There are an estimated 15,780 children between the ages of birth to age 19 who are diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year.
The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0 to 14 are leukemias, brain and other central nervous system tumors, and lymphomas.
One Elk Grove family is doing their part to raise awareness and money for pediatric/childhood cancers by hosting community events throughout Childhood Cancer Awareness Month each September.
As a fundraising effort for the non-profit Unravel Pediatric Cancer, the family typically hosts one event at an Elk Grove location each year.
This year, they will host five local events for the cause, four of which will be held in Elk Grove.
“Unravel Pediatric Cancer was founded by my friend Libby (Kranz) who I’ve known for about 14 years. After her daughter passed away from cancer, we started a fundraiser called Fluttering to Do during Cancer Awareness Month – the premise is that you leave dragonflies on people’s lawns and people could leave a donation in them if they’d like,” said event co-coordinator Ashley Newell. “We’ve done that for four years, having one community event per year. This year, we decided to do five events on weekends in order to reach more people.”
Despite the fact that pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death among children, not much is being done in the way of raising awareness or funds for the diseases.
The nonprofit Unravel Pediatric Cancer is working to spread knowledge about the grim realities of pediatric cancer and the devastating impact from the lack of funding.
“Pediatric cancers only get less than four percent of the allocated funds for cancer research; our children deserve more than that,” Newell said. “It’s sad that it’s up to grass roots nonprofits to raise the funds. Unravel has already made breakthroughs funding a new technique regarding MRI imaging and highlighting tumors that will start being widely used.”
Unravel founder Kranz talked about the significance of continuing to fight for the funding of childhood cancer research on the organization’s website.
“Raising both awareness about the facts of pediatric cancer and money to help researchers I do for my surviving children,” she said. “Because I now know it could be them, their best friend, or the children I hope they are blessed to one day have.”
With Unravel’s Fluttering fundraiser a set of 12 dragonflies on lawn stakes are moved from one person’s yard to another each day throughout September.
Each person who is “Fluttered” gets the option to pick whom to Flutter next by making a donation to Unravel; the fundraiser is spread all over the country.
The Newell family’s local events will include educational pamphlets on childhood cancers, options to donate to Unravel, specials at each location, and a chance to chat and learn from locals who have dealt with or have survived the disease.
For more information about Unravel Pediatric Cancer, visit https://unravelpediatriccancer.org.
The nonprofit’s Childhood Cancer Month events are listed below:
Sept 8: 1-3 p.m.
The Big Boba Theory
6616 Laguna Blvd.
Sept. 15: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Boy’s Bakery at
The Kitchen Table
1462 33rd St., Sacramento
Sept. 22: 12-2 p.m.
Flatland Brewing Company
9183 Survey Road #104
Sept. 26: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Journey to the Dumpling
7419 Laguna Blvd. #180
Sept 29: 12-1 p.m.
Old Town Pizza and
9677 Elk Grove-Florin Road