The annual Philadelphia CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer, an event to raise awareness about childhood cancers and to honor loves ones lost to the disease, drew an estimated 200 people to the Piazza at Schmidt’s on Saturday, June 1.
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is a national nonprofit organization that supports children’s cancer research and children’s enrollment in clinical trials. It also provides medical information and coping resources to families.
Lauren Lawson, a CureSearch community development manager, gave a brief speech during the opening ceremony of the walk where she invited participants to release a white balloon for loved ones lost to children’s cancer. Current patients and those in remission were invited to the stage after Lawson’s remarks where they were named “CureSearch Champions” during a medal ceremony.
According to the CureSearch website, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day. CureSearch Walks celebrate and honor those affected by children’s cancer. The Walks are also a major source of funding for children’s cancer research.
“All of our money goes to children’s cancer research because we believe research cures cancer, and not enough dollars are going to fund children with cancer,” Lawson said. “[Today] we’ve raised around $15,000, but money is still coming in.”
The walk began by exiting the Piazza heading south on Second Street, turned right on Green Street and turned right again on Third Street to head back north toward the Piazza. The walk was approximately one mile long.
“We do have children that are in various stages in treatment, so we have to make sure we are accommodating them,” Lawson said.
After the walk participants returned to the Piazza to enjoy food and activities such as face painting. While CureSearch events tend to draw the families and friends of those affected, this event brought plenty of people who, though not directly affected by children’s cancer, are altruistic.
“I’m here to make a difference,” Vishnu Anand, a Drexel University student said, who, with a group of a dozen friends, aided in event set-up.
A total of 50 CureSearch Walks are scheduled to take place nationwide during 2013 drawing a projected 20,000 participants.