September is childhood cancer awareness month and with it comes CureFest, an event dedicated to raising awareness for childhood cancer and celebrate those who have fought it. Childhood cancer is a relatively unpopular topic among the general public and elected leaders, something the organizers of this event want to change. The event takes place in Washington D.C., on Sep. 16 and 17.
Over 250,000 new cases of cancer impact youth under 20 each year, yet research into how to change that is vastly underfunded. This can change with more people calling for action and speaking up for sick kids who can’t speak for themselves.
The first day of CureFest consists of a rally to the U.S. Capitol, a socialization time, live music and a candle-light vigil in front of the White House. The vigil made headlines a few years ago when the Secret Service ordered those gathered for it out of Lafayette Square, even though event organizers had previously obtained a permit for the area.
Day two consists of an all-day festival with live music, recognition ceremonies, an organized walk and booths from various childhood cancer charities and organizations. Last year’s special guests even included the Aflac duck! You can register for one or both days here. Registration and attendance is free.
Even if you can’t attend Cure Fest, you can still make your voice heard this month, and throughout the year.
The Childhood Cancer Star Act is the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever taken up by Congress. The Act represents legislation to advance research, improve surveillance and offer more resources for survivors. It was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, but was not able to clear the Senate before the end of the session. To help get the law signed in as soon as possible you can send an already typed up message to your senator here. An advocacy tool kit that dives deeper into how you can be an advocate for children with cancer can be found on the same website.