“What September means to me….” Words from a childhood cancer survivor.

As written by 18 year old childhood cancer survivor, Kinzie Rine:

Imagine the feeling you get when you start counting down the days before your favorite holiday… the excitement, the overwhelming amount of joy, the rush of energy. Counting down the days until September makes me feel all of these emotions. For most people September is just the beginning of fall but for me it means so much more. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a month of hope, hope that there will one day be a cure to the big C word. It’s a month of change, changing the statistics of childhood cancer. It’s a month of advocating, advocating for the fighters, survivors, and angels. As a childhood cancer survivor, this month is so incredibly important to me because I get to advocate for kids just like me. I get to share my story and make people aware of the harrowing truths of childhood cancer.

No child should be used to getting their port poked. No child should have to go through countless treatments and procedures. No child should have to lose their hair strand by strand. No child should know vocabulary like chemotherapy, radiation, port, biopsy, surgery, post-operation, CAT scan, transfusion, infusion, tumor, blood work, and oncology. These are just a few of the things that children diagnosed with childhood cancer have to endure. Unfortunately yearly over 300,000 children around the world are diagnosed with childhood cancer and will have to deal with these sad truths. To break it down 43 children in the United States are diagnosed a day and 800 children are diagnosed worldwide. Childhood cancer is also the leading cause of death by disease in children. Even with these shocking statistics, Childhood Cancer research only gets 4% of the annual budget from the National Cancer Institute. That’s why this month is so important, because kids are worth more than 4%.

September is important to me because 43 times a day parents have to hear the words “your child has cancer”. September is important to me because I get to advocate for my friends in heaven. September is important to me because I get to help make a change for the world of childhood cancer no matter how big or small. September is a month for me to help make a difference and nothing fills my heart more than that. Childhood cancer has taken so much from so many children and their families  and this is a month for our stories to be told. This month is important for the fighters, survivors, angels, their siblings, their parents, their grandparents, their friends… so never forget to be aware, to spread awareness any chance you can get, and of course never forget to go gold!