As you stroll down Massachusetts street in September, you may notice a gold tint along the walkways.
Baby Jay's Legacy of Hope Foundation recently hung gold ribbons in downtown Lawrence in honor of children who have passed away or are fighting childhood cancer. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the organization is reaching out to remind the community about this terrible illness.
Childhood cancer is the No. 1 killer of children in the U.S. It kills more children — about 1,500 per year — than all other childhood diseases combined. Despite these staggering numbers, only 1 percent of all cancer funding goes toward this illness. Baby Jay's Legacy hopes to change that through supporting families while they fight the disease.
Baby Jay's Legacy of Hope was started in January 2012 in honor of Jayden "Baby Jay" Souter. The Lawrence girl fought cancer for more than two years before losing her battle in 2011. Her parents, Erica and Jason, started the foundation to help kids and their families in the Lawrence area during their fights with the disease. Many people don't realize the costs outside of health care: Constant trips to the hospital, as well as hotel stays and gas, can put a tough strain on the families affected.
Baby Jay's Legacy has given over $4,000 in assistance to families in the area over the last year and a half. The organization was recently selected by the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade committee as one of its beneficiaries this year. This month's event is being held to spread the word to families in the area that if their child is affected, Baby Jay's Legacy can help. For more information or to donate, visit babyjayslegacy.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.