This year, in Australia, an estimated 315 babies and pre-schoolers will be diagnosed with cancer. Most of them will go in to remission, however around 25 of these children will not make it (Cancer Australia, 2016).
It is true: the numbers of children dying from cancer used to be much higher. But – largely as a result of extraordinary donations to fund research and health services – we now see many more children survive childhood cancer than dying from it. Fortunately, most of us will be spared from having to watch a child in our family or social circle battle this horrific disease.
But…despite all these advances, each little life is important. Each one matters. In the 0-4 age group, cancer robs children of their childhoods and families of their children. Childhood cancer robs us all of our future Environmental Warriors, Artists, Pioneers and Heroes. We lose so much to early childhood cancer. Twenty five little lives lost is still too many.
The question is, how do we find those final pieces of the childhood cancer jigsaw puzzle? How do we make sure the funding doesn’t dry up? How do we make sure we can keep our best scientists, doctors, and nurses working to ensure that cancer no longer poses a threat to our children?
Here is a statistic that may hide one of the missing pieces: