ROYAL OAK, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – In the closing days of August, you’ll find gold ribbons tied on many trees across Corewell Health’s campus in Royal Oak to kick off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
“Children are pure gold,” says Lisa Muma, who coordinates the annual ribbon tying.
According to the CDC, cancer is a leading cause of death among all age groups of children.
“Tying gold ribbons is one of the ways we can support and honor our children and their families,” says Muma.
Living with and beating cancer is a story one volunteer at Sunday’s ribbon tying knows all too well.
“I was diagnosed actually when I was 21. I was at Central Michigan when I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which is a form of bone cancer,” says Heather Hall, a three-time cancer survivor.
Fortunately, Hall says her body responded well to what she says was aggressive chemotherapy. Her treatment took place in pediatric oncology and lasted 13 months. It was 13 months that she never thought she’d have to go through again until the unthinkable.
“Then I was diagnosed two more times a couple years later with melanoma and almost five years ago with breast cancer,” Hall says.
She’s taken the adversity on the chin and says she’s fortunate to be with us today. Hall has since chosen a life of advocacy, even in small gestures like tying gold ribbons.
“Everybody is impacted by cancer these days. I don’t think there is one person who can say that they don’t know someone who has been impacted by cancer, so we’re all in this together, and coming here is just a really good example that we’re better together,” Hall said.