Earlier this month, President Barack Obama officially declared September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Check out the official proclamation by the President, below.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Pediatric cancer affects thousands of young Americans each year. It is the leading cause of disease-related death for children, and this year, more than 10,000 of our Nation’s youth will be diagnosed with this tragic disease. Every September, America honors all those who have been affected by this life-threatening illness: young girls and boys whose childhoods have been cut short, the loved ones who know the pain pediatric cancer causes, and the communities across our country that rally to support their friends and neighbors during difficult times. As a Nation, we come together to stand with those who have experienced devastating loss, and we renew our commitment to advance research, improve treatment, and ensure a brighter, healthier future for all young Americans.
Over the past 35 years, mortality rates for some types of pediatric cancer have declined by more than 50 percent, and thanks to major advancements in research and treatment efforts, our Nation has significantly improved its understanding and response to this disease. Today, innovative studies are leading to real breakthroughs — reminding us of the importance of supporting scientific discovery and moving our Nation closer to finding cures. Despite these gains, the specific causes of pediatric cancer remain largely unknown, and much work still remains to be done.
My Administration is committed to advancing the fight against childhood cancer by supporting the vital studies that will continue to build on this progress. Last year, I signed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, which established the 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund, and I will keep urging the Congress to continue investing the millions of dollars available in this fund to support medical innovation and life-changing breakthroughs. I was also proud to appoint a pediatric oncologist to the National Cancer Advisory Board earlier this year. And this past January, I announced my Administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which invests in research to better understand cancer and other diseases, helping the United States lead a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right moment.