Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital brings special awareness to childhood cancer

There have been so many advances and cures, yet cancer remains the number one disease killer of children ages 3 to 15. In fact, every two minutes around the world, a child is diagnosed with cancer. Survivorship is way up with 1 out of 500 young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 being a childhood cancer survivor.

During the month of September, the hematology and oncology team at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital takes time to honor children and families who have been touched by childhood cancer. Dr. James Fahner, division chief for the nationally-ranked pediatric oncology program stopped by FOX 17 Morning Mix to discuss the support given.

Ranked for sixth year in a row on the U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospitals for children's cancer care, the staff at Helen DeVos includes 26 providers, 50 nurses and more than 20 ancillary staff members. On average, more than 10,000 outpatient clinics happen each year and there several clinical trials done per year, too. Some of the clinicals range from molecularly guided precision medicine to blood, bone marrow and stem cell transplant program and beyond. The Haworth Family Innovative Therapeutics Clinic involves children referred from around the nation and globe.

Volunteers play a crucial role in helping families, too. The Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (P.O.R.T.) is a group that serves other families with a child battling cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder. They offer encouragement and little pick-me-ups along with a signature PORT bag, respite care and beyond.

All month-long the hospital along with various places around Grand Rapids have done their part to raise awareness. You might have noticed special posts on social media along with yellow lights and ribbons on trees in circle drive. McKay Tower actually turned gold earlier in the month as did the Blue Bridge. Coming up on Sept. 20, there will be the Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant celebration.

For more details contact:

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

100 Michigan Street NE, Floor 10

Grand Rapids, MI 49503