Upstate News

September 12, 1999
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Candlelight Vigil to Celebrate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Sept. 24

Survivors of childhood cancer, their parents and supporters will participate in a candlelight vigil Friday, Sept. 24 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby at University Hospital, 750 East Adams Street.

The purpose of the vigil is to recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, to focus attention on the need for research, and to remember those children who died and those who have survived. The public is invited to attend the ceremony.

Speakers will be Ronald Dubowy, M.D., director of University Hospital’s Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders and Joanne Ondrako, president of Parent Reach Out Program (PROP), a University Hospital-based group for parents of children with cancer.

“The vigil brings together young cancer patients, their families and many of the health professionals who care for them,” Ondrako said. “We hope that it also creates a greater awareness in our community of childhood cancer and the need to support research in this field.” Ondrako is a research scientist at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse.

Dubowy noted that the Health Science Center has long been a leader in the study and treatment of childhood and other cancers. He added that the Health Science Center’s University Hospital is the only hospital in central New York to offer–through its Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder–comprehensive pediatric services for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and blood disorders, including leukemia, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and solid tumors.

“Thanks to advances in treatment, most children with cancer are cured,” said Dubowy. “However, cancer is still the number one disease killer of children from age 1 through adolescence.”

According to recent statistics, cancer strikes one in 500 children between birth and age 15. The most common forms of childhood cancer are leukemia, brain tumors, bone cancers, neuroblastoma and lymphoma.

It is suggested that individuals who plan to participate in the candlelight vigil, RSVP by contacting Health Connections at 315-464-8668.

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