We’ve written all about statistics, and made logical yet heartfelt cases for increased funding for childhood cancer research. But really, it’s simple: They are kids and we’re supposed to protect them.
In 1924 The League of Nations endorsed the first Declaration on the Rights of the Child recognizing that that mankind owes to the Child the best that it has to give, and that the child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
In 1948 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly stating that children were entitled to special care and protection. In a second Declaration of the Rights of the Child it stated that “.... men and women of all nations, recognizing that mankind owes to the child the best that it has to give, declare and accept it as their duty to meet this obligation in all respects.....”
Flash forward to 2014. The National Cancer Institute directs less than 4% of its budget to saving children from the leading cause of death by disease in the United States. National Cancer Institute Director Harold Varmus says “we’re making a pretty good effort” against childhood cancer” – certainly not consistent with “the best mankind has to give”. Varmus goes on to say that "if you look at the entire national cancer program there are many other private and public sources of money” -- which horribly ignores our children and the reality of a lack of private and public sources of funding for childhood cancer research.
Ninety years ago the planet agreed that we should ensure that the child must be the first to receive relief in times of stress, that they would receive special attention and the men and women off all nations owe it to them to give the best we can…..
It’s time to make good on that promise.