Together, for the International Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day

MONTREAL, Feb. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - On February 15, over 65 countries will mark the International Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day. With a mission to help cancer-stricken children and their families believe in a brighter future, Leucan wishes to spread awareness about the difficult reality of over 3,200 families in the province of Québec.

As part of this day, Leucan will set up an information booth at Complexe Desjardins, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, with special guest David Marenger - the young man whose life inspired the movie The Blue Butterfly.

The impact of a pediatric cancer diagnosis on the whole family
In 2009-2010, Leucan welcomed 229 new children-members. A cancer diagnosis has an enormous financial, social and psychological impact on the family circle. The illness generates a lot of stress for parents and can make them feel isolated. To deal with the requirements of the hospital environment and support their child, parents must take important decisions, including the decision to take an employment leave. As such, these families are in great need of a support system, which can be provided by associations such as Leucan.

The importance of long-term follow-up
Though the healing rate improved significantly (the five-year survival is estimated to be 82%-an increase of 11% over 15 years), cancer is still the main cause of mortality in Canada for children from one month of age1.

"Although we must rejoice over this increase in the healing rate, it is important to note that most of the recovering children may suffer from physical or neurocognitive complications in a short or long-term period due to the treatments they underwent," explains Louise Geoffrion, Family Services, Research and Partnership Manager at Leucan. "For that reason, it is essential to provide long-term follow-up services to those children and their families."

Leucan (www.leucan.qc.ca/en): A family history since 1978. In addition to its support for clinical research, the Association provides specific and adapted services to more than 3,200 families of children with cancer: welcome, emotional assistance and support, financial assistance, massage therapy, hosting and support in playrooms, socio-recreational activities, school life services and end-of-life and bereavement follow-up services. Besides its head office in Montreal, Leucan has eight regional offices.

1Canadian Cancer Statistics 2008 provided by the Canadian Cancer Society.

SOURCE LEUCAN

For further information:

Isabelle Giguère | Leucan
514 731-3696 or 1 800 361-9646, ext. 208
isabelle.giguere@leucan.qc.ca

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