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Getting the message across (photo)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

With 15-year-old cancer survivor Angela Campioni in attendance, Mayor Debbie Amaroso proclaimed September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Sault Ste. Marie at City Council's meeting Monday.

Angela is pictured at centre with her brother Jonathan, father Dominic, mother Celena and Sudbury-based Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC) Volunteer and Fund Development Coordinator Dayna Caruso.

Caruso encouraged Council and the community to wear a gold ribbon in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

As reported earlier by SooToday.com, the NOFCC has been in operation for 15 years, while receiving very little recognition for its efforts.

Caruso’s position is the only paid position within the organization, funded by the Ontario government.

Unlike many other not-for-profit groups dedicated to fighting cancer or other diseases, the NOFCC gives 100 percent of the money collected through its fundraisers directly back to families in the communities the group serves.

Caruso told us: “We don’t like taking money off the top to pay for a lot of staff members,” relying instead on a strong volunteer base that organizes fundraisers for NOFCC.

The NOFCC serves communities from Parry Sound to the Manitoba border and offers no less than12 support programs to meet the needs of families affected by children with cancer, many of them associated with the staggering cost of medical travel.

Caruso praised the efforts of Ken and Sandra Belanger as fundraisers for NOFCC in Sault Ste. Marie over the past two years.

Caruso said the recent Miss Northern Ontario Pageant raised $46,000 for NOFCC, while a Father and Daughter Ball in Sudbury, in which girls from six to 12 years old dressed in fancy gowns dined with their fathers and enjoyed entertainment by acrobats, raised $27,000 for the organization.

Caruso and the NOFCC are aiming not only for greater awareness and financial support to help families of children affected by cancer, but also a determined effort by bureaucrats to put more money into developing more effective treatment for children stricken by cancer. 

“The Canadian Cancer Society only puts 2.4 percent of all their research dollars into pediatric cancer research, and the Ministry of Health only puts 3 percent of their overall cancer research budget into pediatric cancer research,” Caruso said.

“That’s just not enough.”

In addition, Caruso told us the NOFCC hopes that eventually there will be a Northern Cancer Care Centre for children.

As things currently stand, there are only two beds currently available for children with cancer (located in Sudbury), with parents facing the enormous cost of travelling to Ottawa, Toronto or London many times in order for their sick children to receive treatment.

National landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the CN Tower and the Peace Bridge will be promoting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by shining gold lights.

“There is a national awareness happening, and we encourage Sault Ste. Marie and all of Northern Ontario to be part of that campaign,” Caruso said.

Also at Monday's Council meeting, Mayor Amaroso proclaimed September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, in which the public is asked to be mindful and supportive of the battle against that form of cancer by wearing a teal ribbon.

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soowat 9/11/2013 8:37:07 AM Report

In the last few days, with storms, a storm related death and a death from an impaired driver, it's nice to see a story like this as a reminder that good things are also happening
Pakadeva 9/11/2013 9:09:22 AM Report

Amen to that! Awesome story.
3rd times a charm 9/11/2013 10:59:41 AM Report

I second that emotion...congratulations on beating a battle you never should have been in dear young lady...
madmaymax 9/11/2013 11:16:48 AM Report

LETS START FIGHTING FOR THE CAUSES OF CANCER??????? JUST SEEMS TO KEEP THE ECONOMY GOING,ALL THIS MONEY FOR THE CURE THAT JUST DOES NOT COME,LETS FIGHT FOR THE CAUSE,START WITH OUR FOOD:) WHATS IN IT FOR STARTERS??JUST A THOUGHT! SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN TOUCHED WITH CANCER IN MANY WAYS!
soodood 9/11/2013 12:24:21 PM Report

ya man .. cancer..no one will beleive it but baking soda is the cure.. and what you eat yes... ---just google all this man while we can! dont take it from me...SUGAR is a nono you goto the hospital if you have cancer and what are they feeding you? SUGAR!!!!YOU have to eat foods that are not acid! if you eat acidy foods cancer and all other deseases LOVE it they are made of acids!! replace it all with high alkaline foods!!What about the doctor that was on the news telling people they had cancer??? they would go to kemo and everything !!! How come doctors dont learn about foods and diet? because thats too boring! there is so much they dont tell us because its a big money thing for them.. thats all folks. here is the mentality.. oh i can eat crap.. and put crap on my body basically be lazy.. why? oh because IF i get cancer.. IF.. they can cure it...Maybe.. how bout this? just take care in the first place.
I beleive they lie that you have it.. and i beleive its a man made thing.. and also that they want us to have it for there pockets. Look up the cancer treatment where it originated.. i'll tell yu part.. it was from a mad scientist that was banned.. yet they still use his methods.. why?? because its Quick.. slice and dice.. burning(kemo) there are tons of witnesses saying a 3 week detox of just grapes can dislodge and bring out even a tumer but people want to keep their mc donalds burgers ect.. right? keep on eating acidy food whatever it is.. prolly because its made to be addictive. don't like my punctuation or spelling? TOO BAD!!!!!!!!!!!! i don't care! I do care about you and not suffering, and how to be feeling good.
wakeup 9/11/2013 2:28:58 PM Report

its truely amazing the help from people who only want to help, no need for a pay check, its a great thing when people can do such things an help someone such as this young girl,, what concerns me, is the level of care that such hard earned money brings to those here in Canada,, there are so many differences between the care here an our neighbors USA, our hospital is just new, yet a hundred year old hospital just across the river is better kept, they pay cash, we pay with tax dollars, so really no difference, an still no real advances in cancer care, like in the USA, an any of the better drugs an such things are so outrageously priced nobody can afford them, there has been billions raised for research yet here in Canada very little advancement, example psoriasis which is treated by creams an such which give little to no relief sold here, yet a cream purchased in the USA completely clear'd my psoriasis, an no longer do i have the itch, soreness an worsening condition, but like most things in this country, things that work are not used, as to continue the gougeing for the people, medicines that do not work, simalar to the medicle society finally acknowledgeing celiac disease, an how many have been diagnosed with this make believe ibs, so medicines like zantac which millions were spent to develope an did absolutely nothing, now sit on drug store shelves as a ant acid tablet, yet a simple bi-opsy to detect celiac can be done, instead handed bull as to ibs for years an live sick the entire time, thanks to a pair of natural paths an totally natural medicine, the suffering ended, yet 20 doctors an four specialists refused to even acknowledge a proven auto immune disease, its all because none are held accountable in this country, unlike our USA counter part, as simple natural remedy called digest plus saved a young life just like this young lady as the medicines an assumptions of our doctors were totally wrong an made the child even worse an almost killed her, not even a sorry we were wrong was given,sorry didnt mean to take away from such a triumphant day for this young lady, an those who have been doing their best to help families, its the every day people who are the hero's, as without people like these, families would be left to try an deal with such a devastating problem, it shocks me to see in a country like this with the advancement an technologies that there is so many things still out there with very little to no help, so thank you to all of you who give of your time for such people as this young girl, best wishes an best of luck
sAUCEY 9/11/2013 2:31:17 PM Report

very touching story, congrats on the biggest Win in your life!!!

ALso someone give soodood a PhD and fast hahaha
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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