It takes a community to cure childhood cancer. The Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation started early this year promoting September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Lake County families touched by childhood cancer families and community leaders came together at the Lake County Government Center Aug. 5, not as politicians, but as parents, grandparents and citizens concerned about the number of children who have or have had cancer to proclaim September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Participating were Cedar Lake Town Councilwoman Julie Rivera, Crown Point Mayor David Uran, East Chicago City Council President Lenny Franciski, Gary Communications Director LaLosa Burns, Griffith Councilwoman Pat Schaadt, Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor, Lake Station Councilman John McDaniel, Lowell Council President Chris Salatas and Councilman Edgar Corns, Merrillville Councilman Richard Hardaway, Munster Councilman John Reed, New Chicago Councilwoman Sue Pelfrey, Schererville Council President Mike Troxell, Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura and Winfield Town Manager Nick Bellar.
Porter County Commissioners proclaimed September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on Sept. 1 in the presence of the parents of five Porter County children who have battled cancer.
The Aug. 30 Gary South Shore RailCats Game began with a parade on the field launching Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by the NICK Foundation and Alkon Consulting group, childhood cancer families shared and supported each other while enjoying "a day away from cancer."
The third annual Childhood Cancer Awareness Event and Walk, “Labor of Love,” was held at Lemon Lake County Park. Businesses and volunteers helped the NICK Foundation honor the fight of children and their families, remember the angels and create awareness.
The NICK Foundation sponsored 18 people who traveled to Washington D.C. Sept. 19-20 for CureFest for Childhood Cancer 2015, which united the childhood cancer community, leading pediatric oncologists and Congressional leaders to become one voice against childhood cancer.
A 5K walk was held on the National Mall with ceremonies honoring cancer kids, siblings and those fighting to secure more of the NCI’s cancer research budget for cancers specific to children.
Partnering with Schererville Bagger Dave’s and Heartland Blood Center, a blood drive and fundraiser was held Sept. 23. A portion of restaurants proceeds were donated to the NICK Foundation.
The new Whole Foods in Schererville donated a portion of Sept. 27 proceeds to the NICK Foundation, and staff and volunteers thanked shoppers as they entered the store.
For the third year in a row, the Lake Central High School volleyball team invited NICK to be part of “Bump Out Cancer” Sept. 29. Headed up by Schererville Fire Chief Joe Kruzan and his wife, Lindsay, the evening included the introduction of cancer survivors from the community.
Throughout the month, fundraisers and awareness events took place in schools in both Lake and Porter counties, and several businesses displayed donation containers. There were some marquees, and a billboard, displaying the message of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.