Cancer is the number one disease killer in children, and seven kids die every day in the United States. We must raise awareness to impact this mortality rate. Changing this outcome requires awareness, and the President can lead this effort by lighting the White House gold for the month of September. Gold represents both the pediatric cancer cause and the light that children provide in our lives. We should honor them by shedding light on their battle. The color of that light is gold.
Response to Petition
By Paulette Aniskoff
Thank you for your petition and for your ongoing effort to raise awareness about the important issue of pediatric cancer.
President Obama shares your commitment and, although we cannot light the building gold for the month of September, we're issuing a Presidential Proclamation to help amplify your important cause, as we have in past years to commemorate National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. And the President has continued to meet with cancer fighters -- including 7 year old Jack Hoffman, a brain cancer patient and cancer research advocate.
President Barack Obama greets Jack Hoffman, 7, of Atkinson, Neb., in the Oval Office, April 29, 2013. Hoffman, who is battling pediatric brain cancer, gained national attention after he ran for a 69-yard touchdown during a Nebraska Cornhuskers spring football game. Hoffman holds a football that the President signed for him. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
But we think it's not good enough to simply make more people aware of the issue: The Obama Administration is committed to continued support for outstanding pediatric cancer research. Because this issue is incredibly important -- too many children and their families face the devastating effects of cancer. And as you point out, it remains the leading cause of death by disease for American children under the age of 15.
That's why the National Cancer Institute continues to support long-term research efforts to help us better understand and treat pediatric cancer. You can learn more about our scientific efforts here.
We are making progress: Success in treating pediatric cancers has led to large numbers of long-term pediatric cancer survivors with long life expectancies.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act offers a number of important benefits for children fighting cancer. For example, eliminating lifetime caps on care means insurance companies can't set a dollar limit on what they spend on a child's care. And insurance companies can no longer deny families coverage because their child has a pre-existing condition like cancer. And the law will help millions of Americans, including children, get health insurance so if an accident or illness like cancer happens, they can get the care they need and deserve and are protected from high, unexpected costs. You can learn more about these benefits and more at HealthCare.gov.
So along with the proclamation, we're also committed to supporting families battling cancer through the Affordable Care Act, and funding pediatric cancer research to find more effective, safer treatments.
Paulette Aniskoff is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement