The Children's Hospital at St. Mary's Recognizes National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with Patietn Reunion 
Friday, 25 September 2009 
West Palm Beach, Fla. – In honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center is hosting a patient reunion event on Friday, September 25 at 3 p.m., in the hospital’s cafeteria. Pediatric Oncology staff and former patients will gather to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the program at St. Mary’s 

Former patients and their families will be treated to snacks and refreshments, along with fun activities such as face painting, balloon animals and other events. The children will also present certificates of appreciation to community volunteers and supporters. 

Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer and second leading cause of death of children under the age of 15 years old. Every year, more than 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer and one in every 330 people in the U.S. will develop cancer before the age of 20. 

The Children’s Oncology program can treat and follow children and young adults up to the age of thirty if needed. “As a leading, research-based facility, utilizing COG treatment protocols, identifies St. Mary’s as one of the best places to turn to for quality cancer treatment in children and young adults,” said Dr. Narayana Gowda, M.D., Hematology/Oncology Pediatrician at St. Mary’s. “Patients get treated with the same cutting edge and advanced technology as other prominent facilities in the nation.”

The Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center is a member of the prestigious Children’s Oncology Group (COG), an organization that unites the best of the academic and clinical research worlds to move the most promising treatment options from the laboratory into clinical trials. It is comprised of 235 leading children’s hospitals, university hospitals and cancer centers in the country. As a result of the research provided by St. Mary’s and other COG members, the cure rate for children’s cancer has increased to 78 percent overall. Since the Pediatric Oncology program began at St. Mary’s, over 500 pediatric patients have been treated and more than 330 patients have been enrolled under the COG protocols. Patients coming to a COG facility, such as St. Mary’s, have access to treatment and protocols not available at other facilities or hospitals.

“Our affiliation with COG puts us in the same league as other leading Children’s Hospitals cancer programs in the country,” said Davide Carbone, Chief Executive Officer at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Our patients are treated in a family centered care environment by attending physicians and receive more personalized care than usually encountered in an academic setting.”