PADUCAH – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital will recognize the observance by hosting a special pediatric cancer awareness service.

The service will take place virtually at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, and is free and open to public. To attend, email John Montville, executive director, Oncology at Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital, for an invitation at JJMontville@mercy.com.

Mercy Health hosts this service to show support for children battling cancer, recognize pediatric cancer survivors and honor loved ones and caregivers affected by childhood cancers. The online event will include comments from local cancer awareness advocates Alan Parker and April McKnight and a remembrance ceremony. In memory and recognition of those affected by pediatric cancer, participants will release balloons individually at the conclusion of the service to show solidarity in the fight against pediatric cancers.

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 US are diagnosed with cancer and one in 285 US 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.

Lourdes Hospital’s oncology program consists of integrated cancer services, including high quality cancer screening, oncology surgery and medical oncology and hematology programs. Through its affiliation with the University of Kentucky/Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, Lourdes Hospital offers access to cancer services and clinical trials, along with the ability to provide second opinions and other consultative services available from an academic cancer center. Lourdes Hospital’s program is committed to providing advanced cancer care across the entire spectrum of patient needs, including use of oncology nurse navigation, survivorship services, regional cancer education and support group services, cancer genetics, and more. The program is a regional leader in cancer care.