September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital will honor the occasion by hosting a special pediatric cancer awareness service. The free event takes place at 1 p.m. today outside the entrance of the Marshall Nemer Pavilion on the hospital campus.

The event is to show support for children battling cancer, recognize those that are pediatric cancer survivors, and to honor loved ones affected by childhood cancers. In memory and recognition of those affected by pediatric cancer, the event will conclude with a release of gold balloons. Gold is the color that represents pediatric cancer.

In addition to the service-ending balloon release, the event will include speakers and a prayer service and remembrance ceremony. Families, caregivers, organizations and groups across the United States observe September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, every year nearly 16,000 children (under age 19) in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer and one in 285 U.S. children will be diagnosed with cancer before turning 20. Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease of children in the United States.

In the event of rain, the service will be moved indoors to the Garden Room on the ground floor of the hospital. For additional information concerning Mercy Health visit Mercy.com.

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