Join us in raising awareness and celebrating our kids
Beaumont Children’s is going gold this September to celebrate patients and families and raise awareness about pediatric cancers during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Some activities include:
- Placement of more than 500 gold ribbons on trees and yard signs at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Woodward Corners, the Beaumont Service Center and Beaumont Urgent Care Centers. Gold ribbons and signs will also be placed at some patients’ homes and schools;
- Gold superhero capes for children currently receiving treatment;
- Free “Go Gold” T-shirts for current pediatric oncology patients;
- “Show You Care with Beau the Bear” – a selfie scavenger hunt for staff to encourage them to raise awareness on their social media platforms;
- A quilt square decorating contest among the staff that will be voted on by pediatric patients;
- Golden photo booth in the Pediatric Oncology office where patients, families and staff can take photos to share and raise awareness;
- Proclamation from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaiming September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Michigan.
“Survival rates for pediatric cancers have improved significantly over the past 50 years,” said Dr. Kate Gowans, chief, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Beaumont Children’s. “Today, innovative treatments to battle childhood cancers, like proton therapy and molecularly targeted therapy, provide more tools to battle cancers. Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, was the first hospital in Michigan to treat pediatric patients with proton technology.”
Facts about pediatric cancers:
- Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death from disease among children;
- 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20;
- One 18-year-old in every 1,000 in the U.S. is a survivor of childhood cancer;
- In the past 40 years, survival rates have increased to more than 80% for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer.
“Our pediatric patients may finish their cancer therapy and treatment care plans with us, but we don’t stop caring,” said Dr. Gowans, “One of the things we take pride in is our Pediatric Long-Term Follow-up Clinic that follows our childhood cancer survivors into adolescence and adulthood.”
The clinic opened in 2008 to study and treat possible delayed effects of pediatric cancer, including cardiac and respiratory issues, vision and hearing problems, learning disabilities and delayed growth and development. It also aims to help patients and their families with medical issues as well as concerns related to educational access, insurance and employability. The multidisciplinary team includes a pediatric oncologist, pediatric oncology nurse navigator, pediatric social worker, child psychologist and clinical dietitian. Clinic founder and cancer specialist, Dr. Charles Main, helped create the Charles A. Main, M.D., Pediatric Cancer Survivor Scholarship Fund as a source for college scholarships funded by years of community donations.
Another multidisciplinary program, The Gilbert Family Adolescent and Young Adult Program, provides medical specialists, psycho-social services, financial counseling, academic and mentor support for adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 26. Patients with cancer, blood disorders or other tumor-related conditions may have special needs that might not be met solely through pediatric or adult cancer care. The Gilbert gift bridges those gaps with specialized programs housed in the Skandalaris Family Center for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders.
“We’ve made great strides, yet the fight against childhood cancers is far from over,” Lisa Muma, RN, coordinator, Pediatric Long-Term Follow-up Clinic, said. “Through the placement of gold ribbons and yard signs on our hospital campus and community as well as our social media efforts, we’re working to raise much-needed awareness about childhood cancer in our community. We appreciate this opportunity to also honor our brave patients and their families. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to the Beaumont Health team, Orangetheory Fitness and our local Amazon partners for providing support for this special observance.”