CORNWALL, Ontario – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to raise awareness and support to help fight the disease, the City of Cornwall raised the Childhood Cancer Awareness flag over City Hall on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.
“I never thought about childhood cancer until I brought my boy to CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) and they told me that he has Leukemia and that he wasn’t going home that day,” said Cheryl Tourangeau, who’s son Alex was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 9. “They told me that if I hadn’t brought him in that day, that he wouldn’t have survived the weekend.”
Alex Tourangeau, now 16, says that events like Childhood Cancer Awareness Month mean a lot to survivors like himself.
“It means to me that people are coming together and helping kids with cancer,” he said.
Tourangeau explained that during the month of September, he and his family will be hiding painted rocks around town as a part of a social media campaign to raise awareness for CHEO.
“If someone finds a rock, they should take a picture of it and share it on social media with the hashtag #CHEORocks and then re-hide it,” Tourangeau explained.
Cheryl Tourangeau said that events like Childhood Cancer Awareness month could lead to better funding for research into these diseases affecting children.
Tourangeau explained how less than four per cent of all cancer research funding goes into childhood cancer research.
“You can beat it, but there is no guarantee you will live to your 80s because they don’t track that,” she said. “There are kids we know who are 16 and they are battling cancer for the fourth time. That’s why painting Cornwall gold for the month of September is so important.”
This is the fifth year that Cornwall has recognized the month of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month.