Healthy children and adolescents contribute to productive and sustainable communities and progressive nations.
Every child lost is an irreplaceable piece of the future. We lose the gifts of their unique personalities, talents and potential contributions to our families, communities and nation.
“For every child that dies of cancer, the world loses 71 years of life.“
One parent described this situation very poignantly :
“Childhood Cancer steals. It steals our past, present, and future. It steals our past because it taints the memories we have of our children – leaving us with the ‘we should have knowns’ or the ‘if onlies’. It steals our present because childhood cancer and its treatment consumes so much of our time, energy and emotion. It steals our future because even when our children survive, we are never the same again; we are forever faced with the very real possibility that it could return. When they don’t survive, we are also forever changed and robbed of the future we could have had with them.”
Even for kids who survive cancer, the battle is rarely over. Over 60% of long-term childhood cancer survivors have a chronic illness as a consequence of the treatment they received; over 25% have a severe or life-threatening illness. A recent study by a leading institution in the USA revealed that by the time survivors are 45, because of the cancer treatments they had as kids, more than 95% of them will have a chronic health problem while 80% will have severe or life-threatening conditions.
In addition to the risks to physical health, another study showed that many survivors experience anxiety: 16% of survivors meet criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety and depression can have a profound impact on wellness, even in those with excellent physical health.