Fredericksburg Parent

September 2015

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12 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • September 2015 BY A.E. BAYNE September is for Hearts of GOLD ...43 children are diagnosed with cancer every day, 16,000 every year. " " Leading the Charge Probably the best known organization in Fredericksburg is the FAIRY GODMOTHER PROJECT. Like many of the groups in our area, Fairy Godmother Project seeks to support families as they travel north and south along the I-95 corridor to pursue treatments in city hubs. Andie McConnell, executive director, explains, "There are no pediatric cancer treatment facilities here in Fredericksburg, which creates added expense and disruption to the schedules of every member in a family. Our philosophy is if we take good care of the family, the parents in particular, they can take bet- ter care of their sick child." Volunteers play a large part in Fairy Godmother Project's success, allowing them to provide everything from meal preparation, to house and lawn care, to financial sup- port when needed. S eptember is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and you might notice quite a few people in our area sporting bright gold ribbons in support. The statistics can seem grim. According to the American Cancer Society, 43 children are diag- nosed with cancer each day, nearly 16,000 a year, with Leukemia and various types of brain tumors leading the list. New drugs for childhood cancer are rarely approved, and this group of cancers can be especially invasive and swift. Additionally, childhood cancers are underfunded, with the highest proportion at 4 percent from the National Cancer Institute; so independent groups step in to target these gaps. Most of them spend between 80 - 100 percent of their profits to fund research and outreach support for families in need.

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