Meet Oscar. Your average, energetic 4 year old, Oscar loves the great outdoors, running, climbing, swimming, and his big sister Isla. A sudden onset of stomach pain and vomiting which cleared up rather quickly, was then followed by another bout of pain and vomiting. This time, his Dad discovered a large lump in his stomach. What was initially diagnosed as appendicitis, turned out to be Burkitt’s Lymphoma stage 3B, when a mass from his abdomen was removed during what was supposed to be a surgery to remove his perfectly healthy appendix. The news, to say the least, was absolutely devastating. This form of cancer is recognized as the fastest growing human tumor, and can quickly turn fatal if left untreated. Oscar’s life as he knew it, plus that of his family’s would never be the same.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. They say ‘Go Gold’ for this cause; and rightfully so, as the facts are startling. According to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation:
• 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer.
• 43 children per day or 15,780 children per year are expected to be diagnosed with cancer.
• More than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a significant health-related issue by the time they are 45 years of age. These health-related issues are side-effects of either cancer or more commonly, the result of its treatment.
• Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children.
• Since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer. Only three drugs have been approved for use in children. Only four additional new drugs have been approved for use by both adults and children.
• The average cost of a stay in a hospital for a child with cancer is $40,000.
• Only 4% of federal government cancer research funding goes to study pediatric cancer.
These are merely the numbers, though. To think that every number is in fact a child; a child with a world and a family revolving around them, makes these numbers all the more devastating.
Now what?? As a statistic, Oscar now had to undergo 4 months of very intense chemotherapy. Each round was up to a week long and was done via lumbar puncture, for which he had to be anesthetized, and he suffered from severe mucositis of his bowel from the chemotherapy. This led to longer hospital stays as well as constant re-admittance to the hospital for pain management.
Today, Oscar is in remission, but he suffers from relentless nasal drips and nasal stuffiness as a result of his treatment, and although he’s running around once again, the fear of a relapse is all too real for Oscar and his family.
We here at Medical Scrubs Collection are joining the fight against cancer and want to see more than 4% donated to research for pediatric cancer! Go Gold with us and support this great cause using the links below.