How We Celebrate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September signifies so many new beginnings in our world today. September brings on the fall season and the cooler weather. It also signifies the moment in the year when everyone receiving an education must return to their chosen learning spot and force themselves to learn for another year.
At Ronald McDonald House New York, September has always been significant for one reason and one reason alone: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM).
For one month out of every year, RMH-NY goes gold in honor of CCAM and the more than 59,000 families that we have had the fortune to serve since we opened our doors almost 45 years ago.
CCAM is not just a one night only blowout, even though we do hold one of those events every year to bring the month-long celebration to a close.
No, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a celebration of every child past, present, and future who have and will continue to courageously fight for their lives against a beast of an illness that not one of them deserves to endure.

Broadening Our Philanthropic Scope

Strategic Growth PLan Map of all the hospital partners of RMH-NY all over NYC

In recent years, Ronald McDonald House New York’s mission has grown to encompass a great deal of services outside the House working with our 22 partner hospitals across NYC. We have two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms that are fashioned inside local hospitals to serve families with children being treated in the NICU or PICU, no matter the illness. Hospitality Carts are similar to the family rooms in the scope of their target audience, only RMH-NY Hospitality Carts are mobile and meet families with all kinds of goodies wherever they may be in the hospital during their child’s treatment.

These strategic growth strategies and services are meant to allow Ronald McDonald House New York to cast a wider health equity net and serve more families in need who live right here at home in NYC.

Yet, at the core of this unique growth mission, will always sit the House on 73rd street. And while we do open our doors to all families who have a child suffering from any life-threatening illness and seeking treatment in one of NYC’s prestigious hospitals, at our core we will always care for a great percentage of kids suffering from childhood cancer.

We celebrate CCAM every day of the month for that reason.

A Polynesian Extravaganza Kickoff


At the very beginning of the month of September, to kick off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, one of our most consistent and dedicated, not to mention super fun volunteers, Shirley, and the company she works for, Triumph Construction Company, created a mountain of shish kabobs on the grill outside on our 3rd floor terrace… in the rain. This was only the beginning of the edible Polynesian treats that would feed our families until bellies grew full.

Shish Kabobs and Gift Bags and Laughter, Oh My!

Beyond dinner, Shirley and members of the Triumph team also came equipped with giveaway bags full of all kinds of wildlife-themed goodies sporting various animal prints including the most infamous accessory born in the 1990s, the slap bracelet.

Shirley, with the help of the Volunteer Team, decked out the 2nd floor dining room in various jungle and animal print variations. The tablecloths were cheetah, the napkins modeled zebra skin, and the balloons were gold and green in honor of the most important part of the dinner celebration. Gold and Green each represented the reason we all gathered clad in animal print outfits: to celebrate the beginning of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (Gold) and Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month (Green).

On the left side of the dining room, tables and chairs were cleared to make room for a little moment for celebratory arts and crafts.

A Golden Ribbon Tribute

The golden ribbon of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

A board in the RMH-NY lobby says Be Bold. Go gold. with 30 or so golden ribbons pinned up all around on the wall.

In honor of this special month, to memorialize those amazing kids we’ve lost and to pay tribute to every child still fighting, our newest RMH-NY Volunteer Associate, Heather, painted the right hand of anyone who joined the Shish Kabob celebration. She gave each the choice between green and gold, but everyone had to then lay down that print somewhere on a large canvas to symbolize all the hands of our community who are ready to hold up and support our courageous ‘superheroes’ each and every day of the year.

Greeen and Gold handprints supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month at Ronald McDonald House New York

The collection of green and gold handprints would eventually fill the canvas to become a tribute to all the kids and families in the House currently undergoing treatment for cancer in local NYC hospitals. The wall of handprints hangs in the RMH-NY lobby today alongside golden ribbons pinned up all over the House’s lobby. When you get closer to the wall, you see that each ribbon is a different message of hope from families to their child in treatment.


A Soiree to End All… Childhood Cancers

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is September is written on the banner that hangs in the Ronald McDonald House New York's Lobby

At Ronald McDonald House New York, we are celebrating CCAM all month long and next week will culminate to an evening of celebration on September 29th for every family in the House, the staff, volunteers and Board at RMH-NY.  Our staff put together a fun evening that could keep Childhood Cancer Awareness in the forefront of our minds until September 1st, 2024.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month may be in September, but the conversation must keep going all year long until every child who checks in at Ronald McDonald House New York is checking out, cancer-free and heading home with a new lease on life.

If you want to know the best way to keep this conversation going throughout the year, please visit our website at Together, we can make childhood cancer only a bad memory and no longer a dismal reality for all the kids and families at Ronald McDonald House New York.

Green and Gold handprints represent the hands of support for all the kids fighting cancer at RMH-NY

Lend hands of support to Ronald McDonald House New York and all of the children suffering from pediatric cancer and fighting for their lives.  Become a Volunteer at RMH-NY. today.

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