This week marks the start of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month which takes place each year during September.
The Light it Up Gold Campaign was first introduced to Ireland in 2013 by a group of parents of children with cancer, who went on to set up Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Since then, the charity has been leading the annual campaign in Ireland, asking buildings and landmarks across the country to light up gold and show their support for families affected by the disease.
Blackrock Castle Observatory, Firkin Crane and County Hall will join international landmarks such as Niagara Falls and the Sydney Opera House to light up gold for childhood cancer awareness.
On average, 218 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland and one in 270 children will be diagnosed with cancer before their 19th birthday. Sadly childhood cancer is the biggest disease killer of children in Ireland.
In September 2019 Childhood Cancer Foundation wants to ensure that every county in Ireland lights up gold to help:
- Raise awareness of the physical, emotional and financial issues surrounding childhood cancer
- Shine a light on the bravery of children undergoing or finished treatment, and their families
- Remember those children who have tragically lost their young lives to childhood cancer
- Raise vital funds for our supports and services for children with cancer and their families
Awareness is crucial to ensure that the whole community recognises the immediate devastating impact of childhood cancer on families but also the long term effects of cancer and harsh treatments.
Increased awareness will also help to improve early detection and better understanding among policy makers, leading to more funding for support services and vital research into childhood cancer.
Childhood Cancer Foundation represents children with cancer and their families on the National Cancer Control Programme Children, Adolescents and Young Adults Clinical Leads Board and the Cancer Patient Advisory Committee which are responsible for implementing and overseeing the recommendations of the National Cancer Strategy with regard to children, adolescents and young adults.
There’s still time to get involved with this year’s Light It Up Gold campaign. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org and show your support for families affected by this terrible disease.
 National Cancer Survivorship Needs Assessment: Survivorship after Childhood Cancer, 2018, https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/5/cancer/profinfo/survivorship-programme/survivorship%20after%20childhood%20cance.pdf
 NCRI, average disease incidence statistics 2010-2015, https://www.ncri.ie/data/incidence-statistics