MPP Walker rallies members to help raise awareness of Childhood Cancer
Today, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker delivered a Statement in the Legislature to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Two years ago, MPP Walker’s resolution to officially recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness in Ontario received unanimous consent at Queen’s Park.
The following is his Statement:
“September is childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I, along with my colleagues, am proudly wearing a gold ribbon pin to express support for the children and families affected by the tremendous hardship of life-threatening illnesses.
It’s essential to highlight the severity of cancer and its impact on the lives of children and their families how we may strive to continue to fight and advocate for an end to the suffering it causes.
Currently, cancer is the second leading cause of death among kids in Canada. Although rare among children in comparison to adults, the lingering effects of diagnosis, treatment and recovery can last a lifetime. That’s why the fight against childhood cancer should never be fought alone.
We wear the gold ribbon pin today in recognition and support of the families and children who are forced to battle life threatening illnesses, to show that we stand in solidarity with their fight.
One in 330 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer by the time they are 20 years old. This staggering statistic was the key factor in the creation of POGO – the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario – founded by Dr. Greenberg – who is with us today, in the Member’s Gallery.
Dr. Greenberg’s tireless advocacy and research led to the expansion of the province-wide registry of childhood cancer to include standardized, wide-ranging information on an entire patient population and critical dimensions of their care. With input from the five pediatric oncology treatment programs in Ontario, this resource now produces much of the information required for planning pediatric cancer care. It’s one of the few such databases in existence.
Let us be reminded that while there are health care professionals such as Dr. Greenberg who have dedicated their lives to this fight, to saving and improving the lives of children with cancer, we need to continue to do more to illustrate our solidarity. The fight to end childhood cancer must never be fought alone and the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month, is a stark reminder of that commitment.
I ask all of us to continue to fight and take action to build a world free from these life-threatening illnesses. It is my hope that we will soon – for the dream of my hero, Terry Fox – find a cure for all cancers. “Somewhere the hurting must stop.”
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