Every three minutes a child with cancer dies in a developing country.
Take a minute to think about that.
In the developed world, a child with cancer has an 80% chance of survival, but in the developing world this can be as low as 10%. How can that be fair? Purely based on where you happen to be born, thousands of children are robbed of that most basic gift – the gift of growing up.
The irony is that relatively, healthcare is much cheaper in developing countries: while it costs £100,000 to treat a child in the UK with cancer, £500 can treat a child in Malawi. £15 covers the cost of a CT scan and £50 could pay for a round of life-saving chemotherapy for a child with cancer in Ghana,
This is good news though, it means that our help can make a big difference.
World Child Cancer aims to address this issue through sustainable solutions which increase awareness of childhood cancer, reduce misdiagnosis and support families that are being pushed further into poverty due to all the costs they have to bear. To promote awareness of their work and to raise funds to help reduce the number of children dying needlessly, World Child Cancer commissioned a photo series as part of their Stop the Childhood Cancer Clock appeal, working with photographer Andrew Whelan, whose images of his daughter Jessica suffering from childhood cancer moved the world last year.
The powerful photo series aims to highlight the incredible things children can achieve if they are given the gift of growing up.
Andrew hopes these photos will help raise awareness and increase the survival rates of children with cancer in the developing world. He says: “When Jessica was diagnosed I thrust myself into learning photography, using this as a distraction from what Jessica and our family were going through.
“I quickly learned that I could use my photography to educate the world on the cruelty of childhood cancer, showing the side of this disease that is often hidden away. I was delighted to be offered this role for a cause now so close to my heart.
Growing up is such a simple ask, I wanted to show what could be achieved if we gave children that chance.”
Jon Rosser, CEO at World Child Cancer, says: “Every child, regardless of where they live, should receive the best possible treatment and care so they can realise their ambitions and dreams. However, child cancer survival rates can be as low as 10% in the developing world, compared to 80% in high income countries.
“These children are just like us. They want to go to school, to play football. Some of them may want to be famous singers, nurses, chefs – some of them just want to grow up. We hope Stop the Childhood Cancer Clock will inspire others to help move us closer to a world where every child with cancer has equal access to the best treatment and care.”
How you can help prevent child cancer
There are a couple of key things that you can do to support the Stop the Childhood Cancer Clock campaign:
DONATE: Donate at www.worldchildcancer.org/donate or text ‘GROW35 £3’ to 70070. For every pound you donate, this will be matched by a pound from the UK government, so your donation is twice as valuable.
SHARE: Share an image of yourself as a child on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, say what you wanted to be when you were younger the hashtag #giftofgrowingup and tag in five friends asking them to do the same.
Here’s me, aged around seven. I’ve no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was seven. It’s quite a self-satisfied pose, so maybe Gordon Ramsey or something like that?