UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals will ‘Be Gold’ in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness

By Melinda Krigel

BCH SignEach year, nearly 16,000 U.S. children and teens are diagnosed with cancer. But only 4 percent of federal cancer research funding is earmarked to develop new treatments and cures for children battling this heartbreaking disease – an amount that is far below what is actually needed.

Just as pink has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals are part of a nationwide campaign to shine a spotlight on childhood cancer during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month in September—with the color gold as the campaign’s symbol.

Throughout September, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals are encouraging local businesses and the community at large to help the more than 1,500 patients who receive treatment at the Oakland and San Francisco campuses every year. As national leaders in pediatric cancer care, the hospitals’ support these young patients every step of the way through their treatments.

Both the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants will be recognizing pediatric cancer awareness at their Sept. 1 games, and will be donating a portion of the proceeds from these special event tickets to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research and supportive services at Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

Swimming enthusiasts, including Olympians, kayakers and volunteers will take part in Swim Across America’s thirteenth annual San Francisco Bay Area Open Water Swim, benefitting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals cancer programs. The 1.75-mile swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to Little Marina Green/Yacht Harbor Beach raises money for the Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program in San Francisco and the Swim Across America Laboratory for Pediatric Cancer Research in Oakland. The swim will take place Saturday, September 22.

“I’m proud that our hospitals are at the forefront of pediatric cancer research, developing innovative treatments and working toward cures,” says Michael Anderson, MD, president of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. “We’ve come so far in the past few decades, but kids deserve more. I’m thrilled to see our community rallying to help us in this important mission.”

Other partners committed to “Be Gold” and support pediatric cancer treatment and research throughout the month of September include The Buster Posey Foundation, Aflac, Northwestern Mutual, Driven Raceway, Extreme Pizza, and Icicles Rolled Ice Cream.

“The funds and awareness raised through the Be Gold campaign will have a direct impact on Bay Area children diagnosed with cancer by supporting critical services and innovative research at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals,” said Anthony Candito, director of corporate partnerships for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

For more information on how you can get involved in raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research, visit begold4kids.org.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – as well as Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians and the UCSF Faculty Practice. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF faculty also provide all physician care at the public Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and the SF VA Medical Center. The UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program is a major branch of the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine.