One of the things I’ve noticed more and more – especially since becoming a mother – is the rise of childhood cancers. Maybe I’m just more aware of it now, and every single instance I hear of brings tears to my eyes because, as a mom, it has to be one of the hardest things those moms will ever have to face. Devastatingly heartbreaking, and statistics show that the number of cases is on the rise. In fact, cancer remains the leading cause of death by illness in the U.S. for people age 15 or younger. According to the Aflac Cancer Center, in 2007 alone, approximately 10,400 children age 15 or younger were diagnosed with cancer in the United States. A staggering statistic when you think about it.
Aflac has been engaged in the fight against childhood cancer for nearly 20 years. During that time, the company has been fortunate to meet many unsung heroes who have made a real difference in the fight against childhood cancer. To honor these individuals, Aflac has created the Duckprints award. Aflac Duckprints champions these heroes through ceremonies at childhood cancer hospitals, user-generated nominations on www.duckprints.aflac.com and in social media. Aflac is proud to have donated more than $87 million to the Aflac Cancer Center, with the goal of reaching $100 million by the end of 2015.
One mom’s story really touched me. At only 19-years-old, Trisha Henry Gaffney was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive tumor usually found in the head, neck, hands, or feet of young children. She was treated at the Aflac Cancer Center and, luckily, her treatment ended in April of 1997. Now, with the help of a surrogate, Trisha is a mom herself and wants to raise more awareness for childhood cancers. Armed with the knowledge about her medications, treatments and the potential challenges ahead, Trisha is empowered to be an advocate for her own health. She knows it is survivorship that defines her ‒ not cancer. Hers is an incredible story, and her message is one I’m honored to share. Trisha encourages survivors to take advantage of the resources available through the Aflac Cancer Center so they can become healthy, happy adults ‒ and parents if they choose.
Want to help?
Aflac needs YOU! Now through Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 11), Aflac will donate $2 to the Aflac Cancer Center for a variety of social media Duckprints activities using the #Duckprints hashtag. All you have to do is post something on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag, #Duckprints. It couldn’t be easier than that! So get to hashtagging!
Win a $50 Restaurant.com Gift Card!
Aflac is also making it possible you you to win a $50 Restaurant.com gift card, just for raising awareness about their #Duckprints campaign. Enter using the easy Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!