North Grenville Council has proclaimed September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the municipality. The proclamation request came to council from the organizers of Neon Night, who are putting together a virtual event this year from September 1-17, with the goal to raise $20,000 to support childhood cancer research. “One child with cancer is too many,” said a statement submitted to council by the Manager of Special Events for the Canadian Cancer Society, Alison Payne. “During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, and all throughout the year, the Canadian Cancer Society cares about every single child living with cancer and their families.”
On average, 950 Canadian children and youth develop cancer every year. Thanks to generous donors, the Canadian Cancer Society has invested over $50 million in the last 15 years, supporting more than 170 research projects to help children survive cancer and live full lives. Today, the five-year survival rate for childhood cancers is 83% (up from 71% in the 1980s), which is the result of investment in research that allows for earlier detection and better treatment.
Although great strides have been made, and more children are surviving cancer, there is still more work to do. Childhood cancer is still the number one cause of disease-related death in Canadian children past infancy, and two out of every three childhood cancer survivors will suffer long-term side effects from their treatment.
Council were keen to support this initiative, and Mayor Nancy Peckford acknowledged Neon Night as a very successful local fundraiser that the community looks forward to every year. “We are all extremely familiar with the Neon Night event, which is an incredibly successful and popular Fall event in our community,” she said at the council meeting. “I am glad to see that the event is proceeding virtually.”
To show their support, the childhood cancer flag will be flown at the Municipal Centre throughout the month of September. Anyone interested in signing up or donating to Neon Night can visit www.cancer.ca/neonnightkemptville.