‘Beaumont Goes Gold’ for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Gowans peds patient Web 2

Gold ribbons; T-shirts; Troy High School football game

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Beaumont Children’s is celebrating its patients and families by raising awareness about pediatric cancers through various activities.

Some activities include:

  • The placement of gold ribbons on trees on the campuses of Beaumont hospitals in Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, Troy and Wayne beginning Aug. 29.
  • Macy’s sale of plush toy Aflac Childhood Cancer Awareness Ducks for $10, Sept. 1-Oct. 1. Proceeds will benefit Beaumont Children’s pediatric oncology program.
  • Speedway gold bead donation campaign: Sept. 15-21. Customers will be asked to make a donation to support Beaumont Children’s, an affiliate of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
  • “Gold-out” varsity football game Sept. 20 at Troy High School: Troy Colts vs. Rochester Hills Stoney Creek Cougars, 7 p.m., 4777 Northfield Parkway, Troy.
  • “FundFare,” a dine to donate event, Sept. 26 at Wahlburgers, 30955 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak.
  • The sale of car magnets, ribbons, T-shirts and yard signs. These items are available at the Thursday farmers market at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak in the South Tower Pavilion from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn more about Beaumont's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month activities.

tree yellow ribbon web

“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 is the first hospital in Michigan to treat some of our pediatric patients with proton technology.”

Facts about pediatric cancers

  • Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death from disease among children.
  • One in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20.
  • One in every 1,000 18-year-olds in the United States is a survivor of childhood cancer.
  • In the past 40 years, survival rates have increased to more than 80 percent for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer.

“Another important role our team serves is caring for pediatric patients after their cancer therapy is complete, our survivors,” said Dr. Gowans.

The treatments that saved the lives of children with cancer can cause long-term health issues. These are called “late effects.” The effects of these treatments can include cardiac and respiratory issues, vision and hearing problems, delayed growth and development and learning disabilities. Lifetime medical follow-up is important.

Beaumont Children’s has a Pediatric Long-Term Follow-up Clinic that follows childhood cancer survivors into adolescence and adulthood. The goal: assist patients long after they complete their treatment. The clinic opened in 2008 to study and treat possible delayed effects of being a pediatric cancer survivor and 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.

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 might 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.

Lisa Muma, RN, coordinator, Pediatric Long-Term Follow-up Clinic, said, “We’ve made great strides, yet the fight against childhood cancers is far from over. Through the placement of gold ribbons and other events, we’re working to raise much-needed awareness and to honor our brave patients and their families. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to area businesses, to the students, football players and staff at Troy High School and to the Beaumont Health team for providing support for this special observance.”