Elgin County to raise childhood cancer flag for first time Tuesday
David and Maureen Jenkins (right), are seen last year with a Childcan representative, and a childhood cancer survivor, then Warden Duncan McPhail with the gold ribbon flag in honour of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
ST. THOMAS, ONT. -- It's been six years since 12-year-old Maggie Jenkins of Belmont, Ont. passed away from cancer.
She was an avid soccer player, member of the 4-H Club and a citizenship award winner at her school.
Tuesday, her mother Maureen and father Dave will be at the Elgin Heritage Centre in St. Thomas as Elgin County raises the childhood cancer flag for the first time.
Elgin County Warden Dave Mennill will proclaim September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month honouring families like the Jenkins and others who have lost a child, as well as children who survived the disease.
"Just to have our county recognize it, and create awareness is special," says Dave Jenkins.
On September 24, 2019, the Jenkins family was honoured at county council as council passed the proclamation of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Jenkins family presented the county with a gold ribbon flag.
Unfortunately due to construction delays, the flag pole was not yet installed at the Heritage Centre; hence this year will be the first time the childhood cancer gold ribbon flag will be raised at the Elgin County Building.
"The reason we strive for awareness is that childhood cancer is the No.1 cause of death in kids due to disease," says Maureen Jenkins. "We always try to advocate to do proclamations because we believe research dollars are often determined by political priorities," says Maureen.
Four years ago, the Jenkins family gave 1,250 ribbon-shaped pins to all legislators in Canada.
Dave says more research is needed and hopes that more cancer drugs can be developed specifically for children. "Last October in London, Justin Trudeau made the promise of $30 million for childhood cancer research, we hope he keeps his promise," he says.
The flag raising will take place at 12 p.m. Tuesday on Sunset Drive, and another will take place at St. Thomas city hall Wednesday morning.