By: Jacqueline Casillas, M.D., medical director, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
September is a month of remembrance, advocacy, and hope for those affected by childhood cancer and sickle cell disease. By shedding light on these challenges and rallying together as a community, we can contribute to the ongoing fight for better treatments, improved quality of life, and, ultimately, cures for childhood cancers and serios blood disorders.
While cancer is the leading cause of death among children past infancy in the U.S., progress has been made over the past 50 years, improving survivorship greatly. Thanks to advances in research and innovative therapies, the five-year survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have each doubled.
As we move forward with our mission at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, we remain unwavering in our pursuit for improved treatment techniques and therapies through research and ultimately, a cure for all types of childhood cancers. As proud members of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a global network devoted to pediatric cancer research, we stand shoulder to shoulder with 230 leading institutions from around the globe. Through our collaboration with COG and other locally accredited hospitals, we offer patients access to the most recent clinical trials and a vast array of treatment options, serving as a beacon of hope for pediatric patients.
In addition, our commitment to inclusiveness resonates deeply within our souls. At the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute, we understand the significance of removing barriers to care, and we have increased our research efforts to improve access to therapies for the Hispanic population. By engaging in these efforts, we hope to ensure that every child, regardless of origin or languages, has equal access to brighter, healthier futures.
JJCCI also supports the most diagnosed hematology disease, sickle cell disease, which has the highest frequency in African American children. The Sickle Cell Program at Miller Children’s & Women’s is one of the most robust in the region, however, we still have more work to do so that one day all children will have access to life saving therapies and be able to live a healthy normal life.
How You Can Help Bring Awareness to Cancer & Sickle Cell Disease this September?
Both childhood cancer and sickle cell disease require a collective effort to bring about change, so we invite you to join us on our voyage of hope and solidarity. You can support Miller Children’s & Women’s cancer and sickle cell patients by supporting the Ribbons of Hope Project. You can make a donation to support JJCCI to ensure that much needed services are provided to patients and their families. Together, we can make a difference and pave the way for a better future for every child whose life has been affected by pediatric cancer and sickle cell disease. To support the pediatric cancer patients of Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute, please visit the Ribbons of Hope donation webpage.