September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and no one knows more about the importance of raising awareness for the gruelling disease than the families who have been personally affected by it.
Kerrin Hampson is a mother that knows the struggles of childhood cancer all too well, with her son Marley being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when he was just 15 months old. Because of her family’s experience, Kerrin is now an ambassador for the Foundation and is passionate about raising awareness for the disease and the need to find better treatments.
“Raising awareness is like stacking dominoes and knocking them down. Each one hitting the next, hopefully gaining momentum,” said Kerrin. “I had lived an entire life without knowing a child who had cancer…and then Marley. I had zero awareness.”
Marley is now 10 years old and he finished his cancer treatment in September 2013. “Understanding the privilege I have in the fact that my son is a survivor because of research drives me to make people aware and raise funds for more research,” explained Kerrin.
Although his treatment has ended, Marley is still experiencing the side effects from the harsh treatments he endured, including cognitive and executive functioning issues.
“Awareness is vital, and the first step in funding research into child specific cancers,” expressed Kerrin. “Treating kids with chemotherapy designed for adults leaves approximately 80% with some kind of side effect, some fatal.”
By continuing to fund the important research into childhood cancers, CLCRF hopes to make a real difference in the lives of future generations of children as we find more effective and less invasive treatments.
“Only 3% of government funding for cancer research in Australia goes towards children. That’s not good enough. There are so many promising treatments in the pipeline that relies on funding.”
There are so many ways you can help us spread awareness during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and give hope to future generations of children. By continuing to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, more children can go on to live the lives they deserve.