Teen brings cancer battle to Effingham County Board
Elizabeth Weidner took her cancer battle to the Effingham County Board recently, urging a deeper dedication to what she described as a widely underfunded disease, according to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
“Some kids wish to be a cowboy, a princess, a chef or a farmer," Weidner said. "Other kids like me wish for a cure for cancer so that we can grow up. Pediatric cancer is severely underfunded. Only 4 percent of research goes to childhood cancer. Did you know in three days, what Americans spend on Starbucks coffee is what the federal government spends on childhood cancer in three years. That is horrible.”
Weidner, who is 13 and battling stage IV neuroblastoma, was named Junior Miss Effingham County this year. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
“Unlike adult cancer, childhood cancer cannot be prevented," she said. "The causes of most pediatric cancers are unknown. There is nothing we can do to prevent this horrible disease except increase the research specific to childhood cancer, which will increase cure rates and decrease late stage effects.”
Weidner said that 46 families learn that their child has cancer every day. She encouraged those at the meeting to support the fight through measures like wearing gold ribbons, displaying gold ribbons and flags outside of their homes and businesses, writing letters to their representatives, donating to childhood cancer foundations and becoming bone marrow and blood donors.