The entire JGCF team had heavy hearts late last year when we learned a young cancer warrior we first met when she was 16 found out her cancer returned with a vengeance. A beautiful teenager who loved to explore her talents with makeup and beauty products suddenly didn’t feel so pretty fighting cancer yet again. When – after two years of multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and countless medications – she had to make her end-of-life plans at age 18, our sadness turned to anger.
“Tried to think of something witty to post today but I’m angry. Angry that yesterday a teenage girl we’ve come to care very deeply about had to have a conversation with a hospital counselor about her end of life plans. And that’s just one girl, in one community, fighting cancer. That same conversation happens every single day in communities all over the world. And that should make everybody angry. There’s nothing cute about kids fighting cancer. It’s infuriating.”
After that social media post, families who had experienced childhood cancer reached out to tell the team how much they felt the phrase represented the unseen side of childhood cancer. “Photos of cute kids smiling in perfect lighting don’t represent childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is kids fighting for their lives,” said one mom.
The team decided to share the message far and wide. We had small stickers made using the original rainbow design, and with the help of generous members of the race to beat childhood cancer, we sent out more than 3,000 “Childhood Cancer Isn’t Cute” stickers. They were mailed all over the country, reaching communities in nearly all 50 states.
It may have been a simple sticker, but for so many families it was a new way to voice their frustrations regarding misrepresentations of childhood cancer.
Because of generous donors, JGCF has granted more than $20 million to pediatric cancer research in the past 20 years. That $20 million advances the fight against childhood cancer — it helps give kids a better chance of beating the number one cause of death by disease among children. In that spirit, we advanced the design. This new design shows we aren’t backing down — we’re fighting harder and racing faster than ever.
With the help of several families fighting childhood cancer, we developed a design that represents their battle. The fierce unicorn represents each and every child fighting cancer — strong, brave, beautiful, and unique. And the bright colors on the black background represent the ray of hope families fighting childhood cancer search for in the darkest of times.
Sign up here to get the official CHILDHOOD CANCER ISN’T CUTE STICKER.