September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM). Across Ontario and Canada, it has become a tradition to shine a spotlight on childhood cancer achievements and the challenges that remain. Throughout September, POGO will initiate partnerships and support our partners – hospitals, families, survivors, donors, government, nonprofits, and others – to raise awareness.
Corin Greenberg, POGO’s Chief Executive Officer, shares her thoughts on the significance of this month for all who care for and about children with cancer and their families.
“Since 2007, POGO’s commemoration of CCAM mirrors our strong belief that a cancer community that communicates and collaborates will be strong and comprehensive, efficient and effective—steering towards doing what is truly needed and away from the duplication of efforts. To this end, our participation has focused on engaging collaboratively to plan events, share local event news and to develop and freely share resources.
Our important, long-term hopes are to see a strong, collaborative and well informed community, focused on increased public awareness of the significant challenges faced by the childhood cancer system and true priorities.
Over the years POGO has championed the need to imagine a better childhood cancer system and the pursuit of initiatives that will inform the public about childhood cancer. Our chalk campaigns gained momentum in schools, helping to raise awareness among kids, their parents and teachers, while easing the way for our patients to return to a friendlier, more supportive, less anxious and better informed school environment and friendships, while still in treatment.
We have encouraged mayoral proclamations, provided request letter templates and developed posters for our partners and stakeholders to display. Many others have risen to the call – hosting third-party events to help raise funds, friends and awareness through sporting activities, corporate dress-down days, even orchestral performances held on a downtown street and a concert hall; and POGO Satellite Clinics and tertiary hospital partners have shown enormous creativity, offering CCAM events that range from teddy bear picnics to “Doctor for a Day” where a patient, dressed in lab coat and stethoscope, takes you on a clinic tour to demonstrate her treatment process during a typical clinic visit.
This year we continue to share backpack buttons, tattoos, magnets, t-shirts and other resources with our hospital partners, families and schools, and proudly introduce a new program, Pajamas and Pancakes.
When POGO programs and collaborations become of interest to colleagues in other jurisdictions, we are pleased to share success factors and strategies in the hope that children and families in other childhood cancer communities will benefit.
Since 2015, POGO has joined with several other Canadian organizations to support an ongoing national awareness campaign, The Big Book of Care, in partnership with Shaw Media.
POGO welcomes everyone who wants to help children with cancer, and values and recognizes them as partners. Let’s work together in the best interests of these children, their families and the dedicated professionals who care for them.”
Learn more about what’s happening across Ontario this September.