A special message from Dr. Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but this one is so different than any before. The new normal we are living due to the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly difficult for many of the patients and families we serve in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplant.
As always, we at Nationwide Children’s are ensuring the health and safety of patients and families is our top priority. Our efforts are especially vital for those who have long stays with targeted treatments of frequent visits for long-term care.
As we all know, cancer does not hold back when times are tough. An estimated 300,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 each year worldwide. Still, just 4% of the federally-funded annual budget from the National Cancer Institute is allocated for pediatric cancer research. As I’ve said before, research cures cancer, so we can’t rest until we’ve cured everybody. This creed is still our commitment and our goal.
We’ve made great strides in our efforts over the last year:
- Dr. Maryam Fouladi, a world-renowned neuro-oncologist, has joined our team as co- executive director of the Neuro-Oncology Program. Under her leadership, Nationwide Children’s is now one of the most connected and comprehensive locations for pediatric brain and central nervous system tumor research and patient care in the world.
- Our Adolescent and Young Adult Program, in partnership with the teams at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the coveted Teen Cancer America grant, allowing them to better care for patients aged 15-39 and continue researching the unique needs of cancer in this population.
- Working hand in hand with experts in The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine, we are using genome-based testing to identify what mutations are affecting a patient with cancer, and providing personalized care paths to minimize late effects of traditional treatments.
The global pediatric cancer community has made great strides, but there much more work to be done. Whether you are fighting cancer today, a cancer survivor, a family member of a survivor, or even someone who wants to advocate for the cause, we hope you will join us this September so together we can continue to find a cure for every child affected by cancer.
Division Chief of Hematology, Oncology & BMT
Nationwide Children’s Hospital