September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and downtown McMinnville is going gold to draw attention to the struggles facing local children who have been diagnosed with cancer and the need for continued research.
Chelsea’s Hope for a Cure asked city officials for permission to place gold bows on the benches and lamp posts to remind people September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Jen White says the idea to place the bows came from Chloe Williamson, who mentioned to her mother, Heather, she would like to see gold bows during September.
“Heather posted the idea online and it spurred people to make gold bows,” said White. “We asked the city to allow us to place them downtown. The bows are sold and the proceeds go to Chelsea’s Hope for a Cure, which is used to help local families who have children with cancer.”
Chelsea’s Hope for a Cure is named after Chelsea Clark, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a very aggressive cancer that can spread to the brain and blood stream. Chloe was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The cancer was found in her blood.
“I never dreamed I would receive the kind of response I did from that one single post,” said Heather. “I posted the comment and two hours later I had received numerous comments in support of gold bows. I wanted to use gold because that color is for all childhood cancers. Most of the cancers have their own color, but gold is for them all. This isn’t just about my daughter. This is about every child with cancer.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, childhood cancer is the leading case of disease-related death among children ages 1 to 19 years in the United States.
The American Cancer Society, which funds research, has made progress in seeking new cures for childhood cancer. Today, a child’s chance of dying from cancer is 53 percent less than it was in 1975. The substantial progress in childhood cancer is largely attributable to improvements in treatment and the high proportion of pediatric patients participating in clinical trials. The association is currently supporting 49 grants to find answers that will help save more lives from pediatric cancer.
White wants to encourage the placement of gold bows across the county to show support for children with cancer, as well as their families.
“The more bows we have around town, the better those families feel,” said White. “Even though September is awareness month, and we want to focus on that, we would like for people to keep the gold going to keep these children in mind. We have to take the bows down on Main Street on Oct. 1 because that’s what we agreed to, but businesses and individuals can keep their gold bows up.”
Anyone wanting a bow may call or text White at 607-4388. Bows are made by hand and as requested.