DES MOINES, Iowa — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and two local organizations are holding events that let us all help kids have a better chance and beating cancer.
The Krakau family of Waukee founded Kid Cancer Crushers after their 7-year-old son Ethan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Lymphoma.
Now at age 9, Ethan is in remission, and they are hosting the second annual Party at the Park to raise money for research and to benefit Children's Cancer Connection.
"We just got overwhelmed with the amount of support that we received when Ethan was diagnosed and felt like this happened for a greater purpose," said Mark Krakau, Ethan's father. "We needed to pay that forward, and kind of do some good from that."
Forty-seven kids are diagnosed with cancer in the United States each day, and 150 in Iowa per year. Yet only 4% of federal funding dedicated to cancer research goes to pediatric cancer.
Most kids diagnosed with cancer will use treatment meant for adults and have to deal with lifelong side effects. In the past 20 years, only four new drugs have been approved to specifically treat childhood cancer.
Ethan's mother, Amber, added: "I feel like a lot of people aren't aware until you're in the situation of childhood cancer, and you just are sent through a whirlwind of chemo treatments and what that actually looks like."
Children's Cancer Connection is also hosting a fundraiser this week, Go Gold & Golf. Money raised will help CCC serve families impacted by pediatric cancer across Iowa. They offer free year-round programs like support groups, play dates, hospital gifts, camps for patients and siblings, and holiday celebrations.
You can find out more about Children's Cancer Connection and their need for volunteers here.