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Help us support International Childhood Cancer Day on 15 February 2024

International Childhood Cancer Day will take place on 15 February 2024; a day when the world unites to campaign both to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and support children and young people with experiences of cancer, and their families.  A cause that is very close to our hearts here at Sophie’s HQ.

In September 2020 Sophie, who had just turned 9, was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer

called Rhabdomyosarcoma. During her treatment, she endured nine rounds of intense chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiotherapy. Sophie never managed to get into remission and, in June 2021, after only eight weeks on a program of maintenance chemotherapy, she relapsed. In September 2021, just one year after her diagnosis, and with no treatment options left Sophie passed away aged 10.

Childhood cancer is the number one killer of children under the age of fifteen, with approximately ten children and young people being diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. With over eighty-eight subtypes of childhood cancer, each cancer is rare, but collectively childhood cancer is not rare and one in three hundred and twenty children will receive a diagnosis at some point in their childhood. We believe that with timely and accurate diagnosis, availability and access to quality essential medicines as well as proper treatment and care, childhood cancer deaths are avoidable. However, it remains the case that the level of training that GPs receive to assist them in the identification of cancer in children is low, and there is not enough funding being made available to enable the level of research that would see improvements in the treatment options for children.

This is why Sophie’s Legacy been working with government to create a Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan which would bring together scientists, researchers, philanthropists, oncologists, parents and childhood cancer survivors in the hope more can be done to give hope to children like Sophie. The development of the plan is well underway and we anticipate that there will be some exciting announcements on the matter this year.

So, what can you do to support international Childhood Cancer Day? For children on treatment plans for cancer, access to blood supplies is crucial and the NHS has alerted that blood stocks are low. We, at Sophie’s Legacy, have decided that we will mark Childhood Cancer Day by donating blood and would ask that you consider doing this too.  

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