CORNWALL – The mother of a childhood cancer survivor says Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is needed because the illness doesn’t get enough recognition or funding.
“It’s really important that we raise the awareness that childhood cancer is not rare. It’s out there and we need to have these kids recognized,” Cheryl Tourangeau told Cornwall Newswatch, shortly after the yellow and white flag was run up the flagpole at the Justice Building on Pitt Street Friday morning.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Tourangeau was happy with the small but mighty turnout.
“It was fantastic. We had five kids here today and that just makes my heart so happy because it’s all about them and raising awareness for what these kids and their families go through,” she said.
Tourangeau’s teenage son, Alex, is a leukemia survivor.
While the overall survival rate for children with cancer is around 80 per cent, the unfortunate reality is one in four kids will die, Tourangeau explained.
Gold bows will be going up in the city’s two downtown areas tomorrow (Saturday) with the help of the Junior Optimists, supported by Heart of the City, as well as around the Cornwall Civic Complex.
The Friday morning flag raising saw some new faces in the crowd – an opportunity for newcomers to meet other parents going through the “roller coaster ride” of having a child with cancer.
“You really have to hang onto the silver linings to get you through the dark days. Because of the Privacy Act, CHEO, Candlelighters, all the wonderful groups that are out there, cannot pass on other parental information. You kind of trip over people and find them accidentally sometimes and it’s really important because nobody truly understands what you’re going through unless they’re another cancer family. That networking and that support and knowing that you’re not alone is just priceless.”
Tourangeau encouraged city businesses and the community to decorate in gold during September and to share it on social media.
The clock tower at Lamoureux Park and the cenotaph are also lit in gold.
Find out more about the September events on the Paint Cornwall Gold Facebook page.