ST. GEORGE – Cancer is ugly, no matter how you dice it. But there is something especially horrifying about pediatric cancer. Would you be surprised to know that out of all the funding that comes in, the National Cancer Institute gives less than 3.2 percent to childhood cancer? That percentage ends up being around $11.9 million.
To give you an idea of where that lands in relation to the other cancers, lung cancer gets $247.6 million, prostate cancer gets $285.4 million, and breast cancer gets $572.6 million.
That’s not to discredit or attack any of the others, but some of the reasons kids get the “run offs,” as it was described in the research, are:
• Kids are too young to vote
• Pediatric cancer “behaves differently” than most other cancers
And the list goes on.
In the 1960s most children with cancer died. The five-year survival rate was only 28 percent, meaning 74 percent of children diagnosed lost their battle. Now three out of five children diagnosed with childhood cancer will survive treatment.
What made the biggest difference? While medical technology is always improving, medical professionals learned that when children’s psychological well being was cared for on the same level as their physical, their mortality rate increased dramatically. Kids need a positive outlook. They need to be happy.
Southern Utah-based Fight Like A Girl hosts events to raise funds for children with cancer.
Fight Like A Girl’s upcoming event is a poker run at Zion Harley Davidson (2345 N. Coral Canyon Blvd., Washington City) on Sat., June 30. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and will run until the poker hands are turned in at 4:30 p.m.
There will be a jamboree beginning at the announcement of the winner at 5 p.m.. The jamboree will run till 10 p.m. with activities for the whole family including live entertainment, inflatable slides, Disney princess characters, “all aboard” train rides, vendors, food, games, a car show and more.
Any vehicle is welcome to participate for the $1,000 cash prize and $500 donated by Zion Harley Davidson. Usually only motorcycles are traditionally invited to this type of event.
Fight Like A Girl also wants to invite everyone and anyone with any means of transportation. There will be a $100 cash prize for the best decorated vehicle.
Fight Like A Girl’s “Princess Character” program.
Cancer kids fare better when they are happy. So in addition to the events that Southern Utah-based Fight Like A Girl hosts to raise funds for children with cancer, any time one of its kids have to be at the hospital for whatever reason – whether for regular treatments or on an emergency basis – a “princess character” comes with them.
The “princess character” will stay with the child and color with him or her, paint her nails, or just sit beside him or her while he or she endures her treatment. Fight Like A Girl is also organizing monthly activities for the children to come and interact with kids suffering the same fight. Fight Like A Girl will do whatever it can to promote a positive outlook.
Fight Like A Girl’s Fundraising Focus.
The Fight Like A Girl organization knows two things. First, Fight Like A Girl will never raise enough money to find a cure to end cancer and children will continue to die. Second, with the families spending nearly $500,000 in medical treatment within just the first three months, which doesn’t account for the emergency bills, time off work, travel costs (the nearest hospital equipped to help these kids is 4 hours away), Fight Like A Girl will never ever be able to raise enough money to ever make any sort of difference in their ever increasing bills.
But the statistics show how important the kids’ positive attitude is. So Fight Like A Girl can make a difference.
Fight Like A Girl isn’t the first organization to raise money in support of pediatric cancer patients. However, it’s are different in the fact that it recognizes and support the family as a whole.
Few people recognize that the siblings of a cancer patient will be 50 percent more likely to suffer with PTSD because he or she is too young to understand why their brother or sister is dying, why mom and dad are always gone, or why their needs are pushed aside. When a child is sick, the entire family is hurting and is in need of support.
The other reason Fight Like A Girl is different is it never has and will never keep a single cent. Fight Like A Girl is 100 percent nonprofit. Regardless of whether Fight Like A Girl raises $1 or $100,000, Fight Like A Girl will divide it equally between the families in the organization, down to the last cent.
Fight Like A Girl believes that its volunteers, supporters, and sponsors should be able to know and see exactly where each cent goes. Fight Like A Girl also implemented a system ensuring that each cent donated and earned goes directly to the child.
For more information visit Fight Like A Girl’s website or call Mari Burgess at 435-691-4014.