On January 11th Michael Strahan sent shock waves through the nation with his and daughter Isabella’s interview with fellow Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts. The interview was the first time the Strahans publicly spoke about Isabella’s brain tumor diagnosis, Medulloblastoma. Medulloblastoma is one of the most common forms of brain cancer in children in the Northeast Ohio area. Since the announcement, Isabella launched a YouTube series to be a voice for children with childhood brain cancer. The series launched is perfectly timed with February being Cancer Prevention Awareness Month.
Many Ohioans echo the sentiments of Isabella with the need to bring awareness and a spotlight to childhood brain cancer. The Cleveland area in Northeast Ohio is dubbed “the Mecca of Healthcare” with cancer facilities like Case Western’s Wolstein Research Building. According to Doctor Alex Huang, professor and director of the Medical Student Training Program at Case, brain cancer is the deadliest form of childhood cancer, and yet like all childhood cancers it receives the least government funding that can go toward treatments and new cures. Childhood Leukemia survivor, now graduate student and researcher at Case Western Dan Kinglsey, adds that the funding can go towards developing cures; without funding, he and other researchers can’t do their jobs. For now, researchers in Ohio turn to outside sources like local childhood cancer foundations in the state to fund their work.
This month is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month, which gives ample opportunities for Ohioans to get involved in the cause. Both Huang and Kinglsey recommend vocalizing to spread awareness. It could be big efforts like media coverage or lobbying Ohio politicians or, as St. Jude suggests, just educating yourself and others in simple ways like social media. As Huang said children are our future and we should invest in them and find cures for them.