AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – According to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, nearly 400,000 kids around the world develop pediatric cancer each year.
The month of September is just that reminder to be aware of the resources that are available to families and children with the disease.
“At CHOG we see all types of pediatric cancer. We see the most common– leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, as well as Neuroblastoma…,” Associate Professor of Pediatric Medicine and Wellstar Dept. of Hematology and Oncology Dr. Eric Ringer said.
While the list of cancers does not stop there, neither do the efforts of medical doctors to help find a cure.
“The most common type of cancer we see here at the Children’s Hospital is Leukemia. Pediatric Leukemia and it is also one of the most curable diseases that we have, which is excellent. But the cure takes, on average, about three years to get. So, it’s a long process, it’s a hard process but luckily, we’re doing better with it,” Dr. Ringer said.
Doctor Eric Ringer tells me it takes a village, including experts from multiple departments to deliver a successful cure for the patients.
“We have pediatric oncology nurses who have been in the field for years, and they’re wonderful and lovely. We have child life specialists, we have social workers. The physicians who I work with are very special. They’ve been doing it for a long time and they know it’s a very special field.”
But beyond the doors to the Children’s Hospital, they have organizations and resources to help get you through that lengthy process, like Camp Rainbow.
“It is, it’s like a sleep-away camp in the summer. Kids who are receiving chemotherapy, kids who are far off chemotherapy are allowed to come. Daily activities hiking, swimming, canoeing crafts. Even things that help them work through their cancer diagnosis.,” Dr. Ringer said.
Dr. Ringer says, what he does is important, but it’s important to appreciate what you do.
“I love treating kids because they are made of a combination of plastic and steel. They bounce and they’re resilient and they’re tough, but it’s also a pretty heavy thing for a kid to go through at all ages of development, whether they’re very young or a teenager.”