GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The goal is to raise awareness and funds for patients and families affected by cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death for children in the U.S.
Dr. Beng Fuh, a pediatric hematology and oncology specialist at ECU Health’s Maynard Children’s Hospital, said people often think of cancer as essentially a death sentence. Fu said they diagnose 55 to 60 children with cancer annually.
“We can tell them that there is hope, we can tell them that they have a team, because we do have a very comprehensive team here at East Carolina University Health System,” said Fuh. “And we can tell them that depending on the type of cancer their child has, there is an 80 to 90% chance that we will cure the child and the child will grow up to be whoever they were destined to be.”
Golden ribbons were hung outside of the Ronald McDonald House of ENC for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Caleb Turik, the family services coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House, said they serve quite a few families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis or cancer treatment. Turik said children inspire the caretakers and their families.
“They’re so positive and they want to feel better, they want to get better, and they believe that they’re going to get better,” said Turik. “And that just inspires all of us where we can look on the bright side. We can say, ‘We don’t want you in this situation, but we’re going to do everything we can to support you, and we’re going to be positive with you.'”
That spirit of positivity isn’t only giving strength to the families. It’s also pushing experts in the field to find a positive outcome.
“It’s also important to know that we’ve made a lot of progress in curing children with cancer,” said Fuh.