Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.
One such organization that delivers essential action, The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS), has established a legacy of providing emotional, financial and educational assistance to children with cancer and their families.
This year, NCCS is marking its 25th anniversary — that’s 25 years of assistance to more than 28,000 children in the U.S. Since its beginning, NCCS has grown and evolved with programs such as the Pediatric Oncology Program (POP), which has distributed over $52 million to families, and Beyond the Cure. This year alone, Beyond the Cure — a survivorship program designed to educate children and their families about the challenges they may face as childhood cancer survivors — has awarded $100,000 in college scholarships to 32 cancer survivors.
“The NCCS recipients show all of us how to successfully turn a challenge into something positive,” says Mark Stolze, NCCS president and CEO. “The Beyond the Cure Scholarship Program is a vehicle to help these individuals move forward with their lives in a meaningful way.”
The programs give children suffering from cancer a better chance to make a full recovery, especially children who don’t have access to quality health care or proper treatment. And POP lessens the family’s financial strain by helping with the ongoing expenses of treatment, such as meal assistance, gas money, and in some cases, health insurance premiums. This gives some added peace of mind to those parents whose incomes have become affected by their child’s illness.
For more information on the NCCS or coping with pediatric cancer, go to www.thenccs.org. To learn more about Beyond the Cure, visit www.beyondthecure.org.