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What to know about National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Madi Adams poses for a photo while receiving treatment for cancer at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. (Provided Photo/Cody Adams Family)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — September was proclaimed National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

It’s an opportunity for people to learn a little more about what we can do to help.

I’ve shared this story on air and on social media. My family is very open about my oldest daughter’s health history.

She had a rare form of leukemia when she was born and was diagnosed at just 4 months old.

As first-time parents, we weren’t really prepared.

I was still trying to figure out how to change diapers.

She received treatment at Riley Hospital for Children.

At just 8 months old, she received a bone marrow transplant that saved her life.

Before she received the transplant, she had to go through intense chemotherapy. In fact, it’s the exact same chemotherapy an adult would get.

Think about that. A baby gets the exact same type of chemo that an adult gets.

I tell you this not to just share her story but to help shed light on the need for more childhood cancer research.

About 9,910 children in the United States younger than 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society.

The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation says out of the billions of dollars in cancer research, only 4% of that goes to childhood cancer research.

Cancer is still the No. 1 killer by disease of children.

Additionally, 2 out of 3 survivors will suffer some sort of chronic health condition from the chemo.

Those are just some of the things that children and their families deal with in the fight against cancer.

Thankfully, with the help of Riley Hospital for Children and our amazing family, our oldest daughter is now 9 years old and prospering.

If you want to learn more, check out my five-part series, from March 2022, about childhood cancer and the research that is happening.