State declares September ‘Childhood Cancer Awareness Month’

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David Turner Jr. during one of his appearances at Gov. Andy Beshear's daily coronavirus briefings.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear signed Tuesday a proclamation declaring September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Kentucky.

“Today, I want to support and recognize a special group of individuals in Kentucky who are some of the most vulnerable in our fight against COVID-19,” Beshear said. “That special group is our state’s youngest cancer fighters. This month, and every September, we stand in solidarity with these children and their families during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”

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Beshear noted childhood cancer is the top cause of death by disease for kids in Kentucky and the U.S.

“One in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States, nearly 15,000 a year. In our state, we rank a staggering fourth in the country of children diagnosed with pediatric brain tumors,” he said. “In Kentucky, we don’t think those numbers are OK.”

Beshear noted through the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Fund, the state is able to give all Kentucky children access to less toxic immunotherapy, new treatments and less invasive diagnostic tests.

In addition, through the Kentucky Cancer Registry, the state is leading research to determine why more Kentucky children from certain areas of the commonwealth face higher rates of developing brain tumors.

Beshear welcomed a recorded message from his friend David Turner Jr., a young Kentuckian battling DIPG, a type of brain tumor with no known cure.

Beshear signed the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month proclamation in David Jr.’s honor.