In the United States, nearly 2 million people will receive a cancer diagnosis. Some of these cancers that adults often get diagnosed with include breast, lung, and prostate cancer. While cancer is a terrible disease, the government funds research for many of these different types of cancers in hopes of finding a cure.
When most people think of cancer, they think of a terrible disease that negatively affects adults. But, while millions of adults will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, they’re not the only ones suffering. Unfortunately, at least 1 in every 285 children will receive a traumatic and life-altering diagnosis before they turn 20. It may not sound like a lot, but there are thousands of children living in the United States who’ve received the diagnosis and are in a fight for their lives. Many families, caretakers, children, and educators are not prepared to engage in such a taxing, draining, and expensive fight, one that surely requires steadfast support and unwavering devotion from start to finish.
Because it’s less talked about and not nearly as heard about as other types of cancer, government funding for childhood cancer is incredibly low. Despite spending billions on cancer research, a meager 4% goes to childhood cancer research. The low percentage of funding often leaves loved ones of children with cancer feeling frustrated.
Fighting for the Children with a Cancer Diagnosis
Thanks to the hard work of civilians, researchers, doctors, and philanthropists alike, there has been a recent headway on fighting for children with a cancer diagnosis. Sometimes, it takes a village to get the message to the right person – to someone who feels called to rise to the occasion and make a difference.
Sandy Scherff is one of those people who has pledged her life to furthering the research and discourse surrounding childhood cancer. Although she never imagined this would be her life, or her calling, she is encouraging other people to rise to the occasion presently, too.
Sandy spent years working as an office administrator, always inspired by the idea of being her own boss. Using her experiences to start an entrepreneurial journey that would allow her to reach financial freedom and help others who’d like to experience the same thing, Sandy began to dive deep into the childhood cancer community. And sadly, her passion for such a cause is one that is rooted in something personal related to Sandy, after she learned in 2015 that her granddaughter was admitted to the hospital and had a lump in her stomach. It turned out to be a tumor, leading to the diagnosis of Wilms Tumor. Sandy’s grandson, Cooper, received a diagnosis of Neurofibromatosis (NF1) at age four. He suffers from invisible mental and physical issues, which has the family hoping for the best yet cautious over what could happen.
Sandy supports and does fundraising for Children’s Tumor Foundation which funds research to find a cure for NF1. Sandy strongly believes that no child should suffer or face an unknown future. She is presently working with St. Jude’s Research Hospital and other childhood cancer organizations to fight for a cure.
“We want to find a cure for these childhood diseases. The best way to find a cure is to fund research for childhood cancers and other incurable diseases,” said Scherff.