INFOGRAPHIC: Pediatric cancer research by the numbers

CALGARY- The Calgary woman behind a major fundraiser to help fight cancer says more money is needed to support pediatric cancer research.

Every September Shonalie Stadnyk marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with a big fundraising run. Her charity, “Believe in the Gold” ,  was inspired by her late daughter Jacey Uphill.

“She said ‘Mom, can you guys promise me that you’ll make childhood cancer awareness known,’” the Calgary mother recalls.

Uphill passed away two years ago from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a pediatric cancer that for decades has seen very little improvement to how it’s treated. In fact many of the drugs used during Uphill’s treatment have now been used for more than 60 years.

According to the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta, only about 2% to 3% of cancer research funding goes towards developing new treatments for pediatric cancer.

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“In the last 20 years, we haven’t moved this along fast enough,” said Kids Cancer Care CEO, Chrstine McIver. “And that’s just simply a matter of not having enough resources, enough pediatric oncologists and that all comes down to funding.”

McIver also points out that 50 years ago, 80% of pediatric cancer patients would not survive their disease. Today, only 20% of childhood cancer patients will die.  Still, that number has not improved in nearly two decades.

“Kids with brain tumours, kids with neuroblastomas and some sarcomas are still not surviving their disease and that’s not good enough,” said McIver. “We do not need to lose kids to cancer.”

Both Kids Cancer Care and Believe in the Gold are currently working to raise money to support pediatric cancer research.

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