HARRISBURG – Rep. Kerry Benninghoff’s (R-Centre/Mifflin) House Resolution 1024
unanimously passed the House of Representatives today, officially designating September 2018 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
“No one likes to think about childhood cancer, but the reality is, young people all across our Commonwealth are facing it, and it’s every parent’s worst nightmare,” Benninghoff said. “This month, let’s be challenged to put ourselves in the shoes of these families, and better yet, ask ourselves what we can do to give them hope, help their child beat cancer, and ultimately, eradicate this terrible disease for future generations of children.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 10,000 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among children.
Although childhood cancer rates have been slightly increasing, childhood cancer death rates have decreased by nearly 70 percent over the past four decades. Because of major treatment advances, more than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer now survive five years or more. By comparison, in the mid-1970s, the five-year survival rate was about 58 percent.
“The news is not all grim,” said Benninghoff. “Thanks to generous donations, dedicated researchers and compassionate medical personnel, we are seeing advancements every single day in the fight against childhood cancer. I am hopeful that one day, we will look back at this disease as a tragedy of the past. I pray that with increased awareness and continued commitment to the cause, one day soon we are able to say that no child will ever lose his or her life to cancer again.”
As a former hospital orderly and two-term Centre County coroner, Kerry has an interest in health care policies and has been an outspoken advocate for childhood cancer research. He is a founder and current chairman of the House of Representatives Cancer Caucus.
Representative Kerry Benninghoff
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Wagner