September marks a special time on the calendar for me. Not only is it Childhood Cancer Awareness month, but it’s also typically around the time when football is fully underway. Over the years, football has become a vehicle that drives many amazing traditions both on and off the field. For me personally, a new season brings another year to honor Caitrin, teach a new team of players the traditions of Caitrin’s rock, and continue to bring awareness, inspiration, and purpose to our community.
Professionally speaking, September is also a staple at Medix. Each year, our Medix Cause to positively impact kids rallies behind awareness of pediatric cancer. From donations to marathons, pizza parties and more, Childhood Cancer Awareness month is near and dear to our team’s hearts.
Just a short drive away in Iowa, September brings another amazing example of tradition and purpose – the ‘Iowa Wave,’ courtesy of the University of Iowa. Three short years ago, this tradition began. At the end of the first quarter of every home football game, the fans in the stadium, along with players, coaches and officials, turn to the overlooking University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and wave to the kids battling various illnesses. The tradition has become a custom the hospitalized children and their families often look forward to, and for good reason. It brings a glimmer of hope and excitement to an extraordinarily challenging time.
Childhood illnesses but more specifically cancer, is a terrifying diagnosis, and unfortunately *about 175,000 children ages 14 and under will receive this diagnosis this year. *Cancer is also the leading cause of death by disease past infancy for US children.
I can’t fathom the devastation that consumes the parents of diagnosed kids, but months like September are exceptionally important as it allows us to have a discussion around childhood cancer. This discussion helps raise awareness and important funds for research and treatments that will hopefully lead to a cure in the near future. As we await this miracle, I urge each of you to keep this discussion alive in your personal and professional circles – not only in September, but throughout the year.