By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – An Oscars-themed event celebrating Children’s Cancer Awareness month was recently held at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Oklahoma children battling cancer, their families and the health professionals who care for them were honored. “Superstar” trophies were given out on September 20 to the children who are patients of The Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Children. The event was held to celebrate the courage they display in their fight to beat cancer.
The siblings of patients also received trophies.
“These children are incredible. They frequently face aggressive treatments with severe and debilitating side effects and they often do it with smiles on their faces,” said Dr. William Meyer, section chief and Children’s Hospital Foundation Ben Johnson endowed chair in pediatric hematology and oncology.
“That is one of our goals at the Jimmy Everest Center to help these children be children even while fighting cancer.”
The Jimmy Everest Center (JEC) is designed to improve the treatment experience for children and families when faced with cancer or a blood disorder.
“When we talk awareness and childhood cancer, it is important to remember that childhood cancer does not only affect these children,” Meyer continued. “It impacts the entire family. So, we wanted to honor these families as well.”
Jockeys from Remington Park along with contestants from the Miss Oklahoma pageants were present to help hand out the awards. They also participated in a variety of fun activities with the children gathered for the event held at The Children’s Village, a rooftop play area adjacent to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
In addition, representatives from Kendra Scott Design brought their Kendra Cares Program to the event, crafting bracelets and necklaces for the children and families. The Kendra Cares Program began at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston, TX. “What started as a dream became an opportunity for hundreds of young cancer patients and their caregivers to design a custom piece of jewelry, and give a sense of joy and normalcy to their lives,” Kendra Scott wrote in her blog.
A plaque was also given to KFOR television for their commitment over the past year and a half to raising awareness for children’s cancer in Oklahoma.
“It is the generosity of donors and volunteers that allow for events like these, but more importantly, that allow us to raise awareness and continue to work to bring the best and brightest physicians and researchers to the Jimmy Everest Center,” said Kathy McCracken, executive director of Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“It is these physicians and physician scientists who will help more Oklahoma children win the fight against cancer and ultimately, help us find a cure for childhood cancer so that no child, no family has to face this.”
For more information, visit www.oumedicine.com/childrens.