MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While doctors are helping COVID-19 patients, they are also helping children with cancer.

September is childhood cancer awareness month.

On Saturday, a mom and law enforcement officers worked together to make patients in Miami-Dade feel better, even at a distance.

It was an effort to bring smiles to young patients battling cancer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in southwest Miami-Dade.

“It all started with my own baby, he rode in a police car trying to catch a bad guy. It was one of the best days of his life,” said Silvia Vanni, Mystic Force Foundation founder.

Sadly, Silvia’s son lost his battle to cancer in 2011 at 7-years-old, but she is determined to win the war.

“The only way we are ever going to find a cure for our children is to raise awareness,” said Silvia.

Silvia’s group raises awareness about childhood cancer.

Every year in September, she partners with law enforcement. Together, along with patrol cruisers and others to try to make kids happy.

“We want to highlight the importance of this disease to the community. Childhood cancer is only 4% of cancer,” said Doctor Ziad Khatib of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

That also means only 4 percent of the billions of dollars for research goes toward finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Curesearch.org says half of the children who are diagnosed have leukemia or brain cancer.

One in eight children with cancer in the US will not survive.

Over the last decade, doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital have helped 80 percent of patients recover, but they’re not satisfied. They want that rate at 100 percent.

“We are looking for a future to cure all children with cancer,” said doctor Ziad Khatib of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Saturday’s event may be over, but since funding is not where they want it to be and parents are still losing their sons and daughters, a mom who knows all too well needs your help.

“Donate, if at all possible. Even a dollar makes a difference. There’s so little money from the National Cancer Institute that goes to childhood cancer. Also, donate your time,” said Silvia.

Ty Russell

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