ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WTSP) – A new study shows more children are surviving childhood cancer. The government study found a 20% drop in cancer deaths among children and adolescents from 1999 to 2014. The study also found leukemia is no longer the leading cause of cancer deaths in kids, with three in ten cancer deaths now due to brain cancer.
September is officially Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Florida with cancer cure walks scheduled all across the bay area. But some of the people hit hardest by childhood cancer are too sick to participate, so some of them did their own walk in the cancer unit at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg on Friday.
Among them was 3-year-old brain cancer patient Presley Scott, her father Wayne pushing her through the seventh floor hallway in a stroller.
“We are on our fourth round of chemo,” said Scott. "It's definitely life-changing and makes you think about your problems.”
Down the hall sat 11-year-old Randal Cerwas, stuck in his because of a fever.
“I don’t want to be negative, it’s not good to be negative,” said Cerwas. “If you’re negative then you really are going to pass that on to someone else and they’re going to be negative and that’s going to make someone else negative. I just want to stay positive for other people.”
Randall waved to the cancer walkers as they passed his room and went down the hall, also passing a bell on the wall that patients get to ring when they finish their treatment. The following day, Presley Scott would get to ring it, signaling the end of her chemotherapy after three surgeries on a brain tumor the size of a softball.