Families and friends of children affected by children's cancer, and the professionals who care for them, are coming together this weekend to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to raise important funds for important research into this often life-threatening illness.
The West Virginia University Physicians of Charleston organization invites you to join them as they celebrate and honor children from the Charleston area who have been affected by children's cancer by sponsoring the 2013 CureSearch Walk.
The walk will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field in Charleston. It will include prizes, music, food and fun activities for the entire family.
Walk event registration and check-in begins at 9 a.m. The opening ceremony and walk begins at 10 a.m.
The walk is part of a month of events to raise awareness and encourage fundraising.
President Barack Obama declared the month of September "National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month," and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin read a proclamation at the Governor's mansion earlier this month to kick off the awareness campaign here in the state of West Virginia.
Dr. Allen Chauvenet, a professor of hematology-oncology WVU's Charleston Division, says that the number of deaths due to childhood cancer is dropping.
According to Chauvenet, more than 80 percent of children who are now diagnosed with cancer are cured, but there is still 20 percent who will not live to be adults.
Chauvenet joins a team at the CAMC Women and Children's Hospital in Charleston in treating these children. The group leads the only program in the state fully recognized by the Children's Oncology Group, the world's largest organization devoted exclusively to pediatric cancer research.
Approximately 50 children in the Mountain State are diagnosed each year with a form of cancer.
"We hope never to hear that a child has been diagnosed with cancer," said Dr. Howard Grodman of the WVU Charleston Division pediatric hematology/oncology team. "But if that happens, there should be solace in the knowledge that Charleston has the resources and expertise at CAMC Women and Children's Hospital to take care of those families, right here close to home.
Further details about the CureSearch Walk are available on the CureSearch website, www.curesearchwalk.org, and clicking on the West Virginia map for more information and registration.
You can also contact local Walk coordinator Alicia Harper at WVU Physicians of Charleston at 304-388-2986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.