September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Here are 7 Ways to Get Involved & Show Your Support
Join us throughout the month of September as we raise awareness & support for children with cancer and their families. In the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children, with over 15,500 children diagnosed with cancer each year – and the Northeast having the highest incidence rate of childhood cancer diagnosis in the country.
Here are seven easy ways to get involved this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families!
1. Follow our mission and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month campaign:
The mission of Lucy's Love Bus is to deliver joy, comfort, and quality of life to children with cancer and their families through free integrative therapies and holistic support. Lucy's Love Bus is the only nonprofit in the country that provides free integrative therapies to the entire family of a child with cancer, regardless of the child's phase of treatment. Throughout this month, we will be sharing more about what we do and why we do it, so follow along on our social media accounts: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and sign up for our newsletter on our homepage!
2. Learn & share childhood cancer facts:
In honor of the millions of children who have been diagnosed with cancer, we continue to raise awareness each September for the disparities surrounding the diseases affecting families across the world. All month long (and throughout the year) we will share childhood cancer facts, articles, Butterfly Blogs (stories from our own families), photos, and details on how Lucy’s Love Bus is making a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families. Share our posts or create your own updates to like & share each week in September. For inspiration, check out our:
3. Discover new things about Lucy’s Love Bus and what we do:
At just 11 years old, Lucy Grogan founded Lucy’s Love Bus while in treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which she was diagnosed with in 2002. Over her four years of treatment, she discovered integrative therapies like massage, Reiki, meditation, music therapy, and acupuncture, which eased her pain and anxiety and helped her feel like a ‘normal’ kid again. Lucy found out that these therapies were not covered by insurance, making them inaccessible to some of her friends and other children also in treatment. Lucy’s dream was to help other children access these same integrative therapies, and today we continue to deliver that same comfort to children in treatment and those experiencing late effects.
Today, we have five programs, all serving our mission to deliver comfort and joy to families coping with a childhood cancer diagnosis. We ensure the integrative services provided are free and safe, connecting families to local integrative therapists and paying practitioners directly for their services. Through innovative programming, Love Bus addresses the debilitating physical and mental health challenges that plague not only the pediatric cancer patients, but their siblings and caregivers too, providing a continuum of care and support throughout all phases of cancer treatment (active, maintenance, remission, hospice) for the whole family.
Want to learn more about Lucy? Check out...
- Lucy's story featured in our Butterfly Blog Here
- the original “Lucy Was” video, which highlights our wonderful founder and the profound impact she had on the people around her
Want to learn more about the organization? Check out...
- our 'In The News' page, where we share articles and news features about our mission
- the Lucy's Love Bus feature on CNN
- this Coldwell Banker video highlighting some families who have directly experienced the power of Lucy’s Love Bus through integrative therapies.
- our new monthly donor video, featuring Rebecca Curry, Love Bus recipient and supporter
4. Go gold on your social media accounts:
Gold is the color that represents childhood cancer, and this month we feature the gold ribbon throughout our digital landscape. The color gold symbolizes how precious children are and the resiliency of childhood cancer heroes. Unlike other awareness ribbons, the gold ribbon symbolizes ALL types of childhood cancer – which includes a dozen major types and over a hundred subtypes - all under the umbrella of “childhood cancer.”
Childhood cancer affects countless kids and families, disrupting a typical childhood and family experience– there are approximately 40,000 children in cancer treatment in the U.S. When a family learns that their child has cancer, everything changes forever. By spreading awareness, we have an opportunity to give a voice to the children and families who are navigating this challenging journey and can create a community that provides empathy, support, and resources!
During September, many pediatric cancer nonprofits and organizations spread awareness by blasting social media with gold! Show your support by participating with us and millions of others online!
We have created a Social Media Toolkit filled with profile pictures, cover photos, status updates, email signatures, and more! Download some of these resources and hashtag #Hope & #GOGOLD on social media all month long! The easiest way to show support and get involved is to educate yourself, friends and family– and share, share, share!
5. Give to the bravest children in the world:
Fundraising means we have more resources to help all members of families affected by cancer. It is only because of our wonderful donor community that we have had the ability to expand our programming to serve siblings and caregivers/parents, and offer group programs, support groups, and more! Learn more about our newest programs that complete the circle of care that Lucy’s Love Bus provides to the entire family of a child with cancer: Sajni’s Siblings and Ilene’s Caregivers.
And then, you can contribute by...
- Donating to our Childhood Cancer Awareness Month fundraiser on Facebook and share with your community! Not on Facebook but would still like to donate or share our campaign? You can also donate to the campaign here!
- Becoming a member of The Butterfly Effect to provide crucial monthly donations that help ensure continuity of care for our Love Bus families!
- Holding your own FUNdraiser! Team up with friends for a creative fundraising effort that aligns with our mission and your passion! We've gathered a list of unique fundraising ideas to inspire you, so check them out here!
- Start your own Facebook fundraiser to encourage your friends and family to learn about childhood cancer & Lucy’s Love Bus. Click here for our step-by-step guide on how to start your own!
6. Donate blood, be a part of a blood drive, sign up for the bone marrow donor registry:
Children with cancer often require blood and platelet transfusions as part of their treatment. These transfusions are essential for replenishing blood cells that can be depleted due to chemotherapy, radiation, or other treatments. Some treatments can lower the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. Blood transfusion can help alleviate side effects like anemia, fatigue, and weakened immune systems. Blood drives help ensure there is enough available for pediatric cancer patients and others who might need it.
There are tons of local blood drives this month and every month– search the Red Cross database for one local to you!
Many children with cancer who face a relapse must undergo a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow drives significantly expand the potential donor pool, increasing the chances of finding suitable matches for young patients battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Click here to join the Be the Match donor registry, or click here to find a local registration event near you!
7. Get to know our friends in the childhood cancer community:
In the childhood cancer community, there is no competition– only collaboration. Lucy’s Love Bus is just one strand of the fabric that weaves together to create a safety blanket for families of children with cancer, so that they feel supported, loved, and as comfortable as possible during a terrifying time. You can find our list of resources and partner organizations here!