Taking on a Cause
As you know, Firefly is taking the guiding principle of “capturing and rewarding knowledge” outside the scope of civil process service and making it the driving force for involvement with September’s Ovarian Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness campaigns.
Firefly tries to get involved with as many philanthropic efforts as we can. We are in the business of delivering bad news, and this allows us the opportunity to do some good by making a positive impact in the lives of our friends and neighbors. Hopefully, we can make an impact, no matter how small, in helping to educate and spread awareness about these deadly diseases.
Jenn Dlugolecki, our Director of Business Development has been involved with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition for many years, and this year I decided to get everyone at Firefly involved as one of our philanthropic efforts. Jenn’s involvement is personal, as her mom was a victim of ovarian cancer. Through the organization, she has participated in their annual walk, registration booths at events, and is part of the Teal Lights Committee. If you’re ever downtown in September and see the buildings lit up teal, Jenn facilitated that. Her goal is to get the whole Chicago skyline to go teal each year.
Mary Marvinac, a member of our skip tracing team at the corporate office, brought my attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness, which is promoted by the American Childhood Cancer Organization, among many other organizations. After being inspired to learn more about childhood cancer after listening to Taylor Swift’s song “Ronan,” during Stand Up 2 Cancer Telethon, Mary researched the song and found that it was written about Ronan Thompson, a boy who battled (and later succumbed to) neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. The boy’s mother wrote a blog at first about her son, updating friends and family on his condition, but later used it as a platform to spread awareness. After reading the blog, Mary was compelled to try to help in any way she could.
This year, already 22,240 cases of ovarian cancer have been diagnosed. Ovarian Cancer is the 10th most common cancer in women and the 5th cause of cancer-related death in women. It is the deadliest of all gynecological cancers. Every 24 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
We’re spreading awareness by helping to educate people. Early detection can help save lives. Symptoms are subtle and common, and basically sound like whatever you’ve had to eat isn’t agreeing with you:
- Abdominal pressure, fullness
- Pelvic discomfort
- Persistent indigestion
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, encourage her to make an appointment with her gynecologist. You can be evaluated for high risk factors, and from there, blood tests, transvaginal ultrasounds, and pelvic exams can help detect cancer early.
According to the American Childhood Cancer Association, Childhood Cancers are a collection of 12 different kinds of cancer that typically only affect children. It’s the leading cause of death for children under the age of 18. Survival rates vary among the different types of cancer; some can have a 5 year survival rate of 90% while others have a rate of less than 5%.
Stunningly, the drugs used to treat children were developed in the 1950s. Sadly, there has not been much development in fighting these cancers; in the past 20 years, the FDA has only approved one new drug exclusively for pediatric patients. The current treatments leave almost 2/3 of survivors with at least one chronic health affect. 
There are many things you can do to get involved with this cause. The ACCO recommends contacting your state representatives to insist that childhood cancers be added to the state’s cancer plan legislation. You can volunteer for a childhood cancer organization, start a support group or outreach organization (or participate in one), and of course, by donating or raising funds to support childhood cancer research.
The easiest thing we can do is to take time out to help educate people about these deadly diseases. By being educated and aware, the better equipped we are to support those who need it. We encourage anyone who is able to volunteer, donate, or raise funds for one or both of these cancers to do so. Together, we can do a lot. Join us on social media with these hashtags #gogold #whyteal and also continue to check out our blog- we’ll be sharing information on these causes every week this month.
To learn more about Ovarian Cancer and how you can help, please visit NOCC’s website: http://www.ovarian.org/donate.php
To learn more about Childhood Cancers and how you can help , please visit the ACCO’s website: https://www.acco.org/AwarenessandAdvocacy/Awareness/RaiseAwareness.aspx
 According to www.ovarian.org
 According to www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/
 According to www.acco.org