Living

Go gold for childhood cancer

CARIBOU, Maine — September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and local residents can show their support in a simple way.

Last year, in memory of one of Caribou’s own, Zachary Gagnon, who lost his battle with Ewing Sarcoma at the age of 14 in 2016, the City of Caribou signed a proclamation announcing their support in recognizing this month. This year, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month calls to mind all those in Aroostook County who may be dealing with the devastating diagnosis of childhood cancer, or loss of a child from the disease,

According to Bethany Zell, community relations coordinator at Cary Medical Center,  cancer is a terrifying diagnosis at any age, but for pediatric cancer patients, childhood is lost and they are forced to grow up too quickly in a life filled with doctor’s appointments and painful treatment protocols. Many do not survive. There is much research and awareness needed on this issue.

Several towns in Maine have adopted the annual tradition of “Going Gold” in September by encouraging residents to install yellow or gold light bulbs in their front porch light fixtures to honor all children who are newly diagnosed, those who are battling, and those who have lost their fight with childhood cancer.

Anyone interested in joining the movement may install a yellow or gold light bulb in their front porch light fixture for the month of September and donate to help other Aroostook County families in Zachary’s memory through the website established by his mother, Peggy, at www.acco.org/zach.

For additional information, contact Zell at Cary Medical Center at 498-1361 or bzell@carymed.org.

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