SEBASTOPOL, CA -- Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
announces that 2,500 free copies of the most widely respected
books on childhood cancer are now available to families that
cannot afford to purchase a book. These donations are intended to
create equitable access of information to all families of
children with cancer, and are made possible with a grant from
an anonymous charitable foundation.
Each year in the United States, approximately 12,600 children
under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. This means that
each school day, 46 children-two entire classrooms of
children-are diagnosed with cancer. Although the cure rate has
jumped in thirty years from a meager 10% to today's overall
survival rate of almost 70%, childhood cancer remains the number
one disease killer of children under the age of 15.
A diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating for the family.
Childhood cancer is treated aggressively, often with a
combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, at a time of
life when bodies are growing and developing. Treatment has a
significant long-term impact on children's endocrine, heart, and
cognitive functions. Additionally, parents of children with
cancer are often young, have a limited income, and they have
other children. One parent often needs to give up a job to take
care of child being treated for cancer.
Treatments can last from one year to several years depending on
diagnosis. The long-term economic impact on the family is huge.
This financial strain is even greater in the single parent
family, often forcing the family into financial ruin. It is very
important that all families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis
have access to accurate information on their child's diseases,
treatment, and late effects. Today, doctors have less time,
treatment options are more complex, and people increasingly need
and want to partner with their doctors in making healthcare
decisions. Families must provide more care themselves, in these
days of short hospital stays, nursing shortages, and outpatient
Families facing childhood cancer are in crisis at diagnosis.
Parents travel quickly to the nearest children's hospital without
time to pack and may make life-impacting decisions before the
terrible diagnosis can be understood (or even fully believed). It
is hard to hear and understand all of the information provided by
doctors, yet parents need accurate information that clearly
explains the disease, treatment, and side effects in order to
make good decisions about their child's treatment. They also need
to know that others have gone before them and that most children
survive. Connection with others in similar circumstances is a
The needs are great, and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer
Foundation is a primary provider of essential programs and
services required by families of children with cancer. With this
grant, Candlelighters has purchased 2,500 books for families that
cannot afford to purchase a book, to create equitable access of
information to all families of children with cancer. The books
These books, written by parents of children with cancer and
medical professionals, cover the entire experience of cancer in a
child. Parents who read the books encounter medical facts
explained simply, find advice that eases their daily lives, and
feel empowered to advocate strongly for their child. Technical
information is presented in easy-to-understand language and is
blended with the stories of dozens of veteran families. The
books, part of the Patient-Centered Guides series
(www.patientcenters.com), are deeply appreciated by parents and
cited for excellence by third-party reviewers such as Library
Childhood Leukemia: A Guide for Families, Friends, and
Caregivers, 2nd ed., Nancy Keene.
Childhood Cancer: A Parent's Guide to Solid Tumor Cancers,
Janes-Hodder & Keene.
Childhood Brain & Spinal cord Tumors: A Guide for Families,
Friends, and Caregivers. Shiminski-Mahar, Cullen, Sansalone.
Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Practical Guide to Your Future.
Keene, Hobbie, Ruccione.
The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
P.O. Box 498
Kensington MD 20895-0498