Letter to the Editor: Kathy Dunleavy, Community Leader

Written on October 10, 2022

I cannot think of anyone I know who has not been touched by cancer–themselves, a loved one, or a friend. This year, over 1.8 million Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis.

But now imagine being a Mom or Dad and hearing a doctor say, “Your child has cancer.” That will happen over 17,000 times this year, and the incidence has been creeping up slowly for several decades. Carolina parents will hear it over 700 times this year.

During September–National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month–take a few moments to learn the grim facts of childhood cancer, and to share them with friends and neighbors so that, together, we can make things better.

Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in America.

Too few places treat pediatric cancers–only 201 nationwide, only one here in the Upstate.

Children of rural or poor families are three times more likely to be diagnosed late, get incomplete treatment, relapse, or die from cancer.

Barely 4% of all cancer research dollars are targeted at pediatric cancers.

Survival rates are different for children. In adults, we speak of five years survival, but that does not mean so much for an eight or 10-year-old. Only two out of three of them will survive 20 years from their cancer diagnosis.

We are blessed here in the Carolinas with an organization that provides a safety net for these children and their families. If you know it–Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas–then tell your friends, this month especially. If you don’t, take a few minutes at www.childrenscancerpartners.org to learn more, and see how you can help.

Here’s to the end of cancer. And let it begin with our children.


Kathy Dunleavy

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