WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer somewhere in the world. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children in the United States. A local group, Wilmington Cancer Moms, works to raise awareness for childhood cancer year-round, but in September, they take it up a notch.
“We are just wanting more people to be aware about it," said Amy Hermann, the founder of Wilmington Cancer Moms.
“We spread it year-round, but designated September for childhood cancer awareness so we try to get it out there a little extra and the gold ribbon is for childhood cancer and we want everyone to know what the gold ribbon is for," said Corinna Flemming, a Wilmington Cancer Mom with a son who is currently in remission.
Just seven years ago, 1 in 333 kids would have cancer. Today, the statistics show one in 285.
Lowell Higgins, a pediatric infusion nurse, says he sees about 100 kids a month, who go to duke or chapel hill for regular treatments, come to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for infusions. Each and every child touches his heart.
“These kids are amazing rock stars," said Higgins. "I mean there is just nothing like them. What they deal with, what they go through, but the face they put on when they come in, they know they’ve got to get it done. Most of them are playful. A lot of them like coming. We try to make it as great as we can for them.”
Less than four percent of the national cancer institute’s budget goes towards childhood cancer research. It takes a lot of money to get the best treatments for hundreds of thousands of cases per year.
“We’d really love to see more research," said Candace Hulsey, a Wilmington Cancer Mom. "Better research. Less harsh treatments because when your kid is diagnosed with cancer the treatments can kill them just as easy as cancer can, if not easier.”
Just this year, two local children lost their lives in a battle with cancer.
Each day of September, the group posts on Facebook about a local child who has been diagnosed with cancer and their story to help raise awareness.
The Wilmington Cancer Moms are selling t-shirts for $20 and a hundred percent of the proceeds are going towards childhood cancer research.
If you have a child who has battled or is currently battling cancer, you can ask to join the Wilmington Cancers Mom Facebook group or contact Amy Hermann with a simple Facebook message.