Over 1,000 people have now signed a petition from Unite2Cure, the patient-led movement which is calling for better treatment and better access to treatment for children and young people with cancer.
The petition calls on European regulators to amend the rules governing research into young people’s cancer. It calls for better incentives for industry to invest in these rarer illnesses; and says that there should be stricter rules to ensure that promising drugs are not dropped from production when they don’t work in the more lucrative adult cancer market.
Support is coming from across Europe; and from as far afield as America and India.
Among high profile supporting organisations are: SIOP Europe, The European Consortium for Paediactric Oncology; Childhood Cancer International, Pan Care; The Teenage Cancer Trust and the Bone Cancer Research Trust. There is also support from senior oncologists from leading medical institutions across Europe. Parents, patients, others affected by cancer and not for profit organisations are also lining up to sign the petition.
Most heartbreaking are the personal stories of families who have faced cancer. Not only are children dying; but others are left with severe disabilities caused by the toxicity of the treatment used to kill the cancer. This from a parent of a survivor:
“My 4 year old son was diagnosed with a brain tumour – Medulloblastoma. After 18 months of treatment he is in remission BUT the treatment is brutal. He now has learning difficulties, takes daily medication to treat his damaged Thyroid, has daily growth hormone injections because of a damaged Pituitary gland, has hearing loss, had cataract surgery on both eyes, Still has muscle weakness and fatigue – 2 years into remission. ALL DUE TO THE TREATMENT FOR CANCER. We need new drugs that cure the cancer but do less damage to a childs young body.”
Unite2Cure is calling on all supporters to reach out further into their own networks to continue to strengthen the case for change. It urges all supporters to ask individual networks to sign our petition and join a wider conversation about how we need to all work together to get better drugs to children and teenagers more quickly.
Everyday in Europe 20 children and young people will die for cancer. That needs to stop and we need to find the solutions NOW. To sign our petition click here.
Regular updates will be sent out on the progress of our petition and the wider work of the Unite2Cure members. If you have a personal story you would like to share please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org