Philadelphia, September 19, 2016 – Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents under age 14 in the United States. At a City Hall ceremony Wednesday, Councilman David Oh (At Large) will honor childhood cancer patients, care givers, survivors, and those children who have succumbed to the disease as Philadelphia recognizes Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
On September 8, City Council passed Resolution No. 160753, which was introduced by Councilman Oh and entitled, “Recognizing September 2016 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Philadelphia in Honor of Childhood Cancer Patients, Care Givers, Survivors, and Those Children Who Have Succumbed to the Disease; and Urging the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate to pass House Resolution 3381 and Senate Bill 1883, Both Entitled, ‘Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research Act of 2015 or the Childhood Cancer STAR Act.’”
Despite the fact that each year approximately 15,780 children between birth and age 19 are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, only 4% of federal funding is solely dedicated to childhood cancer research. Thus Resolution No. 160753 also calls on the United States Congress to pass the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, which focuses on maximizing childhood cancer survivors’ quality of life, moving childhood cancer research forward, and helping children get access to life-saving treatments.
Councilman Oh will present copies of the City Council Resolution to representatives from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer at Wednesday’s ceremony. He has also invited Jennifer Toth, a childhood cancer survivor and a pediatric oncology nurse at CHOP, to share her story. Toth was diagnosed with a rare pediatric liver cancer at the age of two and a half and was treated at CHOP. Motivated by her experiences as a patient and the lasting impact of the healthcare professionals who cared for her, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and now works as a registered nurse on the oncology unit at CHOP. Outside of work, she remains involved with numerous organizations supporting families of children with cancer and advocating for increased research funding for better treatments.
Wednesday’s ceremony will begin at 1:30 PM on the North Apron of City Hall. All members of the public are invited to attend.
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Councilman David Oh is currently serving his second term as an At Large member of Philadelphia City Council. In January 2016, he was elected as Council’s Minority Whip by his colleagues. More information at phlcouncil.com/DavidOh