BUFFALO, NY -- September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Every year in the United States, 12,000 to 14,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer. Here in Western New York, doctors will diagnose around 70.
It's hard to imagine these little kids suffering from a disease like cancer. It seems like an adult disease. Yet, these courageous kids fight like the true champions they are. We have covered many stories over the years of kids battling cancer.
Recently, we told you about little Anna Rose Leavoy. She was just two years old when cancer took her away from her parents.
We also told you about 9-year old Stella who is battling leukemia. She is still dreaming big and hoping to meet and sing with Taylor Swift.
Doctors at Roswell Park Cancer Institute continue to do their research. They are in the labs hoping to come up with better drugs. Drugs with less side effects. Dr. Martin Brecher has been working with kids with cancer for 30 years. He says there has been huge changes in the survival rate over that time. Right now, more than 70% of children with cancer are cured. That means 3 children are not. That is why the research must continue.
Dr. Matthew Barth works in the labs at the Cancer Cell Center at Roswell. He is researching non-hodgkin lymphoma. Trying to find a better way to treat kids.
Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the House floor earlier this month. He urged Representatives to secure funding. He said, "The only failure is quitting due to lack of funding."
Senator Charles Schumer says he will fight, too. In fact, he said he is fighting, "tooth and nail" to keep that funding. He did admit though, that it's a tough fight.
Here in Western New York, we are very lucky to have both Roswell Park and Women and Childrens. When it comes to kids with cancer, both hospitals work as one to help our kids. They share doctors and services and make it much easier to care for the littlest patients.
Meantime, parents of these little kids dealing with this big disease are looking for better medicine, faster, less painful treatments with less side effects. Parents of these courageous kids are looking for hope.
You can contact your lawmakers. Here are twitter names for some.
Representative Brian Higgins: @RepBrianHiggins
Representative Kathy Hochul: @RepKathyHochul
Representative Louise Slaughter: @Louiseslaughter
Representative Tom Reed: @Tomreed
Senator Charles Schumer: @chuckschumer
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: @SenGillibrand