Events planned to raise funds for childhood cancer research

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and several local events are continuing to take place in order to raise funds for research.

Amelia Claire Mracek, or "Millie," fought cancer valiantly for 10 grueling months. Millie passed away on Feb. 8, 2021. In honor of their daughter's life, her parents Claire and Nick started the Mighty Millie Foundation.

"Childhood cancer is wildly under funded, under researched, under supported and the way that we are going to change that is to continue rallying and continue to raise our voices," Claire told FOX 5.

According to the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, 47 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer daily. They say only 4% of the national budget for cancer research is earmarked for childhood cancer research.

Many childhood cancer groups have hosted events this month in order to raise funds and further research. Claire says many treatment options for children with cancer are decades old, and some are just diluted versions of adult treatments. 

"They have little bodies with very different needs," said Grant Rivera, whose child is battling cancer. That's why we need to make sure pediatric cancer doctors are customizing those treatments for the youngest of patients."

Reese Rivera is a bright and bubbly first-grader. Looking at her, you wouldn't know she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 10-months-old. Her family works to find a cure and will host the third annual Ring The Bell Benefit on Wednesday.

"That's why we come together, to find a cure and give every child a chance to ring that bell," Grant Rivera said.

One event that is very special to Millie's family happened over the weekend: Light Up The Night. Marietta neighbors set out luminaries on the street to push away darkness, if just for one night.

Wednesday night, Glover Park Brewery in Marietta will host the Ring The Bell Benefit starting at 6 p.m. Donations will support childhood cancer awareness and research.

It's estimated that 16,000 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022, according to the Childhood Cancer Fact Library.