share their stories of living with cancer. The footage was then played back to their parents so they could understand the impact they have had on their kids' lives during their treatment.

Bella was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012 while on holiday. She reveals the impact her parents' emotions had on her. "My mum did cry sometimes, but it was strange to see my dad cry, because I'd never seen him like that before." she said. "When my hair started falling out, he was devastated. In the end, we just had to shave most of it off."

Nengi was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma when she was 2 years old, and admitted she sometimes didn't understand how her mom, Janet, was feeling.

"Sometimes my mom would be upset, and I wouldn’t really understand why. Seeing me like that, it broke her heart."

After seeing the footage, Janet reveals, "I didn't think I was strong until my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I had to stop everything to be there for her. I'm surprised she remembers so much. She just wanted to be like every other child, and now she is — she's got an amazing heart."

The parents credit the support they received for helping their families through their battles and for helping their children feel like their peers.

The video not only provides a greater understanding for the parents about their children's experiences, but for the public as well. It also highlights the need for more funding to help eradicate childhood cancer. It ends with the message, "With your help, we can find new, better and kinder treatments for children and young people with cancer." 

To find out more and/or to donate to the cause, visit Cancer Research UK, Children's Cancer Research Fund or American Childhood Cancer Organization.  

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