MEDINA, Minn. - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and a group of Twin Cities moms who understand the sorrows of the disease are taking their campaign worldwide.
Melanie Bimson, of Minnetonka, and Kim Buff, of Medina, are the two moms behind Momcology, a Facebook support group for mothers of children with cancer.
Both met on the Momcology Facebook page two years ago when their sons were going through treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. Buff's son Matthew was diagnosed at age 8, and Bimson's son Piece was diagnosed at 18 months.
"We call it the most fab club you would never want to join," said Bimson.
Everyday two classrooms full of kids are diagnosed with childhood cancer and seven children die from the disease. In the isolation of cancer, the online connection helped the moms fight their own battle.
"Momcology is place you can go and you will never hear 'I can't imagine,' because every single mother in there can. It's their daily life," said Buff.
As their sons now recover and have emerged into remission, Bimson and Buff are rapidly expanding the support group far beyond Minnesota.
Momcology now has more than 3,000 members around the world. The group caters to specific forms of cancer and even includes dads, where parents share symptoms, setbacks and celebrations.
"So you can have a mom sitting in a hospital room in Seattle, in a hospital room in Texas, Massachusetts, and Minnesota--all talking to each other about what is going on with questions and protocols, and those moms start talking to their doctors," said Buff.
During Childhood Cancer Awareness month, the women are sending out hundreds of gold ribbons and gold flags with the motto: "Children are more precious than gold." Their hope is childhood cancer is recognized by a movement of gold just as breast cancer is known for its pink.
"We have sold 320 flags all over the US and Canada," said Buff. "We should get the whole nation flying gold pretty soon."
The new 35W bridge will be bathed in gold at dusk on Saturday, September 21, to spread more awareness of childhood cancer.
Until there is a cure, Momcology will be a place where mothers can help heal their broken hearts.
"We still feel there is a taboo around childhood cancer, I think because it is heartbreaking. You can rationalize in your mind when an adult has cancer. It's really hard to rationalize a kid," said Bimson. "I think the connections and feeling like we are not alone is helping moms calm down and really go through the journey in a thoughtful way."
If you would like to join the Momcology group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/momcologyusa/
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