- - Saturday, September 5, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Empire State Building lit up red for AIDS awareness in May, displayed rainbow lights for the SCOTUS marriage ruling in June and exhibited lighted images of endangered animals in honor of Cecil the Lion in August.

However, as Childhood Cancer Awareness month continues, the building has yet to “go gold” for the cause.

Meanwhile, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease in American children, with nearly 16,000 children fighting the disease and close to 2,000 of these children losing their fights each year, which is more deaths than those caused by cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.

With only 4 percent of funding for cancer research going toward pediatric cancer and only one new cancer drug for children being approved in the last 20 years, the awareness raised through the “go gold” movement has the ability to play a significant role in the crusade against pediatric cancer.

“The entities that join our fight show every family affected by this awful disease that no one fights alone,” says Sammy’s Superheroes Vice-President Erin Nahorny.

Sammy’s Superheroes, a Nebraska-based nonprofit organization dedicated to raising childhood cancer awareness and funding life-saving research, has been waiting over a hear to year back from the Empire State Building.

Many other organizations have also requested gold lighting from the iconic building over the past two years and have simply been denied.

“It is incredibly disappointing,” Ms. Nahorny says, “It is such a famous landmark and they do take the opportunity to support many important events and causes. It is unclear why there has been this refusal to light gold for childhood cancer.”

Childhood cancer victims can’t vote and can’t lobby for funding.

By lighting gold, the Empire State Building can help to give these children a voice and raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

“Awareness equals funding which equals research which leads to cures,” Ms. Nohorny stated.

Times Square will be “going gold” on September 17th and it is not too late for the Empire State Building to join them.

Thousands have signed petitions to encourage a change in the building’s decision and many are hopeful that their voices will be heard.

Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

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