The Mingo County Commission signed a proclamation at its Wednesday meeting in support of children who have childhood cancer and the families of children that have not survived.

Tonya Webb, Mingo County chief parole and probation officer and local advocate for childhood cancer awareness, addressed the commission and explained the issue.

She said there are several families affected by childhood cancer in Mingo County. She added that very little is understood about it.

“Childhood cancer research only gets four percent of money raised to fight cancer. Because of this, there are no drugs designed for their little bodies,” Webb said. “They get the same chemotherapy that adults receive.”

She asked the commission to name September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sept. 18 as Go Gold Day. With her seeking the designation were two families that have experienced the effects of cancer.

One of those families was Emily Baisden, a seventh grade student at Lenore PreK-8, who has brain cancer, and her mother, Brandy Fletcher. Fletcher said her daughter had brain surgery in January 2018 and is now going for six-month checkups and hopes that one day she will be called a survivor one day even though only part was her cancer was able to be removed.

The other family lending their support for upcoming effort was Tara and Nick Hurley of Edgarton whose son lost his battle to cancer in 2015.

The Mingo County Commission signed the proclamation declaring September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Wednesday, Sept. 18, as Go Gold Day.

Webb said the initiative has also gathered a lot of support from various other venues. Gov. Jim Justice has signed similar proclamations on the state level. The Williamson City Council voted to actively participate in local initiatives. Williamson Memorial Hospital will host a special dinner later this month as a way to give children and their families an opportunity to network with each other.

She asks local residents and businesses to show their support to childhood cancer patients, survivors and families by wearing gold or by displaying gold ribbons, wreaths, lights or other decorations throughout the month, but particularly on Sept. 18.

Webb said a Facebook page “Paint the Town Gold” has been created to distribute information about Mingo County activities scheduled this month. She also asks that any family who has been effected by childhood cancer and has not been contacted about the dinner to reach out to her via the page.

“We want to support and honor all of our families in Mingo County and don’t want anyone left out,” she said.

In other business, the commission:

• Tabled a decision to redistribute hotel/motel taxes among county convention and visitor bureaus until the next meeting;

• Approved drawdown requests from the Region II Planning and Development Office for the Gilbert broadband project;

• Appointed Commission President Diann Hannah to serve on the Southwestern Regional Day Report board of directors; and

• Voted to accept a revision to the 911 personnel policy.

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