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Names of local pediatric cancer survivors, fighters, and angels featured on store window

Names of children impacted by childhood cancer featured in store window

43 children a day are diagnosed with cancer, according to the Childhood Cancer Foundation. The same group estimates that childhood cancer receives just 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget. Families in Warrior now want to raise awareness and raise funds for the disease.

Gold is the color for pediatric cancer awareness and September is pediatric cancer awareness month. Families who have been impacted by childhood cancer want everyone to know that. "I'd like to see it be just as big as breast cancer awareness month," says Randy Mahaffey, "we have a grandson who has histiocytosis, which is a form of cancer."

Mahaffey owns 4:19 Arts and Crafts shop in Warrior. His grandson motivated him to highlight pediatric cancer awareness month. One of his store windows now bears the names of mostly local children who have died from cancer, are currently battling the disease, or are survivors.

Alex Swader's name is one of those featured on the window. "When I was 8 years old I was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma."

Erin Newton's name is also on the window. Her mother, Donna Newton says she's a cancer survivor, "since the age of 4."

The children whose names are featured on the window and their parents are also doing what they can to raise awareness. Swader says the average age for a childhood cancer diagnosis is 6. "The number of lost years is 71 so no one should have to lose 71 years of their life."

Donna Newton says more awareness and money could help find a cure. "Childhood cancer research only receives 4% of all the national cancer research funds, that's such a small amount for our children."

Friday September 22nd at Mortimer Jordan High School's home football game there will be a focus on pediatric cancer awareness. Newton is helping to organize the event. She says before the game pediatric cancer survivors, fighters, and angels will be recognized. There will also be a lot of gold at the game. One example, the cheerleaders will have gold pom poms.

And Sunday September 24th Alex Swader's event "Tapping out childhood cancer" will take place at the Alabama Theater at 2 p.m.

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