The International Symbol
Connecting all families with childhood cancer
During the entire month of September, we honour our children, adolescents and their families by raising awareness of the gold ribbon for International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately for thousands of families all over the world, this is a horrific reality that is a profoundly sad experience. Cancer is currently the leading cause of death by non-communicable disease for children, regardless of where they live. (1)
The international symbol for childhood cancer is the gold ribbon. Unlike the cancer awareness ribbons, which focus on a singular type of cancer, the gold ribbon encompasses all types of cancers affecting children and adolescents.
Why the Gold Ribbon?
On Jazz's search in their early days of diagnosis to find a connection with other families, not just in Aotearoa New Zealand but throughout the world. She stumbled across the gold ribbon and felt an immediate sense of relief. She had found something, and it was beautiful, magnificent and strong. Jazz was pleasantly surprised to read that a group of parents (in the USA) whose lives were affected by childhood cancer and a board member from the American Childhood Cancer Organization (Originally the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation) created the gold ribbon in 1997. Their reasoning for choosing gold may surprise you. According to ACCO, gold was ideal because "gold is a precious metal and is therefore the perfect color to reflect the most precious thing in our lives - our children." (2)