Healthier, Happier Lives
Each year Valley Children’s diagnoses more than 100 new cases of pediatric cancer. As one of the leading childhood cancer treatment centers on the West Coast and the only provider of pediatric oncology services in the Valley, Valley Children’s serves on the front lines in the battle for a cure.
Our medical staff of nine board-certified pediatric oncologists/hematologists includes a neurooncologist specially trained to treat brain and nervous system cancer, the second most common cancer in children. Due to the team’s experience treating childhood cancers — from common to rare — and the breadth of pediatric cancer treatment services offered at Valley Children’s, an overwhelming majority of childhood cancer patients survive. Fifty years ago, only a fraction of affected children lived to see their next birthday. Today, about one in every 250 young adults is a childhood cancer survivor.
However, the same treatments that cure cancer patients may put them at risk for long-term health problems. Late effects resulting from surgery and powerful but toxic radiation or chemotherapy treatment may occur early or decades after treatment.
About two-thirds of survivors will experience at least one late effect, including physical, emotional and social issues, and may require ongoing medical support. About one-fourth will suffer a serious or life-threatening late effect, such as cardiac dysfunction or a second cancer diagnosis.
With compassionate support, high-quality treatment and appropriate education, childhood cancer survivors can plan better for their future and reach their full potential.
An Increasing Need for Philanthropic Support
Valley Children’s created the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program to serve this at-risk population by providing them personalized treatment therapy summaries, and a tailored risk-assessment, screening and annual follow-up plan.
Established in December 2009, the primary goals of the program are to promote healthy lifestyles for former cancer patients as they enter adulthood and to advance research efforts to discover the most effective treatments for cancer with the least amount of late effects on survivors.
Since 2010, the program has served nearly 500 childhood cancer survivors. Last year, we had nearly 400 visits. Next year, we have the potential to see another 200 survivors with the long-term potential to see up to 1,000 survivors in our region who need access to this specialized care. With the only childhood cancer survivorship program of its kind in the region, Valley Children’s will need additional staffing and long-term funding to meet this demand.
In order to continue offering these life-extending services and meet the needs of childhood cancer survivors in perpetuity, Valley Children’s is reaching out to concerned individuals as well as corporate and private foundations to raise both current operating support and permanent program endowment.
How You Can Help
Few people have been untouched by cancer. Most of us know someone who either acquired cancer as a child or as an adult. Your philanthropic support of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program will ensure that children who valiantly overcome childhood cancer have the best opportunity to lead healthy, fulfilled lives. Learn about a few patients who have been helped by this program by watching the video below.
Click here to invest today in the lives of ill and injured kids in the Central Valley.