Did you know that a gold ribbon is the symbol of childhood cancer, and that September is childhood cancer awareness month?
Sadly, I do. I know this because one of my blogging friends, Katey who used to write the blog Play to Talk, is living this nightmare, for the second time. In February 2015, her beautiful little 18 month old son Finlay was diagnosed with Stage 4 Heptablastoma – liver cancer that spread to his lungs. Finlay and his family fought this first battle with such courage and determination that I was truly humbled.
Alas, his remission was short. A week ago, just after his 3rd birthday, poor Katey and little Finlay found out they have to fight this battle all over again. A battle against odds. A battle for a miracle.
Against all that Katey and Finlay (and families like them) are facing, it seems such a small thing for me to share this gold ribbon craft idea, to help spread awareness of childhood cancer. But childhood cancer desperately needs funding. Funding begins with public awareness. Hopefully, if we all add our voice in support, we can join together to create that awareness.
We made this gold ribbon craft back around August last year, when my daughter JJ was in kindergarten. She’d started to show an interest in learning to tie shoe laces. The first step in this process is learning to tie a simple knot, and we used this craft as one of the ways to learn and practice this skill.
Tying knots is really tricky for young kids. It’s so fiddly! But the plus side is that it’s a great way to build up those fine motor skills. And it is possible to master it, with lots of practise. (JJ’s about half way through Year One now, and has started wearing laces to school every day. She’s one of the only kids in her class that knows how to tie them!)
How to make a gold ribbon stick decoration
All you need is:
- a decent sized stick
- lots of gold ribbons
- patience!Bonus points if you use upcycled ribbons that you’ve stashed away from old gifts. This is a great way to use up all those fiddly small pieces. Otherwise you can also just cut a longer ribbon into shorter lengths. I like the idea of using several different types of ribbon, each with varying widths, textures etc to make the knotting process more sensory. I also think it makes the end result look more interesting.
It’s a really simple activity – just grab a piece of ribbon and tie it on, anywhere you like! Adults might need to hold the stick still while kids tie the knots, or after a while, you might find that the kids improvise. JJ discovered it is easier if she holds the stick between her knees.
Check out the concentration. 🙂
And here she is, proud of her creation!
You might notice that we tied an additional double knot with the ends of the first ribbon to make a loop, so that we could hang our ornament up!
We have ours hung up from a tree in our backyard, and it’s been faring well for over a year now! Last Christmas we brought it in to hang on the tree inside, and I imagine we’ll do that again this year too.
Join people around the world in acknowledging International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, and show your support of Finlay, and all the families fighting childhood cancer.
Donations to The Kids Cancer Project funds ongoing research specific to children’s cancer. Children’s cancer is not the same as adult cancer, and it needs it’s own research!
You can also follow Finlay’s progress, and leave messages of support, on Katey’s Facebook page Friends of Finlay.
You can also help raise awareness by joining in Ellen Degenere’s #justkeepdancing movement. All you need to do is share a video of your own children or family dancing via social media with the hashtag #justkeepdancing. Here is our #justkeepdancing video from last year.
Today we’re dancing for #childhoodcancer, as inspired by Ellen DeGeneres’ #justkeepdancing project. Just a few months ago, our fellow Aussie blogging friend, Katey from Play To Talk, received the heartwrenching news that her 18 month old son, Finlay, has Stage 4 Hepatoblastoma (liver cancer that has spread to his lungs). Yesterday he underwent an 8 hour operation to remove the tumour from his liver. He’s been moved to PICU today, and is recovering well, but this is just one step in their long journey… Katey, I can only imagine how hard this all must be. Our thoughts are with you. Xxx To support ongoing (much needed) research into childhood cancer, you can donate to The Kids Cancer Project (https://www.thekidscancerproject.org.au/getinvolved/donate.aspx), and you can send well wishes to Finlay and his family via their Facebook page, Friends of Finlay. #friendsoffinlay #kidscancerproject #kidsgetcancertoo #researchmatters #weneedacure #childhoodcancerawareness @theellenshow
You can find gold ribbon crafts, activity ideas and messages of support from some of my fellow Aussie bloggers here:
- #Justkeepdancing with the Video Star App | Childhood 101
- Gold Ribbon Dancers Craft | The Craft Train
- 10 Acts of Kindness for Childhood Cancer Patients (and Their Families) | Moments A Day
- Guardian Angel Knit for Need & Children Get Cancer Too | Mee Too
- 10 Kid-Friendly Songs to Get You Grooving! | Picklebums
- 10 Picture Books About Dance for Childhood Cancer Awareness | My Little Bookcase
- Dancing for Finlay and Papa | Living Loving Laughing Together
- Dance for Finlay | Octavia and Vicky
- Childhood Cancer Sucks | Paging Fun Mums
- You Have Cancer | Just For Daisy
This is a fight that no family wants to fight. Let’s let them know they are not fighting it alone.