I'm working to raise awareness about childhood cancer and secure more funds and attention for research into childhood cancer.
Far too often children are forgotten when it comes to the conversation around cancer and as they cannot advocate for themselves, we must do it for them. Although cancer is rare among teenagers and young adults, the impact of this disease on a young person is particularly heart-breaking and causes great pain to many families as they battle on many fronts, not only at the point of diagnosis but over the course of the treatment.
Currently, under 4% of funds raised for cancer research and treatment are directed towards childhood cancer. Approximately 1 in 280 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer and 1 in 2 suffer from severe long-term side effects which have devastating impact on their lives, leading to early deaths. Targeted research and treatment would help reduce these effects and lead to longer and richer lives of these children and their families.
I recently met with a Wealden family whose 6-year-old daughter Ariana has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. They brought the lack of children’s cancer funding to my attention and I'm keen to support the cause.
I convened a meeting with the Chair of the Health Select Committee and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss opportunities for working with Parliamentary and Ministerial colleagues to spread awareness, call for more genetic testing and research and secure more funding.
I'm pleased that the Sussex Express has joined the campaign in raising awareness about this awful disease.