Today marks International Childhood Cancer Day, a date established with the aim of raising awareness about this disease and supporting children who suffer from it and their families.
That is why, every February 15, different organizations, companies or personalities decide to carry out solidarity campaigns and make visible this harsh reality, which annually affects more than 150,000 children around the world.
Among the many campaigns that we will see today, we want to highlight that of the Aladina Foundation. The challenge, which is called #pañuelochallenge, seeks to provoke a wave of solidarity throughout the country that pays tribute to children with cancer.
A challenge that has reached thousands of schools throughout Spain
The #scarfchallenge challenge was presented by the Aladina Foundation at the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year to promote solidarity among students and pay tribute to all children and adolescents who, due to cancer treatments, lose their hair and have to wear a scarf .
The objective of this challenge is to dedicate one day of the course (preferably today) to making childhood cancer visible, encouraging all students to wear a headscarf . This initiative will be complemented in each school with parallel awareness and solidarity activities such as talks, projections, collections, letters and drawings for sick children…
Similarly, at 12 in the morning it has been proposed to make a break of five or ten minutes as a sign of support for children with cancer.
But this break in activity is not only focused on schools and institutes, but anyone can join .
In this way, companies, town halls, hospitals, institutions, businesses or individuals are summoned by the Aladina Foundation to join at the same time in a wave of solidarity and support that runs throughout Spain and reaches the hearts of those who need it most. .
We can also upload photos with the headscarf to our social networks under the hashtag #scarfchallenge, and thus give visibility to this harsh disease that deserves the support and awareness of society as a whole.
Childhood cancer in numbers
Every year, more than 150,000 new cases in children are diagnosed in the world, and in Spain 1,400 new cases in children under 18 years of age, which represents an incidence of 155 new cases per year per million children in this age group.
The most frequent cancers in childhood are : leukemia (approximately 25%), tumors of the central nervous system (approximately 20%), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (approximately 6%), Hodgkin’s disease (5%) and Wilms tumor in the kidney (5%), Ewing’s sarcoma and thyroid cancer.
The prognosis for childhood cancer in Spain has improved dramatically in recent years, reaching a survival rate of 75% five years after diagnosis . However, it is important to keep moving forward to reach 100% healing.
Although childhood cancer is a rare disease, we cannot turn our backs on this reality, since children and their families need the support of the whole of society to navigate the hard road that opens before them after diagnosis.
How can we help children with cancer?
Although the family is the fundamental pillar of the child, especially those who are going through situations of extreme vulnerability as is the case of minors with cancer, from the various levels of society we can contribute to help in the recovery of these children.
How can we do it?
- Becoming bone marrow donors or donating the umbilical cord of our newborn , so that children with leukemia have more chances of finding compatible donors to help them overcome their disease.
- From volunteering and supporting foundations that work daily to make these children’s hospital stay more bearable, through play, smiles and affection. Fundación Theodora , Juegaterapia or Fundación Aladina are just a few examples.
- Buying for our children or friends “the most beautiful dolls in the world”: the Babylone . With your purchase, we will not only be contributing to childhood cancer research , but also, the children who receive this precious gift will be able to understand that there are many little bad guys who are having a hard time and who need everyone’s support and solidarity.
- We can also contribute by donating our hair for all those children and adolescents who have lost theirs as a result of the treatments.
- Participate and/or spread solidarity campaigns that encourage donations to continue researching . Because in order to advance in the causes and treatment of this disease, more economic resources and financing are needed, so any help, no matter how small, will always be a great gift.