GILBERT – Across the United States, the month of September is observed as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.This is a time to promote awareness, raise funds, and offer support to the children and their families dealing with this dreaded diagnosis.
A gold ribbon is the signature symbol for childhood cancer, and ribbons are often seen adorning homes and business in September to show a unified front of support.
According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, there are an estimated 15,780 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. Our local community is not exempt from feeling the pains of children diagnosed with cancer.
Braxton Bradford, age 7, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at age 5. Luckily for Braxton, he has a wonderful family support system which includes his mom Natasha Lester, stepdad Frank, dad Marvin Bradford, and stepmom Kayla.
Natasha explained that after Braxton was diagnosed, his first hospital stay was 15 days. During the first 10 days, Braxton laid lifeless in his hospital bed. Now, 2 years later, Braxton is going through his second phase of chemo. This is expected to be harder on Braxton as the treatment is given once per week. Still, Braxton remains a trooper through it all.
Braxton’s family decided to organize a community awareness walk in Gilbert which was held Saturday, September 17th, at noon.
The family hoped to raise awareness of childhood cancer while showing support for not only Braxton but other children suffering with cancer. Wearing his gold superhero cape, Braxton led the way for the cancer awareness walk Saturday. The family provided gold balloons and other fun gold items to everyone participating.
During the walk through Gilbert, many businesses were decorated with gold bows, wreaths, and other signs of support. The Gilbert Produce shop was a designated refreshment spot along the way providing water and popsicles for everyone.
At the end of the walk, the gold balloons were released in honor and support of those effected by childhood cancer.
Many online resources are available for anyone wishing to learn more about Childhood Cancer statistics.