RICHMOND, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from March 2, 2019.
For the first time in its history, the Executive Mansion in Richmond turned gold beginning on September 1.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and over 75 current pediatric patients, survivors and their families came together to mark the moment with First Lady Pamela Northam on September 14 in Richmond.
Over 500 buildings statewide will or have gone gold this month to raise awareness and show support. This illumination is part of #gogoldva, which is a statewide initiative.
“Cancer is a relentless, heartbreaking disease, especially when it touches the lives of children,” First Lady Northam said. “...The Governor and I want the families to know that they are not alone and we stand with them in this fight. I thank ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, families, friends, professionals, and communities who lend their strength to children fighting pediatric cancer, providing help and hope on their journey.”
According to a statement from the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, 337 children are diagnosed with cancer in the Commonwealth every year.
There are five pediatric cancer treatment centers in Virginia, which include CHKD in Hampton Roads.
With 4,000 cancer patients or survivors currently in the school system, there are unique needs that these children face in regards to being absent for treatment or dealing with long-term effects, which include cognitive struggles and depression.
“#gogoldva is the result of the dedication of a group of wonderful people who have been touched by childhood [cancer,]” said Amy Godkin, ASK Executive Director. “I urge our community, especially our legislators, to remember the children who have been taken away from us too soon, to support those who continue to battle this illness with strength and courage.”