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Childhood Cancer Groups Celebrate Hope

Lisa Eades, Jason’s Friends Foundation (Doug Randall/TSM)

The Wyoming Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium and other organizations that help families facing a child with cancer held a ”celebration of hope” Thursday morning in the rotunda of the state capitol building.

Lisa Eades, co-founder and Director of Jason’s Friends Foundation, a group that helps families deal with the financial challenges of child cancer,  says she wants people to understand the unique challenges of Wyoming families in dealing with childhood cancer. She said one of the biggest challenges is the lack of a facility offering primary care for childhood cancer patients in the state. She says that means families must travel long distances to larger cities–usually Denver–for cancer care.

She says that often means time away from work, and often one or both parents are forced to quit their jobs entirely. She says her group helps families deal with living expenses, travel costs car and house payments and other financial challenges.

But Dr. John Van Doorninck,  with the Rocky Mountain Pediatric Hematology Casper Clinic, says the good news is that progress is being made against childhood cancer. He says when research in the field of childhood cancer began in the 1950’s the disease was  a virtual death sentence for children, with almost all patients dying from the disease. But he says today the cure rate for childhood cancer is approaching 80 percent, with further advances against childhood cancer–and cancer in general–being made all the time.

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