This International Childhood Cancer Day, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) has collaborated with Childhood Cancer International (CCI) to emphasis the important role of children’s palliative care in the holistic care of all children with cancer.
International Childhood Cancer Day is an annual event created by CCI. The day is a global event to raise awareness of childhood cancer and show support of the children, families and survivors of childhood cancer.
CCI reveal that every year, more than 250 000 children and adolescents below 20 are diagnosed with cancer, and as many as 90 000 of these children and young people will not survive. Many more remain undiagnosed and unreported as 80 per cent of these children are from low and middle income countries where health systems are weak, health services are often inaccessible and unaffordable and essential medicines are either not available or too expensive. Developed countries are also faced with the growing burden of childhood cancer as it has become the leading non-communicable disease related cause of deaths in high income countries.
The ICPCN believes that every child with cancer has the right to receive palliative care from the time of diagnosis. Children’s palliative care is the holistic response to the suffering of children with a life-limiting and/or life threatening condition, such as cancer, and includes care for their families. Children’s palliative care introduces multidisciplinary teams to address not only the physical but also the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the child and family, ensuring effective pain relief, symptom control and whatever social and emotional support that may be required to enable a child to enjoy the very best quality of life and to live as well as possible for as long as possible. It can and should be provided alongside treatments aimed at cure, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
Speaking of Childhood Cancer Day, ICPCN’s Chief Executive, Joan Marston, writes, “A cancer diagnosis is devastating not only to the child and family, but its ripples are felt within entire communities. We know that good palliative care not only improves outcomes for these children but also provides essential and compassionate support throughout the course of the disease, from the time of diagnosis. There has never been a more appropriate time to call upon people of all walks of life and in every country to come together as one and raise their voices in support of children with cancer. ICPCN is delighted and honoured to be collaborating with Childhood Cancer International in this important and exciting campaign. ”
For International Childhood Cancer Day, CCI has launched the Child4Child campaign, a global event in support of the thousands of children around the world with cancer. This campaign has some of the most famous young singing stars on YouTube forming a ‘supergroup’ to raise awareness about childhood cancer and the children of the world were invited to join in by singing and recording the chorus of the song “We Are One.” The song was composed by internationally acclaimed television and film score composer Christophe Beck, the composer of the Disney smash hit “Frozen” and his 11-year old daughter Sophie.
“With this song “We Are One” we wish to honour all children of the world, particularly those in their courageous battle against cancer. This song is also a means to boost the hope of children with cancer and to show them that they are not alone in their journey, as there is a whole world embracing and supporting them,” says Carmen Auste, the current Chair of CCI and the mother of a childhood cancer survivor.
“We Are One”, was released on all live streaming music platforms on 15 Feb 2016 – International Childhood Cancer Day. Her Majesty, the Queen of Sweden, hosted the launch of the full song.
Childhood Cancer International is the largest patient support organisation representing children with cancer, childhood cancer survivors and their families. The CCI network has 181 member organizations, spanning 90 countries around the world. They collaborate with international development organisations, policy makers, civil society organisations, health, research and medical professionals to reduce deaths and advance the cure for childhood cancer, create a supportive and enabling environment for childhood cancer initiatives, improve equity in access to care and transform the quality of childhood cancer care.
Over 900 000 children from across the globe participated in the making of “We Are One”. Keep the song alive by sharing the video or making your own cover at www.child4child.com