September, fast approaching, is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Stacy Craig, mother to child cancer patient Ethan Craig, is hoping to raise more awareness locally about the devastating disease that takes so many children and breaks so many hearts.
Craig is a co-founder of Ethan & Teyler Totes, which provides totes for families, children and infants admitted to UC Davis Children's Hospital, UCSF's Intensive Care Nursery, and UCSF's Benioff Children's Hospital. She is also the owner of Like Nobody Else Day Spa in Ferndale, and plans to sell accessories to promote childhood cancer awareness. Items such as gold hair spray and gold ribbon accessories will be available for purchase at the spa in September.
"I would like to see more gold throughout the community in September," Craig said. "I simply want people to just be aware. It does not have to be about fundraising, although I will be doing some, I feel like it's too easy for people to turn their heads and pretend it does not happen. I was one of those people, believe me, and then -- wham!"
After being sucker-punched with her own son's cancer, Craig has learned that it can happen to anyone and she wants to raise awareness in the county about childhood cancer specifically and that the gold ribbon represents it.
Many children in the area are fighting cancer. As these families travel for treatment they meet other families with the same heartache and often suffer the loss of those new friends in addition to their own struggles.
"I feel like this whole situation with my son was meant for me to change things," Craig said. "To raise awareness and help the community come together for the increasing number of kids getting cancer."
Craig has hopes of taking a poll to see how many people know the color for childhood cancer or the month.
As the next dropoff approaches for these medical facilities, so does the need for supplies to fill the totes. The group will be leaving binders with some families to help keep the masses of information before them organized. There is a need for lined paper, 1.5-inch binders, blank white copy paper, pens, pencils, post-its, post-it tabs, binder dividers, clear plastic protector sheets, business card plastic sheets, and three-ring zipper pouches for binders to hold supplies. For more information on the binder project, call 498-9882.
The group has set up three simple ways to donate and help those in need. First, donors can simply purchase one of the basic items placed in the totes. Second, donors can sponsor a tote for $10. And finally, donors can simply make a monetary donation and mail it to Ethan & Teyler Totes, P.O. Box 483, Fortuna, CA 95540.
For anyone wanting to purchase specific items to donate they can be dropped off in Fortuna at Longboard Subs, Miracles Salon, Fortuna High School, US Bank, and Fortuna Veterinary Clinic. In Rio Dell at C & C Market and Ferndale at Like Nobody Else Day Spa. Eureka locations include College of the Redwoods attention Jennifer Bailey, Bev's Real Kids, and Broadway Animal Clinic.
For more information check out "Ethan & Teyler Totes" on Facebook.
Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon
A cancer awareness float during the recent Fortuna Rodeo Parade brought many families of childhood cancer patients and the patients themselves out to spread awareness. Ethan of Ethan & Teyler Totes can be seen walking in the parade far right headed back to the truck for more candy to hand out.