The first step is to learn about childhood cancers and just how children, their families, and communities are affected. It’s easy to say supporting cancer research and cures is a good thing to do. However, knowing the numbers, the potential problems from treatments, and the personal stories, the critical need for more support is abundantly clear. This knowledge will help you advocate more and fire up others to support childhood cancer organizations with you.
Be the Match
According to Be the Match, 70% of patients who need a transplant do not have a fully matched donor in their family. Yet bone marrow and other blood donations are often the best or only chance of surviving and overcoming life-threatening diseases. To help make sure every patient has a potential match, more people are needed to continue growing the registry and (even more so) to donate when they are called for a match.
The best way to make a great impact is to donate blood with RedCross! Blood transfusions are a critical part of treatments and can even delay the much needed treatments due to the lack of available blood donations. From the whole blood to parts like red and white blood cells, every type of donation helps give children the strength they need to continue fighting cancer. Even with a fear of needles, just know that a single blood donation may help save up to three lives.
Donating plasma is also a great way to make a huge difference. Plasma is a component in your blood which helps the body control bleeding and fight off infection. As plasma can’t be produced synthetically in an artificial environment and can only be obtained from healthy adults, BioLife offers compensation to donors!
Unfortunately, hair loss is a common side effect of cancer treatments. Each child’s body will react a bit differently to the treatments to the effect of hair becoming thin and wispy or completely losing it all. While the reaction to changes in their appearance differs between each child, hair loss can drastically affect their self-esteem. That’s where we can step in. Organizations, like Wigs For Kids, who make wigs for patients have certain requirements for donated hair to be eligible. So before your next hair salon appointment, be sure to check the requirements and tell your hairstylist that you plan on donating your hair.
Share Stories and Events
Share the childhood cancer stories on social media and encourage others to share it as well! From stories of kids who have fought cancer to families, teachers, community leaders, doctors and anyone else who stands up and supports those affected by childhood cancer. In addition, share any events that are hosted by your local childhood cancer organization/non-profit! Spreading the word is incredibly important for these events to help show support for the organization/non-profit to help them continue to do the work needed in the fight against childhood cancer.
Events and Activities
Local childhood cancer organizations often host events to celebrate and honor children that have been affected while raising awareness and/or funds. Or if there are no events going on near you, host your own event! There are several creative ways to get people involved, including virtual or designated locations. Some events consist of competitive games while others host several vendors for shopping and eating. Not only will you feel good participating in an individual or group activity, you’ll also know the proceeds of the event are going towards helping others.
Show your Support with the Childhood Cancer Ribbon
- Set out a gold ribbon yard sign or garden flag for your driveway
- Wearing gold items: gold ribbon pins, bracelets, bags, cups, t-shirts, hoodies, etc (If you don’t have any, check out our handicrafts and t-shirts Facebook group! While it may cost money this time, you can use it again for all the following years!)
- Displaying a gold ribbon on your vehicle, business, or church
- Encourage others to do the same
Provide a Service
Host a fundraiser by offering to help your neighbors with some simple chores like mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters, walking the dog, or anything else they might need done in an exchange for a donation.
The Overall Difference
As children need a lot of support while enduring their battle, everyone’s efforts make a positive impact. So it doesn’t matter which way you choose to support and donate. Together with Syndi Smiles, we are all one big team searching for longer and healthier lives for all children. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our future events!