October is well-known as breast cancer awareness month, but did you know that quite a few other great causes also dub October as awareness month as well? These include Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Rhett Syndrome and SIDS.
According to NationalBreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer making it the number one cancer in women (except for skin cancer). Every 2 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the US and an estimated 43,550 women and 530 men will pass away from it this year.(1) Over 287,500 women and over 2,710 men will be diagnosed in 2022. (1)
As the site notes, the exact cause is unknown and although there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of a person developing breast cancer, between 60-70% of those affected have no risks at all. However, there are a few factors that put those at a greater possibility (the list below is presented by NationalBreastCancer.org):
- Women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men
- “Two out of three women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55” (2)
- Caucasian women are most often diagnosed than other races
- If there is a family history of breast cancer
- “Early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after 55), having your first child at an older age, or never having given birth can also increase your risk for breast cancer” (2)
- Gene mutations
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet as well as being overweight
- Alcohol consumption
But there is hope. 65% of cases are localized to the breast and the 5-year survival rate is 99%. (1)
For more risk factors and information visit NationalBreastCancer.org and check out the Advent Health University’s guide: MRI vs. Mammogram for Breast Cancer Screening.
An 80,000 lbs pink tractor trailer was the first to kick off Road Scholar’s awareness campaign. Read more on how it all started here.
There are three types of Down syndrome: Trisomy 21 (the most common, consisting of about 95% of cases in which there is an extra chromosome 21 in every cell), Translocation (around 3% where the additional chromosome is attached to another instead of on its own), and Mosaicism (around 2%, in which only some cells contain the extra chromosome).
Each year, around 1 in 700 babies (or less than 1%) are born with this.
There are certain physical features that Down syndrome people have in common including slanted eyes, short neck, absence of a nasal bone, small ears, a protruding tongue, short stature, white spots in the colored part of the eyes, weak muscle tone, and a single crease on the palm of the hand.
There are certain conditions that people with Down syndrome are more susceptible to as well including vision and hearing problems, thyroid issues, sleep apnea, gastrointestinal problems and heart problems (around 50% will have this) to name a few.
Back in 1983, the typical life expectancy of someone with this disorder was 25 years old. Today, that average increased to nearly 60 years old and getting better with increased awareness and intervention.
Road Scholar added the Down Syndrome awareness truck to its fleet in June 2022 at Logan’s first birthday party to remind the world that Love Doesn’t Count Chromosomes. Read about Logan’s story here.
Spina bifida is a birth disorder resulting from “defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the backbone.” The cause of this disorder is unknown but is speculated to occur from instances such as defects in the neural tube or a folic acid deficiency. (3)
*Roughly 1427 babies in the U.S. are born with spina bifida each year (1 in 2758 births).
*Spina bfida is diagnosed through blood tests, an ultrasound, or amniocentesis, when a needle is used to remove fluid from the amniotic sac. (3)
*Treatment comes in many forms but sometimes is not required. Methods include surgery (including prenatal), a cesarean birth, physical therapy, and devices such as braces or wheelchairs.
Road Scholar Transport is spreading awareness for spina bifida with our Lyla’s Hope trailer. Lyla’s Hope is a non-profit corporation named after a little girl who developed spina bifida at birth. The trailer displays a midnight star-filled sky with the words “On the Road to Spread Lyla’s Hope for Children with Spina Bfida,” written in pink. The stars shoot across the sky via a pink fairy in the right corner of the trailer, who is blowing the stars from her hands, spreading Lyla’s Hope.
Lyla’s Hope operates with the purpose of offering financial assistance for medical treatment and equipment, educates families about spina bifida, offers emotional support, and assists with transportation, among other things. To learn more visit lylashope.com.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Rett syndrome is a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder that affects the way the brain develops, causing a progressive inability to use muscles for eye and body movements and speech. It occurs almost exclusively in girls.” (4)
*Rett Syndrome is known as a “rare disease” and affects 1 in 10,000 females. (5)
*There are four common stages of Rett Syndrome:
- Stage 1: early onset (occurring between 6 and 18 months old)
- Stage 2: rapid destruction (occurring between 1 and 4 years old)
- Stage 3: plateau (occurring between 2 and 10 years old)
- Stage 4: late motor deterioration (occurring after 10 years old)
*There is currently no cure. Treatments include medication, therapy, and support services.
Road Scholar’s Rett Syndrome awareness truck features Francesca Scarano, a little girl who was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome at the age of one.
On July 23, 2014, three-month-old Jude Zayac passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS typically strikes children under the age of one unexpectantly and is known as the number one cause of death in children under one year of age, claiming the lives of nearly 3400 each year.
In memory of their son, Greg and Theo Zayac formed the Jude Zayac Foundation with a mission to “raise funds to support SIDS research and enrich the lives of children living in their community.”
The Jude Zayac Foundation joined Road Scholar’s awareness fleet back in 2015 at the first annual Jog for Jude 5K and since, has been traveling our nation’s roads on a daily basis building awareness for SIDS and reminding everyone that “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”
To read about the preventative measures you can take to help reduce the risk of SIDS click here.