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September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
The Children's Hospital and Jay's HOPE Foundation Team Up

MACON, GA (September 1, 2011) – The Children's Hospital at the Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) and Jay's HOPE Foundation recognize September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in central Georgia. The purpose of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to raise awareness of this disease, encourage support for the children and families affected, and to bring attention to the importance of early detection.

The following are facts about childhood cancer:

  • Since 2004, the pediatric oncology population of central Georgia has risen 347 percent.
  • On average, three local children are diagnosed each month with cancer.
  • This year, over 400 children will be diagnosed with cancer in Georgia.
  • The incidence of childhood cancer has increased every year for the past 25 years.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 14.
  • In the United States, more than 12,000 children a year will be diagnosed with cancer and 3,000 children will lose their lives to it.
  • Today, 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer in this country. That's enough to fill two classrooms.

Early detection of a child diagnosed with cancer can greatly increase their survival rate. Warning signs are joint pain, headaches, vomiting, blurred vision, swelling or lumps in the abdomen, dizziness, trouble walking or handling objects, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin, neck or armpit along with fever. Do not panic if your child has one or some of the symptoms of childhood cancer because the symptoms are shared by many non life-threatening conditions. A doctor should be consulted if any of the symptoms persist or occur frequently with no clear explanation.

 Hope for Kids at The Children's Hospital is central Georgia's child- and family-friendly outpatient oncology center for treatment and support. It's currently caring for over 20 central Georgia children diagnosed with cancer and their families.

 Jay's HOPE strives to improve the quality-of-life of children with cancer and their families by extending hope through social, emotional, spiritual, educational and financial support. Financial support from Jay's HOPE has directly assisted some of the children and families of Hope for Kids, and allows for purchase of educational tools and amenities for a warm atmosphere inside the outpatient center. A monthly pediatric education program sponsored by Jay's HOPE provides guest speakers to interact with patients and families, and is a time to share experiences and feelings with others fighting cancer. Since its inception in 2006, Jay's HOPE has offered support to over 700 children and their families from across the state.

 During September, Jay's HOPE will organize an awareness drive called “Hats 4 HOPE” within the local private and public schools. School-aged children can bring a dollar to school with them and donate it to “Hats 4 HOPE” and in turn are allowed to wear a hat of their choice all day in school. This year's “Hats 4 HOPE” day will be held on Friday, September 30. Local businesses are encouraged to participate in a “Hats 4 HOPE” day. For more information about “Hats 4 HOPE,” please contact 478-238-6360, visit or see the Facebook page.