OK, our goal is to raise awareness. That is our strategy. The big picture. What are the tactics? The action items? Like the writing letters, the commenting on news stories, the being interviewed.
I think we should start a group that has the goal of putting a PAC2 poster in every COG hospital and clinic. I think we should ask every PTA, Girl & Boy Scout and sporting organization we can think of to help distribute infor. But you guys are full of ideas.......lets hear em.....
Sorry - can't help myself, one more:
A PAC2 poster, describing PAC2, our mission etc. And on the bottom, like ACS and LLS, we feature CureSearch, Alex's Lemonade and St. Baldricks.....with virtual events.....like the Virtual Walk, Volvo Virtual Lemonade Stand and I don't know about St. Baldricks, but something like that, a tri-fold sheet they can take with them......and participate virtually.......designers?
(and yeah I know we are not fundraisers, but we are getting awareness and maybe funds for 3 top organizations for the price of a piece of paper and ink - or we can list more if you want)
Here is another awareness idea that I used this month. I attended 5 story times at local libraries. I read during some of them; a library staffer read during others. The books that were read included: "Franklin Goes to the Hospital" (not cancer specific but very well done regarding having a surgery), "Kathy's Hats: A Story of Hope" (written by a childhood cancer mom and explains chemo and going bald) and "Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand" (written by the Scotts of ALS and tells how you can join the effort to fight childhood cancer). Also, "Curious George Goes to the Hospital" (not cancer specific) was included at the sessions that the library staffer read.
At the beginning of story hour, I asked questions such as "have you ever been to the hospital?", etc. prior to the Franklin book. The kids, ages baby to 8ish raised hands, shared experiences, etc. Then, I showed a picture of my son Lane at age 2 and explained that he had been in the hospital a lot due to sickness.
After the Franklin book, I showed a hospital gown, id bracelet and face mask that Lane used during his treatment. I also showed blown up photos of him after surgery, with his mask on, and of his chest with his Hickman. I explained what cancer is and asked kids if they knew of anyone that had it or had previously had it. More audience participation followed. Lane was present at about half of the sessions I did. The ones he attended I used him and put the mask on his face and showed his scar on his abdomen. A lot of questions from the kids followed, especially about the Hickman and scar. I invited the kids to try on the gown and face mask at the end of all the readings.
At the end of the Kathy book, I told how Lane was now healthy and promoted that it was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and how the character in the next book (Alex) had a lemonade stand to help sick kids get better.
Following the Alex book, I asked if any of the kids had had a lemonade stand. Audience interaction followed. Then I invited the kids to particate in a craft -- making cards for oncology patients at Children's Mercy Hospital (in KC) and said that the gift would make the sick kids smile. I also invited the parents/caregivers in attendence to pick up an informational sheet I had about childhood cancer that I made which has tons of stats and things people can do to help the cause. I also included a copy of the story, poem and letter with photos of Lane during treatment (all are posted on my page). For the sessions that were held prior to the balloon release/train ride, I invited the families to attend and passed out an event flyer.
The result -- tons of great cards to take to the hospital, more kids that know what cancer is and understand baldness, sickness, helping with the cause, etc. and parents/caregivers that are more aware and could contribute to the cause and take children to the doctor regularly for earlier diagnosis.
Many parents approached me after the sessions to ask questions, thank me for coming, etc. It was a great experience. Easy to put together and effective.
I honestly don't know if the media would have covered awareness month if there wasn't an "event" to also cover. The coverage made the awareness effort even more effective as the message reached the masses.
I suggest this easy activity for either childhood cancer caregivers or even patients/survivors in their teens.
