Children who are cancer survivors and their parents joined Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit at the Legislative building Tuesday afternoon to raise a flag for Childhood and Youth Cancer Awareness month.
“[It was] started by a group nationwide who wanted to start recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month.” Ottenbreit said.
Parents and children who are affected by cancer spoke on how it changed their lives and are very supportive towards research and treatment.
Ottenbreit and his family lost their son Brayden to cancer in 2000 at the age of 6.
“But we having carried on his memory and tried to do good from a very difficult situation and not only raise awareness, but funds for research and support for local cancer patients in and around our area and in the province.”
“It is important for the community to remember that kids get cancer, too,” Regina childhood Cancer Awareness Advocate Sherri Melnychuk said in a news release. “The gold ribbon worn during Childhood Cancer Awareness month helps raise awareness of childhood cancer, as children are more precious than gold. We owe it to the children to support childhood cancer research, more effective treatments, and improved quality of care.”
Sherri Melnyhcuck is the Regina representative of Small But Mighty, an organization that helps raise awareness of childhood cancer. The Melnychuks lost their four-year-old daughter Ava Hope to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2011.
The number of new pediatric patients seen provincially at Saskatchewan’s two cancer centres typically ranges from 40 to 60 each year.
In Canada today, approximately 83 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive.