Children with cancer are often called superheroes. It’s not a moniker they choose. They face unthinkable pain and difficulties during treatment and imagining them with superpowers somehow helps us, as adults, reconcile what we cannot change or fix. And perhaps the imagery helps the kids facing cancer too. This is why social media users participate in the #HeroPoseChallenge in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month every year.
Hands on hips, chest out, head high. With this simple pose, we can support and empower kids diagnosed with cancer and help them feel less alone.
Emma had many superpowers. She made tall leaps into the air as a graceful gymnast. After being diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the same cancer that Terry Fox had, Emma continued to leap and flip with one prosthetic leg, inspiring all who met her. Emma liked to say, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude”. Emma faced her cancer with the same grace with which she leapt into the air. But the treatments offered to Emma were the same painful, high-dose chemotherapies used to treat Terry Fox over 40 years ago and her cancer relapsed multiple times. Frustrated with the lack of options, Emma became a passionate childhood cancer advocate, and in 2018, she shared her story and leapt into the hearts and minds of viewers on Romania’s Got Talent. After her doctors ran out of treatment options, Emma transitioned to Heaven on April 7, 2019.
The number one cause of death by disease
Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease of Canadian children. About one in five children will not survive their diagnosis and the death rate increases beyond five years. Of those who do survive, 95 percent will live with a chronic health problem by the time they’re 45 years old. These children are more than just statistics. This is why we must continue to share the stories of kids like Emma — to put a face to childhood cancer, to spread awareness about the importance of support for these families, and to shine a light on the need for more research funding.
Participate in the #HeroPoseChallenge this September
Until kids no longer suffer through difficult and painful cancer treatments, we need to continue to support them as the superheroes they are and to stand alongside them with our hands on our hips. Please join and support kids with cancer this September in the #HeroPoseChallenge. Use the hashtag and tag @childhoodcancercanada to help us show kids with cancer that they’re not facing cancer alone.