Foundation aims to raise awareness about childhood cancers

Foundation aims to raise awareness about childhood cancers

BAY SPRINGS, MS (WDAM) - More than 10 years ago, Seth Harris passed away from cancer. Shortly after, his parents created the Seth Harris Childhood Cancer Foundation in his honor.

“...There weren’t books, there weren’t websites, there was just nothing that provided information that we needed and wanted,” said Dawn Harris, Seth’s mother.

Dawn says in partnership with her husband, Chad, they filled a void by creating the foundation.

“At (the) time, Facebook wasn’t popular or anything and just Google searching you couldn’t really find anything that wasn’t scary as heck,” said Harris about online research of cancers.

She said she wanted to give parents something they didn’t have --- an online community which aims to raise awareness about cancers impacting children.

“That was something we wanted to do just help the parents, help the families financially and just with questions that needed to be answered,” she said.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the leading cause of death past infancy among children ages zero to 19 in the United States with Leukemia being one of the most common types and the one Seth suffered from.

“It was at Blair E. Batson and we lost him in 2009, because he had to have a bone marrow transplant and that’s when we lost him with the complications to his bone marrow transplant,” she said of her son’s death.

The foundation provides scholarships, hosts programs and raises money for cancer-related organizations including Mississippi’s own Camp Rainbow--- a nonprofit summer camp for pediatric cancer patients and survivors.

“We helped sponsor Camp Rainbow and furnished them (with) money some years,” Harris said. “Some years, we sponsored them and (did) their snacks and paper products and all the stuff they needed for camp.”

And for parents experiencing what Dawn and her family went through eleven years ago, she has one message.

“Just don’t lose hope,” she said.

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