The Bite Me Cancer Foundation, based in Fairfax, Va., announced Jan. 4 that it will host Virginia’s first Teen Cancer Awareness Week on Jan. 18-24, 2015. The week will be dedicated to raising public awareness of the prevalence of teen cancer and how it requires specific support in comparison to cases in young children or young adults.
Throughout Virginia, Bite Me Cancer plans to hold events at hospitals, schools and with elected officials to shed light on teen cancer and establish a common understanding of the needs of teens courageously fighting this terrible disease.
“We are extremely grateful to the governor’s proclamation, the resolution’s patrons: delegates Tom Rust (R-86), Ken Plum (D-36), Barbara Comstock (R-34), Jim LeMunyon (R-67), Margaret Ransone (R-99) and to the General Assembly as a whole for establishing Teen Cancer Awareness Week in support of teenagers with cancer across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Bite Me Cancer founder Nikki Ferraro said.
According to Ferraro, an unmet need for teen patients is age-appropriate support bags.
“When I was diagnosed at 17-years-old, I received a few support bags intended for young children, and I couldn’t find anyone who could relate to what I was going through,” she said. During Teen Cancer Awareness Week, Bite Me Cancer will help fill this gap by distributing teen support bags filled with items designed to provide support and inspiration. Items include a stress ball, writing/drawing journal, baseball cap, water bottle, iTunes gift card, USB flash drive, game book and a Bite Me Cancer car magnet, among others.
“Teen Cancer Awareness Week is a critical step forward in publicly recognizing the unique needs of teenagers with cancer,” Ferraro said. “They deserve customized support, different than what young children and adults receive.”