Kara, what a wonderful way to promote Childhood Cancer Awareness! I would love to find a way to get through to the "teen" community about this. When Kristen was diagnosed, I made a pest of myself to the district where she attends school and local newspapers. I sent emails, letters, made calls and talked until I was blue in the face! lol I gave statistics on diagnosis, cures and any other info I thought would be valuable to them. I tried everything to get them curious and involved. But the simple fact that only a handful of kids in the district had recently fought or were fighting was just not enough to get them to grasp the importance of it all. Same with the local newspapers. They seemed to treat it like any other childhood illness. In fact, the only person out of the entire district that became involved at all was my daughter's homebound teacher. She actually attended several programs sponsered by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Childhood Cancer and the effects cancer had on these kids in school. She told me that through my many ramblings, lol, that she wanted to know more about it to help when she had another student who was fighting cancer. I was very impressed with her efforts. Through all that work, I at least reached one person! :o)
It seems in the adult world, where they have not experienced the impact of childhood cancer, it's one of those things they tend to try not to think about. It's not in our daily news, it's not advertised on billboards, radio stations and TV commercials. And it needs to be!!!!!!!!!! I wish I had the magic answer to tell all of us how to make that happen, but sadly I do not. I wish I had the power to snap my fingers and make things happen. I guess this was not the point of this discussion, but I just had to commend you on your efforts. You are out there promoting, talking and spreading the word. You are a vaulable asset to the childhood cancer community and I hope that you are aware of how wonderful your work in this area really is! I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope that others learn from you and the rest of us here for that matter. The only way to get things done is to spread the word, continue with our advocating and pray that sometime soon we are heard LOUD AND CLEAR for the sake of our children!
I posted the the flyer you (Mr Piniewski) made with the tear offs. I posted everywhere I could think of in my clinic; I even taped one to the water cooler. However, one thing that I'm noticing is, the childhood cancer awareness info seems to be getting lost in the 'white noise' of all things cancer related (ACS, Susan G Komen). Not sure what to do but keep on keeping on. I think it's a point we need to consider though. How do we really grab some attention?
Also (and I'm waiting to see if we get in trouble for it) we are using our RFL to spread info re: childhood cancer awareness. We will have the flyers (as above) at our RFL site. OK, and this is where it gets touchy, I am also making up pamphlets/flyer type things to hand out. I plan to include the general stats (dx per day, etc) as well as how little funding is actually going to peds research and treatment. Things tend to get a little territorial with ACS but hey, so many people really want to support ACS but I think truly don't know where the funds are going. ACS is HUGE; let's point out they need to spend a more cash on the kiddos.
I have tried to get the word out. I have suggested to local newspapers to "highlight" a child affected by cancer everyday during Sept. to promote childhood cancer awareness. I was clearly ignored since I have been suggesting/requesting it for 2 years now and it has not happened. I wanted to mention this in case anyone else would like to try this in there area of the country. I called my little campaign, "Putting a Face to Childhood Cancer" and sent pictures of my own daughter and a few friends we had met, (with their parents permission of course) along the way to give them "examples". I know this is not a new idea, but it was a start for me and I plan to continue to suggest over and over until the media gets my point! ;o)
Since they don't have chilhood cancer workunits ready all the time, it's a good idea to select the option to send you workunits from any of their other projects if they don't have any ready for the project(s) you select; this creates more space on their queue to add more workunits related to childhood cancer.
Their workunits for more general cancer are rather memory-hungry; I don't recommend selecting that project as well unless you have at least 1 GB of memory in your computer.
The cost for the extra electricity required if you participate in this project is less than 50 cents (US) a day for most computers in most locations. If your weather calls for air conditioning, this project adds less that 2 dollars (US) a day to the electricity cost for your air conditioner, for most computers in most locations.
I noticed a lisence plate today while sitting at a red light, It had a pink ribbon on it and read "raising awareness about breast cancer" It was a PA state plate. Then it dawned on me! We should have a lisence plate! Maybe a gold ribbon and "Children get cancer too". But then I had a better idea, have a contest and let the children draw what the plates should look like. I think a child's drawing would attract more attention than another ribbon(not to disparage the ribbon). One for every state!