October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So many of us have been touched by breast cancer and women have driven and led the efforts through walks, drives and races.
This attention to pink is both legitimate and needed. But, we also want to keep the rainbow of other causes close to our hearts with ribbons and bracelets of all colors to support and fund research.
We all know someone touched by some type of cancer, so it is important to be supportive in whatever way we can. We need to help physically, be there emotionally, and contribute financially to their cause.
Bringing a healthy meal to both the one undergoing treatment and to their family is also helpful. The meal should not only be delicious, but nutritious as well, since nutrition is an important part of healing and recovery.
The good news is that many more children are now surviving cancer. According to the Star-Telegram, “Thirty years ago, childhood cancer had a 50 percent survival rate. Today, it’s jumped to 85 percent because of research and clinical trials, childhood cancer awareness advocates said. But more work needs to be done.”
When children go through cancer, they have specific nutritional needs. The American Cancer Society says, “Children with cancer need protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.”
The Society suggests consulting with a dietitian to customize a plan for your child. “Your child’s baseline nutritional status (Is he overweight or underweight?), diagnosis, treatment plan, age, activity levels, and current medicines are all used to make a nutrition plan.”
If you are helping a family with meals during this time, keep in mind, the nourishment you provide is essential for recovery.
Cancer.org says, “Eating well while you are being treated for cancer might help them feel better, keep up their strength and energy, as well as tolerate treatment side effects as well as lower the risk of infection.”
So beyond October, wear your pink, blue, purple, etc. Find the cause, or two or three, closest to your heart and contribute in some way all year long, whether it be a ride to treatment, a home-cooked meal or writing a check!